Being Jerome Bettis, Steelers HOF RB - By Neal Coolong
Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial
|I am Jerome Bettis. I'm not going to talk about the Ravens game.
If I was talking, I would probably want to discuss why my offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt would decide, at a crucial part in the game, I am no longer effective in picking up one yard for a first down.
Just ignore the fact I've picked up enough 3rd-and-1s in my career to stack them side-by-side from Heinz Field to Canton, Ohio and back.
I really wouldn't want to discuss with the media the logic behind running a quarterback option to the short side of the field on 3rd -and-1, even if Antwaan Randle-El was a great college quarterback.
Yes, while SteelerNation calls for Tommy Maddox's blood, I won't talk to the media to point out Randle El gets paid to catch passes, not complete them.
No one else seems to bother pointing out that he is not, in fact, a quarterback. Even fewer people will point out how laughable it is to think the option could actually work against the speed of NFL defensive players. So if no one else is pointing this out, I won't either.
Yes, I am Jerome Bettis. Because I am Jerome Bettis, I am not going to bother discussing what transpired when Whisenhunt went for it on 4th-and-1. I'm not offended at all that the city that named me The Bus is now being treated to a Moped-like rushing attack. Instead of smashing all 255 pounds of Hall of Fame Bus into the line, we decided to run a miserably pathetic play-action fake out of a passing formation, leading to quarterback Tommy Maddox meeting the earth for the 1,200 th time that game.
Forget the fact that play fake didn't even fool the drunken idiot Ravens fans sitting in row ZZZ at Empty Bank Stadium. For all the offensive genius going into that critical possession, Whisenhunt might as well have gone for the ultimate insult and called a Maddox bootleg (now known as the Sloth Scramble).
Maybe that's why I'm not talking.
Perhaps I'm just confused. I mean, wasn't it the same Tommy Maddox who quite literally threw the game away against Jacksonville Oct. 16? He couldn't have found a black jersey inside a Covert Ops training facility that Sunday. But, for reasons unbeknownst to unknowledgeable 12-year veterans like myself, we decided the best way to win this game was to throw and throw until Maddox's arm becomes dislodged from its socket.
I'm not needed. Samkon Gado of Green Bay got 20 carries against our run defense not even two weeks ago, but I only got two this past week. Fair's fair. So there's no point in talking.
After all, Pittsburgh doesn't need me. Our offensive line - for as banged up as it is - clearly seems to block just has hard for Willie Parker as it did for me vs. Cincinnati earlier this year. Our bread and butter is power running, but that bread turns moldy if those two carries don't go for 65 yards and 24 yards, respectively.
Veteran leadership, tough yards and the excited dance and head shake I give when the offense starts running downhill won't be needed when playing Indianapolis next week, so there's no need to talk about that. The Ravens forced us into several three-and-outs and didn't score off of it. I'm sure Peyton and Company will have just as many offensive problems Monday night as Kyle Boller did. By no means do we need to grind the clock down with smash-mouth football. We'll just get into a shooting match with them. Armed with a .22, we'll take out their armored tank division, touchdown per touchdown.
I'm not going to bother to mention the fact my pay has been drastically reduced each of the last three seasons. Or how I saved this team, and drug its rookie quarterback kicking and screaming into the playoffs last year. No one really takes notice of Young Ben's quarterback rating when our line and RBs didn't run for 100 yards or more ( 73.4). But they were sure quick to tell me how I was finished three years ago after a career of willing this team into four AFC championship games. Oh, how quickly the Great Unwashed Football Fan forgets.
I don't want to be Maddox-like and have to rely on my agent telling fans of Pittsburgh what I mean to this franchise, but there's a line to cross. I even called everyone out after grinding out a win in San Diego just six games ago. But people honestly still wonder why I might be upset.
I came back this year because I still have gas in the tank, and I wanted to play my last game as a Steeler in my hometown of Detroit in Super Bowl XL. Now, Whisenhunt decided to take a page from 2003 offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and barely use me at all. Don't think for a second about homefield advantage, we aren't even in the playoffs yet.
I hate for it to come to this, but Pittsburgh and Steelers fans everywhere, you're getting a new Terry Bradshaw. I doubt I'll come back after I retire.
Yeah, I'm Jerome Bettis. Why are people wondering why I'm not talking?