While former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis failed to make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this time around, it appears that the general consensus is that he will at some point.
Peter King, Sports Illustrated writer and Hall-of-Fame selection committee member, wrote in his weekly column, “The Monday Morning Quarterback”, that he supports Bettis’ Canton candidacy.
King wrote: “I think Jerome Bettis, 3.9 yards per carry and all, belongs. I believe he’s the best big back of the last 25 years. I saw him outrun Bucs defensive backs once on a long run in Tampa; I saw him steamroll an in-his-prime Brian Urlacher—and I mean steamroll—in a snow bowl must-win game for the Steelers late in the Bus’ career, when he gained 100 yards in the second half against the league’s number two rush defense. He made the final 10 this year, and I hope he goes farther next year.”
Saturday’s failed election attempt was the fourth consecutive one for Bettis, who rushed for 13,662 yards during his 13 year career. While he did make it to the final cut of ten, the committee voted in Andre Reed, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Michael Strahan, and Aeneas Williams as their 2014 class members.
The biggest knock on Bettis appears to be his 3.9 yards per carry average and King sort of hints at that in what he wrote. As I wrote the other day, John Riggins got into Canton with the same average, so it’s only a matter of time before Bettis has a bust near is. Maybe it will happen next year.