PITTSBURGH - For many years, Jerome Bettis was the backbone of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense, partly because the team didn’t have an elite quarterback for a long time.
Everything changed, though, late in Berris’ career when Ben Roethlisberger was drafted by the Steelers.
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Rookies learn a lot from veterans, and when Roethlisberger was finding his way in the NFL, Bettis helped shape him as a player.
“(I learned) a lot (from Bettis): how to be a leader, how to be a guy who leads by example and how to talk to players. Just the everyday grind that a guy at his age and that many years in the league was out there practicing almost every single day and that's why I take pride in being out here,” Roethlisberger said.
In the opening days of this year’s training camp, Roethlisberger joked that Bettis was like an older brother, adding with a smile, “a much older brother.” He said “it’s about time” the Bus got a bust.
"(It’s) so well deserved; just such an awesome person and player. No doubt in my mind and anyone else that you would talk to too that knows Jerome, would tell you, he's a Hall of Famer off the field as well; just an amazing person. To me one of the best teammates I have ever played with,” Roethlisberger said.
Bettis is the first of Roethlisberger’s teammates to find a home in Canton, but Roethlisberger doesn’t believe he’ll be the last.
“I think Alan Faneca, Troy (will join the Hall of Fame) and I think that's awesome. I feel honored to play with guys like that, but for myself, I feel like I have a lot to do yet on the football field,” he said.
Bettis said it was important for this generation of Steelers to write their own championship story separate from the Steelers of the 1970s, and with two Hall of Famers, it would appear the team did that.
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