"Grab cloth and wait for help," says Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Greg McMakin.
"Get him running laterally," says Cowher. "Play gap control and force him to bounce things outside."
"Hit him with numbers," adds McGinnis. "Everyone says, 'Go low,' but eventually you go so low you're missing tackles. You've got to swarm to the football."
"Don't worry about how it's going to look on SportsCenter," says Eugene Robinson, the Green Bay Packers' 195-pound free safety. "If I'm downfield covering a receiver, and now I'm going to take on a 250-pound back with a head of steam, physics tells me I'm going to lose the battle. That's O.K. The important thing is to get him on the ground, even if you get run over doing it."
No one who has seen Bettis lay out a hapless defensive back can be surprised to learn that before starring at Notre Dame as a fullback, he was all-state as a linebacker and a running back at Detroit's MacKenzie High. "I loved it," the Bus says of his defensive role. "I just wanted to crack somebody."
Back then Bettis would get home from practice and head to the bowling alley with his mother, Gladys. She made him go to keep him off the streets. He relates this between sips of a virgin strawberry daiquiri. It's the roly-poly, daiquiri-drinking mama's boy, more than any other Steeler, who gives Pittsburgh its brutish identity.
"When you get one of these guys going," says Bills offensive coordinator Dan Henning, who has coached John Riggins, Marion Butts, Gerald Riggs and William Andrews—this guy was into big backs before big backs were cool—"he becomes a flag bearer for your team. He sets the tone."
Robinson remembers trying to tackle Bettis at the 1994 Pro Bowl, an otherwise pleasant experience for the safety. "After you tackle him, you're laughing and joking with him," says Robinson. "But on your way to the huddle you're thinking. Oh boy, I'm in trouble."