By John Clayton
As training camp broke Wednesday, Steelers coach Bill Cowher announced that Amos Zereoue will start at running back and Jay Riemersma will start at tight end.
Cowher called his lineup-changing decisions a "gut feeling." Jerome Bettis, one of the league's best power backs and coming off his one of his best offseasons of conditioning, was expected to be the starter. Riemersma beat out Mark Bruener at tight end.
Bruener accepted a paycut from $2.05 million to $800,000 to remain with the team this season. During the offseason, Cowher said Zereoue and Bettis would compete for the starting job, which is indeed what unfolded during camp.
Zereoue, 26, is in his fifth season with the Steelers and made five starts, all during last season. He rushed for 762 yards on 193 carries and caught 42 passes for 341 yards.
Bettis, a five-time Pro Bowl selection beginning his 11th season, has rushed for 11,542 yards. He missed five games last year.
Riemersma was signed from the Bills during the offseason to give the Steelers more pass protection from the tight end position. The seven-year veteran has 204 career receptions for 2,304 yards, including a 53-catch 2001 season. Bruener is considered one of the league's best blocking tight ends but has missed 10 games over the past two seasons because of injury. His best season for receptions was 26 in 1995, his rookie season.
9er Fan wrote:Big news. So does Bettis turn into Pitts version of Moe Williams, or would Zereoue get goal-line carries?
CHECK this out:
By Jerry DiPaola TRIBUNE-REVIEW Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Running back Jerome Bettis said he treated minicamp this year like an audition -- and not just for the Steelers. Bettis said Tuesday he thought seriously about having to leave the team after coach Bill Cowher raised questions about his future at a news conference two days after the end of the 2002-03 season.
"I prepared accordingly when I came into minicamp," Bettis said. "It was an audition here, but ultimately, it was serving notice to all the other teams that, 'Hey, he's ready.'
"It wasn't a situation where I came in to try and impress these guys. Yeah, I wanted to do that because I wanted to stay here, but I also knew that there were some other teams out there that, hey, if I'm ready to go, it should be interesting."
What a total surprise. All the news re: Bettis coming out of camp was good.
As incredible as it seems - is Cowher letting The Bus go? Now?
I can't quite see Jerome Bettis accepting a back-up role.
"We will use Jerome and Amos a lot," said Cowher. "Both of them will play, and hopefully we'll be able to keep them fresh all year. But we don't have any preconceived notions. Whoever is running the best will play.
"I just made a gut decision. It wasn't a case where one guy outplayed the other. Both guys will play. This position is not like quarterback. You can alternate running backs."
that doesnt sound good. Im new btw sup
Half you morons should never have made it past puberity...I blame bike helmets.