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Tomlin offers Bettis a job

Earlier this week, we mentioned a recent SI.com column of former Steelers great Jerome Bettis containing a bare-knuckled assessment of the team, and we later compared it to an item he had submitted to Steelers Digest, which conveyed a much softer message.

On Thursday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin appeared on ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption.  He was asked about the strong words in SI.com from Bettis.

“I don’t worry about criticism,” Tomlin said.  “If those are his observations then I accept those. He’s paid to entertain and I’ll let him do what he does.  If Bussy wants to help us with those issues, let him know I have a helmet and a locker space available.”

Tomlin chuckled as he offered the final line, and Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon laughed in response.  But maybe it shouldn’t have been a joke.  “Bussy” is a large man, and he probably could do a better job of blocking for Ben Roethlisberger than either Max Starks or Willie Colon, the two starting tackles.

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33 Responses to “Tomlin offers Bettis a job”
  1. IanWhetstone says: Sep 18, 2009 7:18 AM

    I realize that it’s all the rage to trash Pittsburgh’s linemen, but you may want to actually take a look at what happened in the Tennessee game. The run blocking was abysmal, but the pass protection was quite strong. In particular, Starks owned Vanden Bosch in pass pro.

  2. i'm president charlie! says: Sep 18, 2009 7:30 AM

    Mike Tomlin is awesome.

  3. mws says: Sep 18, 2009 7:31 AM

    Okay.

  4. superfan99 says: Sep 18, 2009 7:35 AM

    For what it’s worth, Max Starks did an excellent job against KVB last week.

  5. steeler-hater says: Sep 18, 2009 8:01 AM

    Don’t know what good bringing Bettis in is gonna do.
    He was never an offensive lineman. And he can’t run the ball anymore.
    Pittsburgh needs better O-linemen & some better runners…

  6. swepsgirl18 says: Sep 18, 2009 8:02 AM

    You go boy!!! That;s right all these “arm chair” football players need to step up if they think they can do any better. I know the Bus played and played his heart out and yes the O line needs some work but instead of dissing the Steelers jump on board and help resolve the issue. Maybe he can apply for a coaching position.

  7. TheDPR says: Sep 18, 2009 8:14 AM

    Bears win this week. Sounds crazy, I know, but just watch.

  8. BeardedAxe says: Sep 18, 2009 8:19 AM

    The only thing wrong with the steeler’s pass blocking is the fact ROFLsberger holds on to the ball for 15 minutes very play.

  9. CD_Ridge says: Sep 18, 2009 8:20 AM

    Why is Larry Z. still the O-line coach? This unit has declined in performance under his tenure. I understand that the personnel has changed, but the downward trend of the o-line performance is clear.

  10. Superbelt says: Sep 18, 2009 8:20 AM

    I’m of the opinion it isn’t the linemen as much as it is the porn-king coaching down these linemen.

  11. josh says: Sep 18, 2009 8:29 AM

    The steelers don’t NEED better runners. they need to better utilize the ones they have. if that means hurting some feelings.. so be it. they have a great run/receiver/blocker in Moore, a bigger, more powerful back in Mendenhall, and a FAST back in Parker.
    In the current role, you are running Parker against fresh defenses. he will never break a tackle so by the 2nd quarter, he’s all used up getting chased by the fresh D. he needs to be in the #2 role when he comes in while the D is out of breath and beats them with his speed.
    Mendenhall is bigger, stronger and finishes runs better. he drives his legs and falls forward, somehting Parker does not. He should be #1 to bruise these guys. he hasn’t looked great but 4 carries per game is tough to get into a game.
    Moore is Moore. He does it all and stars as a 3rd down back or as a back when the Steelers are behind and will be passing the ball. he’s a better pass blocker than the other 2, catches hte ball great and finishes runs. Only reason he doesn’t fit the #1 slot is that the Steelers NEED him on 3rd downs. He wouldn’t be as great on 3rd if he was worn out or broken.
    Parker will not be on this team next year. They should be looking more towards Mendenhall anyways to find out what he’s got. Is he going to be next years #1? We’ll never know at 4 carries per game that’s for sure.

  12. FlyEaglesFly says: Sep 18, 2009 8:37 AM

    I hate Rothlesberger. He is a douche. As for the line, they were playing a pretty good defense and it was the first game. They were terrible at the beginning of last year (see Eagles game) and managed to end up alright.

  13. dcfan-1212450 says: Sep 18, 2009 8:49 AM

    Last time I checked, the Steelers were the defending super bowl champs, and beat the team with the best record in the AFC last year. Its 1 week into the season people. The Titans have a great defense. Chill out. Wow.

  14. mrmagoo says: Sep 18, 2009 9:05 AM

    josh- Good points all around.

  15. mustbechris says: Sep 18, 2009 9:19 AM

    Max Starks kept Vanden Bosch in check in that Tennessee game…but their run game is horrid, from the RBs themselves to the run blocking. Bus is right, I don’t think the Steelers can win another Super Bowl by just throwing the ball. They have some stuff to address. At the same time, the Steelers are a very dangerous team that probably CAN beat any team in the league. As long as they keep Ben on his feet and the defense does its thing, I think they’ll be ok.

  16. PhillyFan950 says: Sep 18, 2009 9:27 AM

    Florio, I saw this at 430 est yesterday… you post it at 650am today… Man, you get ground breaking info…I am quiet dissapointed in the efforts put into this site anymore since you switched over to NBC. I would at least have ratehr seen you go to FOX. But whatever… Go back to your roots, it was more exciting than…

  17. billygoat says: Sep 18, 2009 9:45 AM

    If I remember correctly the Titans have a pretty good defense.

  18. mborz says: Sep 18, 2009 9:47 AM

    @josh: Your points make sense, nicely done.
    Given Parker’s injury history, I think it makes even more sense to not play him when the D is their freshest. I doubt this will ever happen, though. But I would like to see it.
    I also agree that it’s way to early to throw out the line and the rb’s. Hopefully they have a better performance this weekend. I’m glad they’re getting heat for it, though. I think that’s a healthy thing and can only help them improve.

  19. Stradivarius says: Sep 18, 2009 9:47 AM

    Mentioning Bettis just reminded me of that medal cunt Tiki. I relished seeing him roll his eyes at himself while doing a remote report. I hope to see him as little as possible on sunday nights this year. I crave violence when I see Tiki…How the hell did he get $10M from NBC??!?!?
    Again, fix this login shit Florio…

  20. Flvikesfan says: Sep 18, 2009 9:55 AM

    Tomlin should have been promoted to the head coach of the Vikings when they had him on staff. Talk about missing the boat!!!!

  21. ItalianArmyGuy says: Sep 18, 2009 10:13 AM

    Steelers might want to play a team NOT named the Titans before deciding how bad their run game is. Looks like the Titans are going to eat opposing O-lines for breakfast again this year.

  22. Twiz says: Sep 18, 2009 10:17 AM

    Its funny how people can trash talk the Vikings in various ways, some even say the Defense isn’t all its made out to be. Yet I see some of those same people giving high praise to Mike Tomlin (and well deserved), but they seem to forget where he came from before he was the Steelers head coach.
    Yep, thats right, he was the D Coord. for the Vikings!
    Put that in your pipe and smoke it Florio!

  23. josh says: Sep 18, 2009 10:25 AM

    Italianarmyguy,
    I agree, the Titans aren’t a great test of our true run game. But as I said above, I still believe the rotation of backs is not the most efficient.
    1. mendenhall
    2. parker
    3. moore (and all passing situations)

  24. Chad says: Sep 18, 2009 11:05 AM

    Tennessee has a top 5 defense/top 5 team overall
    It was the first game of the year
    Offensive play calls are predictable
    Ravens/Browns/Bengals or Patriot fans need to shut the hell up and worry about your own teams..go to your own blog news you losers..

  25. Sixburgh Brandon says: Sep 18, 2009 11:19 AM

    I’m with you ArmyGuy on the 1,2 & 3. And I’m glad someone is saying what I’ve been thinking all week. The Titans have a good D! Did anyone expect to post 175 yards and 5.7 per carry on them? I sure didn’t. Ben’s arm and the D are always going to be there to win the game for us. The running game will come around. Mendenhall is going to need to run around Ben instead of into him though or he’ll never get the starting nod. And I agree on Parker; love the guy’s speed and the home-run threat, but it’s over after this year.

  26. HotPants says: Sep 18, 2009 11:30 AM

    The real problem with the Steelers run game is thier OC Bruce Arians. He’s a major pooch screwer when it comes to managing a run game.
    Last week he said the Steelers have no Full Backs and will never have a full back. Anyone notice that when Arians took over at OC the Steeler run game when silent? He’s marginal at best even in the passing game. Big Ben makes his best plays in the hurryup offense or the Two-minute drills when he gets to call alot of his own plays. I don’t expect Tomlin to make any changes at OC though – I’m not sure he has enough experience to know a good OC from what he has right now. The same way Tony Dungy could never win a playoff game in Tampa – he was lousy at picking OC’s, never got a chance until he went to Indy and had a good one in place already.

  27. houseman72 says: Sep 18, 2009 11:31 AM

    1st of all, I will admit the O-line sucks and Parker didn’t break 1 tackle all night.
    However, the Steelers see the a lot of teams with great running games and shut them down consistently. We shut down the best of the best.
    The Titans have a great defense. When we can’t run against them, everyone thinks we suck. Let’s give the Titans some credit.
    If the Steelers do this against the Browns or Bungals, we got major issues.

  28. 69ers says: Sep 18, 2009 12:29 PM

    This is all ‘stratergy’ by Bettis to generate business for his restaurant. He still has the The Jerome Bettis show here in Pittsburgh.

  29. AutumnWind999 says: Sep 18, 2009 12:48 PM

    Tomlin’s a punk.
    He took over a great team that was one season removed from a Super Bowl victory and already had a franchise QB, future Hall of Fame defensive coordinator, Tazmanian Devil of a safety and several other big-time players in place. Yet he struts around like he’s the biggest, baddest coach of all time.
    F him.
    Tomlin hasn’t done much more with the Steelers than Barry Switzer did with the Cowboys.

  30. thepittsburghkid says: Sep 18, 2009 1:58 PM

    It’s obvious some of you on here have a touch of Down syndrome or are extremely jealous. The Steelers are very good, deal with it. It’s the 1st game relax not to mention not many teams run on the Titans effectively. The Steelers played the exact same against quality defensive opponents last year. This is who the Steelers are and it won them a Super Bowl. The power running game is a thing of the past. Parker is at best a #2 scat back for any team. I personally don’t believe he can handle the load himself. He had 1 great year (2007) when we still had a quality run blocking offensive line, which any above average NFL running back would have had. Even then he got injured because he can’t handle the rigors of being a premier number 1. The jury is still out when it comes to Mendenhall. We have seen glimpses of what could be a feature back but then it’s just that, a glimpse and is quickly followed up by a costly mistake. Some are calling Mendenhall a bust but I don’t believe we have seen enough of him to make that call just yet. I do know he is going to get every opportunity (even though it hasn’t seemed it) to prove himself worthy of a first round draft choice.

  31. wearingmythinkingcap says: Sep 18, 2009 6:30 PM

    CD_Ridge: Thanks for asking my question. If only we could get an answer.
    Stradivarius: I actually used to like that guy. $10m? I feel sick. NBC, please banish Tiki to Today. The third hour.
    AutumnWind999: Are you kidding? Yes, Tomlin inherited a strong team, but he’s obviously a strong motivator and student of the game. He’s made some mistakes, but he’s brought a lot to the mix. Did you see the America’s Game on the 08 Steelers? The story about his cut-up of int runbacks is an indicator of his coaching ability and it certainly paid off in the SB. Comparing him to Switzer is ridiculous.

  32. wearingmythinkingcap says: Sep 18, 2009 7:00 PM

    CD_Ridge: Thanks for asking my question. If only we could get an answer.
    Stradivarius: I actually used to like that guy. $10m? I feel sick. NBC, please banish Tiki to Today. The third hour.
    AutumnWind999: Are you kidding? Yes, Tomlin inherited a strong team, but he’s obviously a strong motivator and student of the game. He’s made some mistakes, but he’s brought a lot to the mix. Did you see the America’s Game on the 08 Steelers? The story about his cut-up of int runbacks is an indicator of his coaching ability and it certainly paid off in the SB. Comparing him to Switzer is ridiculous.

  33. Matt says: Sep 19, 2009 11:55 PM

    I’m shocked that no one came out with the “Mendenhall = BUST” garbage on this one … maybe I’ve spoken too soon, though.

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