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Old 10-12-2005, 12:28 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_383282.html

Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

By Joe Bendel
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, October 12, 2005


SAN DIEGO -- Jerome Bettis was still fired up long after the final gun sounded Monday night in the Steelers' 24-22 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
After missing the first three games of the season because of a calf injury, Bettis ran for 54 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He did his best work late, rushing for 21 tough yards on seven carries during the game-winning field-goal drive.

Later, he blasted those who'd doubted if he would return from his injury.

"The frustrating part for me was listening to everybody in the media, all the fans, talking about (whether) I'm going to play, should I play," Bettis said. "I think I deserve the respect of being the fourth all-time leading rusher (he's actually fifth on the NFL's all-time list, with 13,348 yards) -- and that's what I'm not getting.


"I think I deserve better than that."

Bettis, 33, said it wasn't just one thing that irked him.

"Everything, everything," he said. "After I got hurt (in the second-to-last preseason game), you read articles, you heard commentary, you heard people, fans. I have people betting that I'm not ever going to touch the field again. It's a bunch of garbage; that's what it really is."

Steelers coach Bill Cowher was thankful to have Bettis in the fourth quarter, particularly on the winning drive, when Bettis converted two third-and-1 carries.

On the first, Bettis carried Chargers linebacker Ben Leber with him through the line of scrimmage.

"It was nice to be able to have a fresh Jerome Bettis in the fourth quarter," Cowher said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "That was a luxury. He was running downhill. The one thing I knew when we handed the ball to him, it was not going to be a negative play."

Bettis' re-emergence means less playing time for starter Willie Parker, who carried just 10 times for 26 yards. Parker had 272 yards rushing in the first two games but has run only for only 81 yards on 27 carries in the past two.

Cowher was non-committal as to how he'll handle his tailbacks Sunday against Jacksonville, although it appears Duce Staley (knee) will remain out of the mix for now.

"Duce, quite frankly, might not be 100 percent this whole year," Cowher said. "He's working to get better, and at some point, we may need him. He understands the situation."

Bettis said he isn't aiming to supplant Parker.

"Willie deserves to start," Bettis said. "That's not the question. But the problem that I have is when people ask me, 'Well, are you going to play?' "

Bettis commended Steelers fans for showing up en masse at Qualcomm Stadium Monday, but when asked if some fans had drawn his ire lately, he responded quickly.

"No question," he said. "It wasn't that they were giving me a hard time, it was just that they were saying, 'Well, maybe he's done.' It's been like that the last five years. And every year, I feel I have to prove myself. Or people will ask me, 'Do I have to prove myself?' I get fed up about it. I'm a nice guy and a good guy, but I reached my boiling point these last couple weeks.

"So, it was good to get back out there and get it over with."
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Old 10-12-2005, 12:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

I can't blame him. All last year you heard stupid comments like the Bus has flat tires. Maybe the Bus needs to go to the shop. The guy always proves them wrong.
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

The guy is 5th all time rushing, almost 90 TD's, team player, good guy, comes thru in the clutch everytime u need him..what more do they want !! Sheesh!!
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlitzburghRockCity
The guy is 5th all time rushing, almost 90 TD's, team player, good guy, comes thru in the clutch everytime u need him..what more do they want !! Sheesh!!
Can't be said any better than that!
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

Nothing got me more fired up about the game then watching Bettis running people over. Glad to see him back, and seeing him running so well. I almost forgot how much this kind of back is worth by watching Willie with his speed and agility. Bettis/Parker combo will destroy defenses, I actually dont know why we threw it so much.
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

The Bus equals today's Steeler football but in the fans defense it was Bettis who was talking about leaving. "Should I retire or shouldn't I retire" I believe have been his words. Talk like that tends to make people draw conclusions as in crap or get off the pot.
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Old 10-12-2005, 08:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

And on top of all the good he is on the field he is a great role model in the community. Way to go Jerome.... Also he is a really good BOWLER!!
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rejuvenated Bettis boils over in post-game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyn
The Bus equals today's Steeler football but in the fans defense it was Bettis who was talking about leaving. "Should I retire or shouldn't I retire" I believe have been his words. Talk like that tends to make people draw conclusions as in crap or get off the pot.
those people dont know the story of earl campbell to well. jerome does. campbell almost looks like a 65 year old cripple who can barely walk. (he is much younger) jerome knows he is headed down the same path. only jerome knows what he has sacrificed to give the fans of pittsburgh the past 2 years. studies indicate his play has probably cut his life a few years shorter. i think he is one of those players who will be appreciated more 25 years from now than he is in his own day. hopefully he has a long tv career just to remind people how good he is/was.
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