More than just a running team
Joe Theismann takes a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense and says Hines Ward could be key.
The Steelers have a wonderful variety of running backs with speedy Willie Parker, the aptly nicknamed Bus, Jerome Bettis, and the multifaceted Verron Haynes. Parker is the starter because he gives this team something it hasn't had in a while, and that's the home run threat at the running back position. Parker is special because he can break a big run while running up the middle or by bouncing a run to the outside and just outrunning defenders. He has good moves, but his greatest asset is his phenomenal speed. That's one of the reasons I believe he could be the MVP of this game.
Bettis is the short-yardage back and he's used not only as a guy who can pick up easy first downs, but also as a kind of battering ram on opposing defenses. There's no way to really describe what Bettis does to opposing defenders when he lowers his shoulder and delivers a blow with his 260-pound body. One way to describe it is he crumples defenders because he does such a great job of initiating the contact between himself and a defender. He knows he isn't going to run away from anyone so he just runs over guys. After a while that gets very old and very painful for defenders, and that's one reason why in the fourth quarter of games he and the other backs are able to slice through the defenses like a hot knife through butter.
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