July 28, 2013

Rookie of the Year: Jerome Bettis, 1993

Running Back, Los Angeles Rams

Age:  21
College: Notre Dame
Height: 5’11” Weight: 243

After gaining over a thousand all-purpose yards in his last college season, Bettis was taken by the Rams in the first round (10th overall) of the 1993 NFL draft. Head Coach Chuck Knox anticipated that the classic fullback would be the key to the team’s running game with his hard-running style and demonstrated ability to hold onto the football.

1993 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 294 [3]
Most attempts, game - 39 (for 146 yds.) vs. Chicago 1/2
Yards – 1429 [2]
Most yards, game – 212 yards (on 28 carries) at New Orleans 12/12
Average gain – 4.9 [3]
TDs – 7 [9, tied with four others]
200-yard rushing games – 1
100-yard rushing games – 7

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 26      
Most receptions, game – 5 (for 71 yds.) vs. Chicago 1/2
Yards – 244
Most yards, game - 71 (on 5 catches) vs. Chicago 1/2
Average gain – 9.4
TDs – 0

TDs – 7 [19, tied with nine others]
Points – 42

Awards & Honors:
NFL Rookie of the Year: Sporting News
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: AP, PFWA
NFC Rookie of the Year: UPI
1st-team All-NFL: AP, PFWA
1st-team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Rams went 5-11 to finish fourth in the NFC West.

Bettis tailed off badly during the second half of the 1994 season and, while he still gained 1025 rushing yards and was selected to the Pro Bowl (and also caught a career-high 31 passes), averaged just 3.2 yards per carry. After running for 637 yards behind a poor line following the shift of the Rams to St. Louis in ’95, Bettis was traded to the Steelers. “The Bus” rejuvenated his career in Pittsburgh, where his power-running style was a perfect fit, and ran for 1431 yards, his first of six straight 1000-yard performances. He returned to the Pro Bowl as well as gaining consensus first-team All-NFL honors. Bettis reached his career high in rushing with 1665 yards in 1997. Overall, he played a total of 13 years, the last 10 with the Steelers, going out with a Super Bowl win following the 2005 season. Bettis rushed for 13,662 yards, which ranked fifth all-time, and scored a total of 94 touchdowns (91 rushing, 3 receiving). He was selected to the Pro Bowl six times.


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL, AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year).