Bettis: Change at offensive coordinator was inevitable
Jerome Bettis last played for the Steelers in 2005, but he still closely watches them.
In an interview with Fox Sports 1360 in Cincinnati, he called the decision to fire Bruce Arians and bring in Todd Haley as offensive coordinator “a mistake, but it was a long time coming.”
The change was made, he said, because “(the) star quarterback and offensive coordinator were really close, and ownership felt that Ben (Roethlisberger) wasn't getting enough discipline.”
Bettis also said the Steelers are trying to run the ball more than they did under Arians, but, “They don't have the personnel to do that, and they're not winning.”
• Offensive tackle Mike Adams (ankle), out for three games, returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday. Cornerback Keenan Lewis (hip) and receiver Emmanuel Sanders (rib) also weren't full participants, but cornerback Cortez Allen (groin) was after sitting out the Dallas game. Defensive end Al Woods was ill. Troy Polamalu hasn't practiced since returning from his seven-game layoff with a torn calf.
• Right guard David DeCastro's evaluation of his first NFL start: “I am not overjoyed on how I did, and I am not bummed out either. I think I did OK.” DeCastro, out for most of the season with a knee injury, played every snap in Dallas. He allowed one sack and wasn't happy that he did. “All it takes is one play,” he said. “For the most part, we are pretty good and on the same page. There really are no excuses for it.”
• Roethlisberger gets a say in the game plan every week but, like most quarterbacks, not the final say. He and Haley go through plays every week, and the quarterback vetoes some he doesn't like. “If a coordinator really loves the play, it's probably going to stay in,” Roethlisberger said. “They're coordinators for a reason.”
• Only three NFL quarterbacks have thrown at least 20 touchdown passes in each of their first two seasons: Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and … Andy Dalton. Dalton, 0-3 against the Steelers, needs to throw at least four TDs the next two weeks to join Carson Palmer as the only Bengals QBs with 30 in a season.
• Only one of the Steelers' last seven games was decided by more than 6 points. Eight of their 14 games were decided by four points or fewer. Compare that to the Seahawks, who have won their past two games by a combined 91 points — the first team to do that since the 1941 Bears. “I don't really remember us winning games by 40 points,” Mike Wallace said. “It's always been the matter of a field goal or a touchdown for the most part.”
• If there's a theme for the Steelers this week, it's hold on to the football.
Jonathan Dwyer said Cincinnati's defense is one of the best at stripping the ball in traffic, as evidenced by a plus-8 takeaway margin during a run of five wins in six games. The Bengals forced 15 turnovers in those six games.
By comparison, the Steelers are minus-14 while losing four of five, getting only four takeaways. They haven't forced more turnovers than their opponent in a span of 10 games, or since they beat the Eagles, 16-14, on Oct. 7.
• The Bengals last reached the playoffs in successive seasons in 1981-82, or 30 years ago, but they could assure themselves of doing that by winning Sunday. Receiver A.J. Green said it would be an achievement if they do. “Oh yeah, definitely,” he said. “We can't control the past. This is only my second year, so making the playoffs again would be great.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers pressing to create opportunities to get to quarterback
- Steelers notebook: Mitchell aware of need to reduce penalties
- Jaguars’ Bortles much like Roethlisberger, except for lack of wins
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin bringing officials to practice
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- Steelers film session: Harrison on the field often
- Starkey: Slapstick Steelers deserved to lose
- Steelers notebook: Harrison feeling down after loss in return
- Steelers are vowing to fix the costly penalties, lack of self-discipline
- Steelers’ Wheaton proving to be reliable target
- Steelers secondary aims to improve execution in order to prevent future mistakes