Jerome Bettis sees Greg Schiano following the path of Rich Brooks

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Jerome Bettis knows what it’s like to be a young player clashing with a new coach who’s trying to adapt a college approach to the NFL. And Bettis doesn’t think the clash between Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman is going to turn out well for Schiano.

In 1993, Bettis was the first-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams. After Bettis’s first two seasons, the Rams hired longtime Oregon coach Rich Brooks. Bettis and Brooks immediately clashed, and Bettis said today on NFL Live that he thinks Schiano and Freeman have developed a relationship like the one that Bettis and Brooks once had.

“He treated me really badly, he pulled me out of the game, I would start one week, I wouldn’t start the next week, I would play the first quarter, I wouldn’t play,” Bettis said of playing for Brooks. “My teammates saw what was happening to me and they chose sides. Now there was a divided locker room, and once there’s a divided locker room there’s a problem. Obviously I was traded to Pittsburgh. It worked out well for me, didn’t work out well for Rich Brooks, though. He went another year, I believe, and then was fired after that. I think it clearly could be happening in Tampa.”

Bettis would go on to have an outstanding playing career with the Steelers, while Brooks would go on to have a mediocre coaching career, first as the defensive coordinator of the Falcons and then as the head coach at Kentucky. Time will tell whether Freeman can go on to have a career as successful as Bettis’s, and whether Schiano can avoid being a remembered as a college-to-NFL washout like Brooks.

41 responses to “Jerome Bettis sees Greg Schiano following the path of Rich Brooks

  1. Sorry but Josh Freeman could only dream of being in the class of football player Jerome Bettis is. Even in his turbulent times with Brooks he wasnt skipping team meetings and such.

  2. Schiano didn’t pull Freeman then sit him, he actually publicly supported him until the end. Schiano wasn’t late to meetings nor did he miss the team photo. Freeman should have followed the Alex Smith template, however, he chose to continue to show his inept leadership skills. When QBs complete 45% of their passes and WRs drop balls like its their job and K miss makeable FGs and LBs have dumb penalties: its the coaches fault! Shame on Bettis.

  3. I’ve never understood the hype over Freeman.

    As well as mediocre, it sounds as if he’s too immature to lead a team and be the face of a franchise.

  4. It is not a college approach. It is a disciplined approach. Coughlin’s is similar and so is belichik’s. The problem is when you attempt to discipline rebellious kids uses to free reign, you get rebellion. It’s about to get to the point where the attitudes will become more boisterous in hopes of getting him fired. Ownership needs to do something. Either remove Schiano and let the inmates run the asylum or praise his disciplinary style as being needed for this team and send a message to the malcontents.

  5. “…whether Schiano can avoid being a remembered as a college-to-NFL washout like Brooks.”

    Too late for that. His record already indicates that he’s a washout college-to-NFL coach. By the way, am I the only one who thinks that’s it hilarious for this guy to act like he was running a college power house like Alabama or Oregon? It was Rutgers for Christ’s sake!

  6. It appears as the days unfold, coach S. is ALREADY perceived as a “college-to–NFL washout.”

  7. Not a reliable or believe able synopsis from Bettis. The similarities are slim. Shiano was/is a serious professional. Freeman is not. Talented yes. But he won’t cut it on this coachs team…for (as it turns out) a number of reasons.

  8. Well, the Rams fired the Short Fat Bus before they fired Brooks, so it shows you how they felt about the situation at the time. Sent him to the grimy hole of Pittsburgh no less.

  9. ya damn right that’s MARK RYPIEN-HAIL 37-24 over the bills. that was a sweet one. not as good as 27-17 over the dolphins but better than 42-10 over the brochos. knowwhatimean? HAIL.

  10. Shocker that Bettis would weigh in on this. Where was he when Alex Smith was pushed out at San Fran? I am sure he was all over the Lovie Smith thing as well.

    Disappointingly predictable.

  11. I don’t know that Brooks’ career at Kentucky can be called mediocre. He took them to several bowl games for the first time in a long time.

  12. people have short memories – bettis had a major attitude problem with the rams and was a locker room lawyer/cancer trying to divide the team whenever he didn’t get his way. great running back though. and no, I am not a rams fan

  13. Somebody should alert Oregon to Rich Brooks being “mediocre”. They call it Rich Brooks Field at Autzen Stadium.

  14. Shiano is a better coach than Freeman is a player. I still don’t understand what exactly ppl think the coach did that is so bad? Freeman has a stud RB, a stud WR, and a solid #2 WR. Yet he has blown. No excuses for that completion percentage. Coach supported him long enough. Even IF Shiano went about getting rid of freeman in the wrong way, he still is making the right football decision. The team is really close to being undefeated; it doesn’t mean much, but it’s not like the team has been run into the ground. And if you’d watched the games, all of those losses were on the players, not any poor coaching moves.

  15. Don’t know enough about what’s happening in Tampa to gauge that situation’s similarity to Brooks and Bettis. But whenever Brooks is mentioned, I think: “What an idiot … thank God.”

    That was a rare high-profile trade for the Steelers, made only because Bettis was undervalued and unnoticed by other teams. I’d give anything to find ourselves in a similar situation today. We desperately need another back with big talent, a big heart, and something to prove–and a front office willing to pull the trigger to get him.

  16. thegreatgabbert says:
    Oct 1, 2013 8:15 PM
    Well, the Rams fired the Short Fat Bus before they fired Brooks, so it shows you how they felt about the situation at the time. Sent him to the grimy hole of Pittsburgh no less.

    And we loved him.TY rams.

  17. The one thing Bus doesn’t have in common with Brooks, Schiano, and Freeman is nobody will say “who?” when his name is mentioned in reference to football twenty years from now.

  18. Why is it that the coach is always wrong? Just from reading about Freeman it sounds like his action just might have something to do with his benching

  19. Jerome Bettis topped 3.9 yards per carry 4 times in a 13 year career.

    He averaged 3.8 yards per carry or less 9 times.

    The legend of Jerome Bettis is ridiculous.

  20. Greg Schiano is a pompous azzclown. He is in no way competent to coach an NFL team. He has completely unraveled the Buccaneers. Josh Freeman is a good quarterback who could, with real coaching, become great. Schiano has to go and he should take GM Mark Dominik with him. Those two are amateurs attempting to play in the big leagues.

  21. Bettis is a one trick pony that made his bones running on some of the worst teams if the 90s (Bengals/Browns/etc) and he’s still quite the tool on TV. No shock he relates every NFL story to himself.

  22. Most of these players come from single parent households with no order. Is this a surprise that most act the way they do when disciplined. Maybe not Freeman in this case but we read this year after year.

  23. Bettis was the beneficiary of a great Pittsburgh coach and defense.He lucked out.Put him on any other team he is a below average tub of lard.

  24. Freeman threw for over 4000 yards last year and 27 TDs — he started the season as a 24-year old and was able to do that in an offense from 1985 with a coach who has the same views about QBs as someone from the 50s. Schiano won’t make it until next year and we’ll be throwing away a good QB for nothing. Freeman has never done anything publicly or on the field to deserve the crap he’s taking from the uneducated masses both at One Buc Place and on this idiot chamber of a message board.

  25. I love the Bus and I sure do miss his bruising running style in the Steelers’ backfield, but he never, ever misses an opportunity to talk about his bitterness toward the Rams, which is precisely what he did here.
    Apples and oranges.
    Schanio didn’t exactly bench Peyton Manning. He benched an unproductive QB who he didn’t draft and owes nothing to. Schanio will be an excellent NFL coach, given time to pick his own players. What he did at Rutgers was nothing short of remarkable.

  26. Good coaches adapt their game to the skills of the players that they have. Tampa has moved to a vertical passing game with no options and they have a pro-bowl winning quarterback who is stinking it up with that game plan. This is a radically different game than what this quarterback had been very successful with.

    Kaepernick moved into the 49ers QB spot and instantly the 49ers had him running plays that took advantage of his mobility. He did great last year because he was given a plan that allowed him to be great. This year teams have figured out how to defend against him. No doubt, within a game or two the 49ers will have a whole new approach.

    Freeman did get in the pro bowl, the game plan did not even remotely resemble their current game plan. My guess is he will do well elsewhere as long as he has a good coach.

  27. I heard on FOXsports yesterday (don’t know if they were reporting it or merely commenting on the report) that Josh Freeman missed that team meeting because he received a phone call telling him the meeting had been canceled. Then there’s the business about the leak of his drug tests–sounds as though the kid is being thrown under the bus. (No implied reference to Bettis.)

  28. Bettis averaged 3.9 yds per carry over 13 years, running inside, inside, inside. That’s more than respectable. He was like an old style fullback, a Larry Csonka, big bruising type runner. Anybody who wouldn’t want that guy on their team doesn’t know football.

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