After beginning his profession with the Rams, Jerome Bettis loved a 10-year run with the Steelers that finally led to his induction into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. The commerce, nevertheless, may have simply resulted in Bettis heading to Houston as an alternative of Pittsburgh.
Bettis, throughout a latest look on the All Issues Coated podcast, defined how he may have simply as simply change into an Oiler through the 1996 offseason. After the Rams had agreed to commerce him, Bettis stated that he had his alternative between the Oilers and Steelers, who at the moment had been rivals within the AFC Central division.
“I wished to verify the group preferred a giant working again, as a result of I used to be 245,” Bettis stated. “I wasn’t somewhat man. Each organizations traditionally beloved massive working backs. The Steelers, although, what gave them the sting was that they had simply misplaced within the Tremendous Bowl towards the Dallas Cowboys. So that they had a championship-caliber workforce that simply performed within the Tremendous Bowl.
“I am considering to myself, ‘If I’ll go to the perfect workforce, the higher workforce is the Steelers as a result of they had been simply within the Tremendous Bowl, and so they received an opportunity to go proper again.’ I used to be considering considering, ‘Hey, I am the lacking piece. We are able to go proper again.’ It took 10 years, however I believe I picked the best workforce.”
Whereas he had his personal causes for selecting Pittsburgh, there have been different elements that contributed to Bettis’ determination.
“My agent, he had one other working again that was popping out within the draft. His title was Eddie George,” Bettis stated. “So whichever workforce I picked, Eddie was going to go to the opposite workforce. So I wanted to verify I picked proper, as a result of I knew that Eddie was going to go to the opposite workforce.
“My agent selfishly wished me to go to Pittsburgh as a result of Houston was choosing increased. It made sense for everyone, proper? All people was blissful after I selected Pittsburgh. Eddie ended up going to Houston and had a tremendous profession. He was Rookie of the Yr when he got here out. All of it labored.”
With the 14th general choose, the Oilers drafted George, the previous Ohio State standout and Heisman Trophy winner. The Steelers traded the next 12 months’s second- and fourth-round picks to amass Bettis, in addition to the Rams’ third-round choose in that 12 months’s draft.
It is secure to say that the commerce labored out for Steelers, Rams and Titans (after the Oilers rebranded). As a rookie, George rushed for the primary of 5 his 5 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. In 1999, George earned his third consecutive Professional Bowl choice whereas main the Titans to their first Tremendous Bowl look. In Tremendous Bowl XXXIV, George’s 95 yards and two touchdowns helped the Titans almost upset the Rams, who finally changed Bettis with Corridor of Famer Marshall Faulk.
Whereas a Tremendous Bowl journey was not speedy, Bettis did take pleasure in immediate success in Pittsburgh. Bettis averaged 1,548 dashing yards throughout his first two seasons in Pittsburgh whereas serving to the Steelers attain the AFC title recreation in 1997. He rushed for over 1,000 yards throughout every of his first six seasons in Pittsburgh and have become a fan favourite within the course of.
In 2005, Bettis capped off a Corridor of Fame profession by serving to the Steelers change into the primary sixth seed to win the Tremendous Bowl. And whereas his profession might have turned out OK had he chosen the Oilers, it is secure to say that Bettis is blissful along with his determination.