NFL

What Happened to Hall of Fame Running Back Jerome Bettis?

Jerome Bettis had a successful NFL career playing running back. The Detroit, Michigan native became a well-known player across the league even after he retired. Bettis was a key member when he played for the Pittsburg Steelers.

When he first came into the league, he immediately made an impact and continued to get better throughout his career. Bettis was a power running back, and defenders had difficulty bringing him down on the first try.

Jerome Bettis wasted no time his rookie season

The Los Angeles Rams selected Bettis in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft. In his first season, Bettis dominated the entire season. He rushed for 1,429 yards, which was second in the NFL. After the end of his rookie season, he was named First-Team All-Pro. Bettis was the only rookie to be named to that list. He also was the Consensus NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Bettis rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first two seasons with the Rams and made the Pro Bowl both seasons. After three seasons playing for the Rams, Bettis was traded to the Pittsburg Steelers. Bettis had success when he joined the Steelers. In his first season with the Steelers, he rushed for 1,431 yards and 11 touchdowns. He named NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year for the 1996 season.

When opposing defenses had the task of going up against the Steelers offense, they knew that stopping Bettis would be a top priority. Bettis possessed power and strength in the backfield and always played at a high-level. In his first six seasons with the Steelers, Bettis rushed for over 1,000 yards and continued to be one of the best running backs in the league. In 2001, he was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. The award recognizes a player’s volunteer and charity work and his performance on the field.

Jerome Bettis wins his first and only Super Bowl

Toward the end of his season, Bettis saw his playing time-limited, but he continued to impact the team. During the 2005 season, the Steelers struggled during the season, but the team made the playoffs as the last seed in the AFC. The Steelers were the underdog going into the playoffs, and they fought every game.

Pittsburg defeated the top two seeds en route to the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl was held in Detroit, which is the hometown of Bettis. Bettis had the opportunity to play in front of family and friends in the final game of his career. He was excited to come back home and play for a Super Bowl, and his team did not disappoint either. Bettis rushed for 39 yards on 15 carries during the game against the Seattle Seahawks, and the Steelers won 21-10. For Bettis, it was a dream come true to win the Super Bowl in your hometown. He ended his career on top.

Looking back at his career

Bettis played 13 seasons in the NFL, and he made them all count. He announced his retirement after the Super Bowl game while he was on the podium holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The running back finished his career with 13,662 rushing yards and 91 rushing touchdowns.  

Bettis was named to the Pittsburg Steelers All-Time Team and was named to numerous Pro Bowl teams during his career. He was also named to three All-Pro teams. Bettis is currently eighth on the all-time rushing list with 13,662 yards. His performance throughout his career allowed him to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.