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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Jerome Bettis was ‘shocked’ about Ben Roethlisberger’s addiction admission

Ben Roethlisberger

Jerome Bettis admits he was “shocked” to hear Ben Roethlisberger admit to past addiction.

Bettis, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015, was teammates with Roethlisberger on the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-2005. The two won a Super Bowl together in 2005, which was Bettis’ last season before retirement, and Roethlisberger’s second as a pro.

During an interview with “Tiki and Tierney on CBS Sports Network/ CBS Sports Radio“, Bettis talked about Big Ben’s admission.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know anything about it. I never really saw it. From an alcohol perspective, I never saw him get pissy or drunk. It was a surprise to me, but he’s human. That just shows that he’s human like all the rest of us. We’re all flawed in our own way. He has been man enough to show that,” Bettis said.

Roethlisberger spoke in a virtual, religious-oriented talk put on by Mike Tomlin for Father’s Day. In the talk, Roethlisberger opened up about his past alcohol addiction.

Roethlisberger did not specify any time frame for his addictions, nor did he discuss the how badly it may have affected him. The depths of his addiction were not the focus of the talk so much as preaching the values of family, faith, and fatherhood. It’s possible he might have even exaggerated so much for the purpose of relating to those on the call.

On a football note, Bettis did say he believes the Steelers can be a “dominant” team this season. The former running back believes if Roethlisberger can return to even 75 percent of his previous ability from his arm surgery, Pittsburgh will be in good shape.

“It is a tough injury, but if he can come back and be 75 percent of the player he was – you need a veteran guy who can manage the game,” Bettis said. “If he can throw it 20 to 30 yards, you don’t need the deep balls all the time. They’re going to be able to run the football. You still got a really good offensive line. If you just get 75 percent of what Ben was, I think you’re going to have a highly functional offense with threats all over the football field.”

I’m skeptical of the Steelers being able to beat the best teams in the league with Roethlisberger only at 75 percent, but they would be better off with Big Ben at 75 percent than they would with Mason Rudolph or Duck Hodges at full strength.

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