Pittsburgh Steelers dream roster of Super Bowl era: Running Backs

Willie Parker Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Willie Parker Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
Jerome Bettis (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Jerome Bettis

Years with Steelers: 1996-2005

While Harris may see the majority of the shares at RB, having a capable power back (one that specializes in short-yardage and goal-line work) can prove to be a difference-maker. Jerome Bettis makes sense for this role, as his 250 lb body was a bowling ball throughout his entire career. Known for his ability to wear a defense down, Bettis was relentless with the ball in his hands, running through and over defenders en route to a big gain.

While Bettis made sense as the lead back, his bruising style makes him perfect as the power back. When Harris needs a break or when the offense needs two yards, Bettis would step in with fresh legs. There isn’t a better option on 3rd and 2 than Bettis, as he was willing to lower his shoulders and fight through the contact to make sure he got what was needed for the offense.

Finally, Bettis was almost unstoppable on the goal line. No matter how many defenders flooded the middle to stop him, Bettis would keep churning his legs until he landed in the endzone. No one knows this better than Brian Urlacher and the Bears, when an aging Bettis ran through about half the defense and scored. Whenever Harris would need to step out, Bettis would step in to punish the defense.