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While perusing yesterday, I noticed a new feature from Jerome Bettis (co-authored by SI's Adam Duerson) called "Bus Stops". But the headline of his debut is what really grabbed me: "Bus Stops: Fox's job in jeopardy; Steelers defense in big trouble". The John Fox was not so surprising. But the Steelers' defense in big trouble? I'd say they took a major hit, because Tyrone Carter on his best day will never be Troy Polamalu. However, I don't know if I'd ever go as far as saying a Dick LeBeau defense was in big trouble.

So the Bus reeled me in. I clicked on the story. Now keep in mind that many accused Bettis of a less-than-intriguing take on the league during his stint on NBC, never really having an impact outside of his initial comments about Bill Cowher. But apparently he decided to discard the memo that any former Steeler must only talk glowingly about his former team in the media. Witness:
One more reason Pittsburgh's in trouble: these Steelers are a mediocre running team on their best day. I don't think they've reached a panic situation quite yet because the Titans don't allow anyone to run the football on them. But there are serious problems.

Willie Parker: I haven't seen much from him. Rashard Mendenhall: I haven't really seen him, period. One thing I have seen is Mewelde Moore making plays. And I think the little guy's going to get more of those opportunities as the Steelers continue to grow into what I think will be more of a passing team in 2009.
Bettis goes on to criticize Frank the Tank, the O-line, and the front office for not addressing the O-line, and I think they are all valid criticisms. I was a little shocked by his blunt assessment of the team, especially his old backfield mate Parker. But the honesty? It was refreshing. I'd rather hear what he really thinks as opposed to someone like Merrill Hoge picking the Steelers to win every week for the last five years or so.

Bus Stops: Fox's job in jeopardy; Steelers defense in big trouble []

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Steve said...

Bettis is just saying what any realistic fan should be thinking and I agree with him completely. Just because they won the Super Bowl with these same issues doesn't mean they aren't very real and don't need addressed.

If they Steelers can't get between 100 and 150 yards against the Bears and their badly wounded defense, then they better put Ben in 4-wide shotgun mode for the rest of the season and pray his arm doesn't fall off.

Anonymous said...

Steve: Like the Bus you speak the truth


Lol @ the Hodge 5 yrs line

Chip said...

That article is a great example of why Bettis got canned by NBC.

Not because of what he said. I agree with yinz guys. He spoke the truth.

But the article itself. The only team he knows anything enough about to analysis is the Steelers (and to a lesser extent the teams they Steelers played 2x every year). Every other team he has nothing to say but the blatantly obvious (John Fox on the hot seat you say? NO!)

BTW, Cowher must be icing down his Whistle Cranking arm for when he's doing his PR blitz as the Panthers new head coach.

Steve said...

Cowher will be the head coach of Carolina before week 6. That is, unless Snyder doesn't fire Zorn first. I mean, he's already one game into his second season...that's like 20 years in Snyder's mind.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Bettis pretty much said nationally what we all have been thinking locally.

I agree with everthing he said

LeeTunnel said...

Running game - agreed. Defense? After Troy left they gave up 10 whole points. Are they worse w/out Troy. Obviously, but the Steelers D isn't in big trouble.

okel dokel said...

Spot on Lee Tunnel.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I was agreeing that they aren't as good w/out Troy. But not that they are in big trouble.

Not like we have Anthony Smith replacing him!

No_Asylum said...

Pittsburgh's Defense will always be in trouble as long as Ike "Cant catch a raindrop in a thunderstorm" Taylor is on the team..