The Pittsburgh Steelers may have lost a game yesterday—one that had no effect on whether or not they make the postseason—but the organization suffered a far greater loss earlier in the day, as it was revealed that former great Kevin Greene passed away at the age of 58.
A Hall of Famer who finished his 15-year career with 160 sacks, the third-most in NFL history, Greene was a dominant force as part of the ‘Blitzburgh’ defense he helped spearhead in the early to mid-90s alongside Greg Lloyd on the other side of him, propelling them to a Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 1995 season.
Although he wouldn’t spend a major portion of his career with the Steelers, he always had a special connection to the organization, and I know many fans were hoping that he would find his way to the sideline one day as a coach. He even offered his services at one point.
The tragic news cast a pallor over the day for those who grew up watching him and have fond memories of his play on the field. Many continued to follow him through his professional wrestling and later coaching endeavors, eventually facing the Steelers in the Super Bowl in 2010 on the Green Bay Packers’ coaching staff. Head coach Mike Tomlin offered his condolences to Greene’s family after the game.
“I’ll start by expressing sadness at the loss of Kevin Greene, not only a Steeler great but an NFL Football great”, he said. “Our condolences go out to Tara and his family. Even from a distance, we are with you in this difficult time”.
There really isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said. Greene was revered both on and off the field for good reason, and needless to say, 58 is far too young an age to pass on, no matter by what cause. He will certainly be missed, and he has been rightfully paid tribute by multiple organizations and many within the sporting community throughout the day.
Signing with the Steelers are the start of the free agency era in 1993, he would spend three seasons as part of a dominant defense after having already had an excellent eight-year career with the Los Angeles Rams.
During his three seasons in Pittsburgh, he would register 35.5 sacks, with 154 total tackles, six forced fumbles, five recoveries, and an interception. He had a combined 30 tackles for loss in 1994 and 1995 (Pro Football Reference does not have tackles for loss for seasons earlier than 1994).