Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II will be disappointed if running back Jerome Bettis is not inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.
“He needs to be in there,” Steelers president Art Rooney II told Steelers.com. “I can’t imagine him not being part of this year’s class. I’d be very disappointed if he doesn’t get in this year.”
“He’s right up there with Franco [Harris] in terms of one of the great running backs we’ve ever had,” Rooney said of Bettis. “When he came to us he was exactly what we needed at that point and time.”
Bettis, who is on his fourth attempt to make the Hall of Fame, is the only running back among the 15 modern-day finalists.
The 46-member selection committee will vote Feb. 1 in New York, with a minimum 80 percent required for induction.
Bettis’s stats from Steelers.com:
Jerome Bettis (1993-2005)
- Played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1993-94, the St. Louis Rams in 1995 and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996-2005.
- Played in 192 regular season games, totaling 13,662 rushing yards on 3,479 carries (3.9 avg.) with 91 rushing touchdowns. He also recorded 200 receptions for 1,449 yards and three touchdowns.
- Surpassed 1,000 rushing yards eight times in his first nine seasons, including going over 1,400 yards three times.
- Eclipsed the 100-yard mark in a game 61 times during the regular season and three more times in playoff games
- Combined net yardage (15,113) was 19th best all-time at the time of his retirement
- Helped Pittsburgh win Super Bowl XL in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan
- Selected by the Rams in the first round (10th overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft
- Earned Rookie of Year honors from the Pro Football Writers Association and the Sporting News after finishing second in rushing (1,429 yards) and third in total yards from scrimmage in his first season
- Became the eighth rookie to rush for over 200 yards in a single game, when he registered 212 against the New Orleans Saints
- Led the Rams in rushing for all three seasons (1993-95)
- Leading rusher for the Steelers eight times (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004)
- Named Comeback Player of the Year in 1996
- Eight 1,000-plus yard seasons tied for third-best in NFL history when he retired
- His 13,662 ranks fifth all-time in career rushing yards
- Selected to six Pro Bowls (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2005)
- Named First Team All-Pro twice (1993, 1996)
- Named All-Pro second-team in 1997
- In 10 years with the Steelers, he helped Pittsburgh win five division titles and finish the regular season with a winning record seven times.
- Helped the Steelers reach four AFC Championship games (1997, 2001, 2004, 2005)
- Ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in rushing in five of his first eight seasons, including three times in the top three (1993, 1996, 1997)
- Before Bettis came to Pittsburgh in 1996 and recorded 1,431 in his first season, the Steelers had only one 1,000 yard rusher previous 12 seasons (1992, Barry Foster, 1,690)
- During the time Bettis was a part of the Steelers rushing attack, 1996-2005, Pittsburgh recorded 22,120 rushing yards as a team during the regular season, the second most in the NFL during that time span (Denver – 23,027)
Steelers records held by Jerome Bettis
• [1st] Most Games, 100 or More Yards Rushing, Career – 50
• [Tied for 1st] Most Rushing Touchdowns, Game – 3 (vs. Detroit, Jan. 1, 2006; vs. Oakland, Sept. 12, 2004; at Arizona, Nov. 30, 1997)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Yards, Career – 10,571
• [2nd] Most Rushing Yards, Season – 1,665 (1997)
• [2nd] Most Games, 100 or More Yards Rushing, Season – 10 (1996, 1997)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 2,683
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 375 (1997)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Touchdowns, Career – 78
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdowns in a Game – 3 (vs. Detroit, Jan. 1, 2006; vs. Oakland, Sept. 12, 2004; at Arizona, Nov. 30, 1997)
• [3rd] Most Touchdowns, Career – 80
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Touchdowns, Season – 13 (2004)
• [3rd] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 355 (2000)
• [4th] Most Rushing Yards, Season – 1,431 (1996)
• [Tied for 4th] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 36 (at New York Giants, Dec. 18, 2004; at Arizona, Nov. 30, 1997)
• [Tied for 4th] Most Games, 100 or More Yards Rushing, Season – 7 (2000)