Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bettis rips Steelers

Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis ripped the Steelers on Sports Illustrated's web site, saying, among other things, that the Steelers are, "a mediocre running team on their best day."

Bettis went on to trash pretty much every running back on the team - save Mewelde Moore – particularly rookie running back Frank Summers.

"The running back I like least on that team is Frank Summers, the rookie fullback. He doesn't seem to understand what's going on. He's missing plenty of blocks, and that's affecting everything. That definitely has to be addressed off the field this week."

The coaching staff and offensive line didn't get away unscathed, either, as Bettis said the line can't protect and allows the running backs to get hit behind the line of scrimmage too often.

As for the coaching staff, Bettis wondered why the line wasn't addressed during the offseason.

It was some pretty good stuff, the kind that you usually don't get from players who are still close enough to their playing days that they know many of the current guys in the locker room.

© In other news Tuesday, head coach Mike Tomlin said that the team is hopeful linebacker Lawrence Timmons will be back at practice by the end of week.

That would be a big boost for the Steelers. With Troy Polamalu out, the Steelers need Timmons to shadow Chicago tight end Greg Olsen, who would be a matchup nightmare for Tyrone Carter.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, he and everyone else who watches this team thinks the running game stinks. Fair enough.

Collin Williams said...

Bettis is right the Steelers should have gotten a huge offensive linemen in the first round of the draft not a DT We already have a defense. I gurantee that if the Steelers get an offensive line any time soon we would have an invincible team with number one D. A very good offense now they'd be able to run and pass. Mix it up a little.

Patrick said...

I had no idea Jerome was working for SI until this was blown up. Now I do, and so does everyone else.

Funny how that works.

Anonymous said...

Patrick,
As they say.. Bad press is good press. I thought it was odd also when I read that this morning, that he was with S.I.
I don't think getting one O.L. in the draft would of saved us. I also don't think we need saving. these front line guys will watch some tape and get back in the groove. Summers will keep his head up now after he has a game under his belt, and FWP knows what it feels like to get hit again. We'll have over 100 yrds rushing this week. IMHO
Zeke

Anonymous said...

Collin, who should they have drafted in the first round?

Patrick said...

that was my point. He came out swinging on SI and now everyone knows what the Bus is up to.

Collin Williams said...

Anonymous They could have drafted any Offensive Lineman because any one could help more than our current line does. Pretty much what Bettis said is that the Steelers can't run anymore because of our Offensive Line can't block

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

Colin, who should the Steelers have drafted after Alex Mack and Eric Woods went off the board? When you pick 32nd overall, it's hard to meet every need. The Steelers have a policy of drafting the best player available, and they look to have found a great player in Ziggy Hood. With both starting defensive ends over 30, it was imperative that the Steelers get younger on the d-line.

After all the top-flight linemen were picked in the first round, should the Steelers have reached for a guy with a third round grade? That would be an absolute waste of a first round pick. The Steelers got their lineman with their third round grade -- Kraig Urbik -- in the third round.

The Steelers had an absolutely stellar draft. 6 out of 8 of their picks found a roster spot on an incredibly deep and talented Super Bowl team. It would be wonderful to draft another Alan Faneca or Dermontii Dawson, but sometimes things don't work out that way.

Collin Williams said...

Ben, You're right Ben I see what the Steelers did now. Thanks I hopeoes good.

keevin said...

"Collin, who should they have drafted in the first round?"

They should have traded up to #20 (Detroit's pick) to get either Center Eric Wood (who i think they would have def. drafted if he fell to them) or tackle Michael Oher

They could have gave Detroit the #32 pick and Larry Foote instead of just cutting him and getting nothing

Anonymous said...

Do you work for the Detroit front office? You saying the #32 and Larry Foote for the #20 is a good deal for Detroit? I'll guarantee the Steelers would have done that deal in a heartbeat. What if Detroit wanted the #32 pick and the Steelers #2 pick? Do you still do it?

Anonymous said...

the first OL taken after the Steelers drafted was Eben Britton, 7 picks later. He's their back up right tackle right now.

Dale Lolley said...

Eben Britton isn't very good. The guy they wanted was Max Unger. They tried to move up in the second round to get him, but couldn't find a willing partner.
They could have taken Unger in the first - in fact, that was my pick because I didn't think Hood would be there - but they had Hood rated higher.

Tim said...

I agree they should have gone up to #20, but they weren't going to get there with just Larry Foote. They should have done what it took to get there. And I would have taken Mack over Wood. He will be a lot closer to Dawson or Faneca than Hartwig will ever be.

As for Bettis, of course he is right that our running game stinks. The line stinks and the backs aren't helping. But why pick on Summers? They guy has had 4 career snaps, none of which really affected anything, let alone everything. Is he going for sensationalism? Because he's making himself look like an idiot.

Robbie said...

Keevin, and how do you know Detroit would have done that deal? How do you know the Steelers weren't 80% certain Eric Wood would be on the board at #32 and were willing to take that gamble?

That's the problem with Bettis and the "O-Line needs fixed" crowd. It's easy to throw around theoretical scenarios and "coulda, shoulda, woulda" in hindsight, without knowing how the Steelers had guys graded, deals that were and weren't on the table, etc.

Ed said...

With all these geniuses criticizing our Front Office, its a wonder they don't have a job as a GM somewhere for an NFL team.

Dave said...

Yeah..that's right, our front office and coaches have no clue what they're doing. And they historically can't draft.

Seriously, come on. What a joke.

I'm fine with Bettis criticizing the run game. Heck, Willie acknowledge that much today. But calling out the coaches and saying the D can't get it done without Troy, reeks of sensationalism.

I also was quite surprised that Jerome didn't follow up his John Fox will get fired comments by annointing Coach Cowher as the next Panthers coach.

Dave said...

Dale...thinking back to how long the run game has been average to mediocre: How valuable was Dick Hoak to the long-term success of the Steelers running game? Or is the timing of the decline just coincidence?

Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to bet it has more to do with Bruce Arians than with Dick Hoak.

Robert said...

So our FO is so good that they are above criticism and no one should ever question what they do?

The FO and coaches deserve some heat for not fixing our ongoing problems on the oline and offensively in general.

That said saying our defense will fall apart without Troy is BS. With this schedule we should be fine without Troy, even for 6 weeks if need be. We just need him in time for the playoffs when we go against the better Qb's of the league.

JKang said...

I think the Bus is right. I don't know what all the fuss is about :P

Dan said...

Yep...seems pretty accurate. That,s what I been saying...Bettis better quit stealing my material.

Anonymous said...

Lets stop the madness, The Bus is right and isn't doing anything but stating the obvious. Its vital that the Steelers find balance and don't become one dimentional, they have no shot if they become strictly a passing team and Big Ben has to toss 35-40 times a game.

I don't have any immediate answers to solving the blocking issues of the O-line, but I'll admit its a concern. As long as I've been a Steeler fan almost 20 years. I've never seen the run game so dismal.

Anonymous said...

Bettis is right. Steeler fans know it. It isn't a reason to critize Bettis for speaking the truth. As for Summers, he's a rookie, so why keep him if he can't block? Dan Kreider was the best blocking back we have had in recent years. Let's be honest, Tomlin will pass to win. Hopefully, Ben doesn't get seriously injured before we develop our offensive line. I think the greater question is whose coaching them and is that person making enough progress at his job. Look at what Buffalo's offensive line did against the Patriots the other night and they are rookies. Just some food for thought, but don't blast Bettis for being honest.

keevin said...

I was just giving an example of what they could have done. Maybe they would have to add a 5th or 6th rd pick for Detroit to bite. Regardless, they've traded up in the 1st before so stop acting like it is impossible. Once Oher started dropping, Baltimore traded up and grabbed him.

Our O-line is full of late round picks whereas it used to be full of top round picks and the results are clear on the field.

marc said...

did anyone watch the replay of the game on nfl network last night? they didn't show all the plays, but the line looked even worse when focusing on just them each play. anyone saying the OL performed better in the second half is crazy. of the plays showed last night, every time the titans rushed more than 4 someone got thru. multiple times one of our OL actually whiffed. How do you whiff in pass protection?

the only reason they "appeared" to do better is because the titans were routinely rushing 3 or 4 and the steelers were protecting with 6. at one point collinsworth remarked how great the pass coverage was on a certain play. how hilarious it was that the titans rushed 3 and we protected with 6 on that play and were essentially double teaming each rusher.

btw, a few plays before ben got lit up by the freak because our OL "miscommunicated" the same thing happened but ben saw it immediately and got rid of the ball. therefore, that makes at least twice that colon let the freak make a bee line to our franchise player.

the FO does deserve some blame. it was no secret our OL was going to have turnover a couple years ago and they have not successfully replenished lost talent. that's a fact that no one can argue.

marc said...

i did not mean "pass coverage" but "pass protection." sorry.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, Baltimore sent a 5th to the Pats to move up 3 spots. It would of cost the Steelers more even if the Pats were willing to drop to 32.

Anonymous said...

I agree the OL is the weak link on the team, but they are the best team in the league, right? Kind of a bad time to call out the FO and the coaches. Every pick you use on the OL is one you don't use on someone else, if you reach for an OL you may end up with Jermaine Stephens at the expense of a Polamalu, Woodley, Holmes, etc. Would Steelers fans be happier if those guys were off the team, the OL was great but we didn't win 2 Superbowls in 5 years?

marc said...

anonymous,
first, it's never a bad time constructively criticize. i love our FO and think they are one of the best in the league. however, i also feel they are falling short on evaluating and developing OL talent.

second, you're arguement takes into consideration a great many assumptions. do you know we wouldn't have won 2 superbowls with a better OL? no, of course you don't.

third, the '08 draft is, in my opinion, a very good example of how they failed to address the OL. mendenhall, sweed in first 2 rounds. davis in third then hills in fourth. and we couldn't give up a 1st and 3rd to move up for a stud in the first round? yes, it's a "what if" scenario and the outcome is uncertain. but the most troubling part of it to me is that we didn't try, to my knowledge. why didn't we try to solidify one of the most glaring problems on our team?

i don't envy the FO's job. i know it's gotta be tough. but if the team's philosophy is run the ball, you better have good linemen to do it.

Anonymous said...

2005 - Heath Miller over Logan Mankins, Michael Roos, and David Baas.

2006 - Santonio Holmes over Nick Mangold

2007 - Lawrence Timmons over Joe Staley and Ben Grubbs. Matt Spaeth over Mario Henderson.

2008 - Rashard Mendenhall over Duane Brown... or trading up for a tackle (THIS WAS THE YEAR).

We've ignored the Offensive Line, but built a great defense and an offense full of weapons over that time.

Robert said...

Weapons that can't be used. If Ben had time to throw to AVERAGE receivers we would have better numbers.

Using a first round pick on a RB was a huge waste.

Robert said...

And so were the picks used on Anthoy Smith, Spaeth, Davis and Willie Reid. Put all those together and we would have a great line.

Anonymous said...

Because you can say with 100% accuracy that those picks would have been successful lineman? Sheesh most of you are letting hindsight affect your judgement.

marc said...

anonymous,
as you are in picking out only the successful picks. one cannot say with any certainty we would be better or worse had we focused more or less on the OL in past drafts.

however, we can say with certainty the quality of our OL is down from past years and there is no foreseable solution to the problem.

Killinger said...

2008's was a draft class that will live in infamy. Thank God this past April's looks like a winner.

Anonymous said...

2 out of 5 superbowls, what more do you want? Are you upset because you have Willie Parker on your fantasy team? Steelers are about wins, if you want numbers root for a different team.

Anonymous said...

The front office deserves a little flack for not addressing the OL, but not as much as they get. You forget that the front office helped build our DBs unit which includes Troy, Ike and Clark. They built this LB core featuring Harrison, Farrior, Timmons and Woodley. They brought in Keisel and Hampton on the D-Line to go with Aaron Smith. They brought in Holmes, Heath, Ben and despite how he is playing now, Parker was a big part of the 2005 team. Not mention the other very good players that left in FA like Randle El and Foote. Also, they have managed to keep many of our stars here by resigning them (Ben, Ward, etc.). They have built a very good team and the only unit that is below par is the OL...so lets leave the front office out of this, they have done their job in building 2 SB teams.

marc said...

i want our team to keep winning and our QB to have a long career. most fans agree the line stinks. most fans agree our QB will get hurt if he keeps getting hit at the same pace as the last 3 seasons. most fans agree you need to run the ball to win consistently in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

"Weapons that can't be used." How have we not used our weapons?? Did you watch the game last week? Did Holmes not have 9 catches, 131 yards and 1 TD? Another weapon had a fine game, Ward 103 yards. Heath had a bunch of catches, don't tell me we don't use him as a weapon. Even Moore, hes a weapon in the passing game that Ben used quite often. This is just last week. Who was that making that clutch catch in OT to set up the field goal...it was Mike Wallace...hes was a good weapon last week and he has only played one game. To say we don't get a chance to use our weapons on offense is silly.

Anonymous said...

Most fans were saying those same things last year, most fans want Isaac Redman to be signed from the PS so he can "save" our short yardage game...most fans aren't always right.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone needs to have some perspective on the draft. If the Steelers could go into the future and see that a guy was gonna be a bust then maybe they wouldn't draft him and draft an OL instead. But they can't do that. Spaeth, Bruce Davis, Anthony Smith and Reid all had impressive college resumes and were obviously rated higher on the Steelers lists then any O-lineman in those drafts in those rounds at the Steelers pick.

marc said...

i don't question who they take in the draft. i never have and never will. they know a thousand times better than any of us why they should or shouldn't take a certain player.

my point has been, what have they done to fix the OL issues over the past 2 years? It doesn't seem like much and I'm just concerned it's a problem that will continue to get worse and cost us down the road.

like i said previously. i love this FO. I think they are one of the best.

Anonymous said...

Limas Sweed injured himself at practice today, he injured himself pretty often at Texas too. The guy was unfulfilled potential as a longhorn and continues to be so in the NFL.

luisangelespinoza said...

Jerome Bettis was actually on the money. Steelers’ offensive line was as weak as last season’s. Remember how many times Big Ben got sacked? I wonder how many hits he can take this year.

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Robbie said...

No doubt the O-line is the weakest link of the Steelers, but it's not necessarily a fatal flaw like everyone's making it out to be. Everyone was saying the same thing last year about the O-line and the running game, and we all know how that turned out.

Katmandu said...

The Bus is right on the money.

Good for him to have the courage to point out THE TRUTH!

The Steeler's should hire him for Running Backs Coach or at least Scouting duties.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so convinced the Bus was right on the money...We ran the ball poorly against a potential top 5 run defense, whoa, time to panic!! How do you overlook the fact that the team put up nearly 400 total yards--against a top 10 defense? Not a bad offensive showing. Let's withhold judgment until a few more games go by...

Anonymous said...

the bus is right and we all know it, it only a big deal because he played for us, if he made the same comments and was from another team this wouldn't even be an issue

Chris Jones said...

He's right about the offensive line. If you need any proof, just look at last season. They allowed the sixth most sacks in the NFL. Good thing Big Ben is one of the premiere QBs in the league