Cowher and Rooney feel Jerome will be back
Rooney and Cowher each expect Jerome Bettis will play another season but say that won't be determined for sure until the veteran running back gets deeper into his workout routine.
Bettis re-signed with the Steelers to lower his salary but has said he will not decide whether to retire or play until perhaps June 1.
"He knows what he has to do to get ready," Rooney said. "I think until he does that and gets through that training program, he's not going to be sure that he's got the commitment to it that he has to have. I think that's why he's kind of kept it open, because he's not sure."
Said Cowher: "My understanding was that [he will play], unless there's a setback in his training, as he starts to prepare, as he starts to get closer, I think that will be the determining factor. But I think his mind-set is that he wants to come back."
Cowher said if Bettis does not return, he has confidence in Duce Staley, Willie Parker and Verron Haynes to handle the job.
Rooney said the team should know long before June 1 whether Bettis will be committed to playing.
"If he hasn't gotten himself at that point in time to where he's sort of ready to go or is 95 percent of the way there, it's not something you just do in a couple of weeks and be ready to go and walk into training camp," Rooney said