Pittsburgh Steelers: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport /
23 of 31
Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

player. 55. . RB. (1996-05). Jerome Bettis. 9

The Bus rode into Pittsburgh on a bumpy road and took off like a jetliner on a landing track. The 1996 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award winner, Jerome Bettis needed a change of scenery when he left The Los Angeles Rams. Once he was gone, though, he was ready to take the NFL by storm.

He was everything you wanted in a Steeler. A fullback on wheels. Bettis was built like a lineman, hit like a defender and took off like Barry Sanders. The total package, leaving little doubt from day one that this running back was going to one day be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That’s where he ended up, of course. But his time before Canton was more memorable than his half-hour enshrinement speech. For six straight seasons, Bettis rushed for at least 1,000 yards after coming to Pittsburgh. Even during his decline, he was an unmovable force Bill Cowher loved to send up the middle.

Bettis’ fairytale finish holding up the Lombardi in front of his home city of Detroit at Ford Field was exactly how his playing career should have ended. He gave everything to the City of Pittsburgh, and no one forgets it. Forever, The Bus’ football home will be in the Steel City.