Kevin Greene, the man who coached the Green Bay Packers‘ outside linebackers during their Super Bowl XLV championship season, has died at the age of 58.
Greene served as one of the top assistants under former Packers defensive coordinator Don Kapers during the 2009-13 seasons of the Mike McCarthy era, winning his first-ever Super Bowl hardware in February 2011. He helped develop outside linebackers such as star Clay Matthews — who made the Pro Bowl in four of five seasons under Greene — and Frank Zombo.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Greene’s death on Monday afternoon.
Such a powerful moment during Super Bowl XLV, as Kevin Greene (then the Packers OLB coach) implores Clay Matthews to step up and rally the defense with Charles Woodson out of the game and the Packers down by four: "It's time. It is time." RIP to a football legend. pic.twitter.com/EvItIDHWML
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 21, 2020
Greene leaves behind a memorable football legacy that saw him turn a legendary career at Auburn into 15 years playing in the NFL, spending seasons with the Los Angeles Rams (1985-92), Pittsburgh Steelers (1993-95), Carolina Panthers (1996), San Francisco 49ers (1997) and New York Jets (2017-18). He twice finished as the NFL’s sacks leader and even took home NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1996, later getting picked for both the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and the Pro Football Hall of Fame after his retirement.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Kevin Greene,” Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker wrote in a statement. “I regarded him as a personal friend and a true Hall of Famer in every sense. He possessed the most incredible can-do attitude of anyone I ever met. He was a great player, but more than that, he was a great man. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin’s wife, Tara, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Kevin’s memory.”
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NFL & Packers Legends Share Memories of Greene
News of Greene’s passing traveled quickly and gravely throughout the league on Monday with dozens of his former teammates, opponents and colleagues — including a handful of famous Packers — sharing memories of their time together on social media.
Charles Woodson, the Packers’ legendary defensive back, reminded the world about the deal he made with Greene at the beginning of 2010 training camp: Win the Super Bowl and get tattoos of the Lombardi trophy. Woodson even snapped and shared a picture of his years-old ink to commemorate the moment with his old friend.
— Charles Woodson (@CharlesWoodson) December 22, 2020
Brett Favre also mourned the loss of his “dear friend” on Monday; though, his time around Greene was spent a little differently. Favre found himself on the wrong side of the sack-happy linebacker more than once during his playing career and even once sustained a hit from him that sent him to the sidelines coughing up blood.
Kevin Greene was a true warrior and a dear friend!!! As much as I disliked playing against him I loved everything about him at the same time and I loved him like a brother. Gods army just got much stronger 🙏 RIP brother
— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) December 21, 2020