The Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off their 2022 rookie minicamp on Friday May 13, with the sons of two former Steelers standouts taking part on a tryout basis.
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Kevin Greene’s Son, For One
Teresa Varley of Steelers.com revealed the surprising news in a tweet on Friday, noting that Gavin Greene, son of late Steelers Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, is getting a chance to show what he can do, much like he did last weekend when he tried out for the New York Jets.
Gavin Greene — 6-feet-tall and 250 pounds — is a linebacker who played for the Division II Mississippi College Choctaws after transferring from Southern Mississippi.
Gavin expects that his father, who died suddenly in December 2020 at the age of 58, would be proud to see his son pursuing opportunities in professional football.
“He’s probably wanting to give me a bear hug and a head butt,” Greene told Eric Allen of NewYorkJets.com earlier this week. “I’m sure my dad is smiling down from heaven right now just so happy that despite his passing and all the adversity I’ve been through with that, that I overcame it and am here now. I hope that he’s just overjoyed.”
Of course, Gavin’s father — a fifth-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1985 — was an NFL pass-rushing legend, playing eight years in L.A. before spending three seasons with the Steelers, recording 35.5 sacks during his time in Pittsburgh.
When he retired following the 1999 season, Kevin Greene was third all-time in NFL history with 160 sacks. After his playing days, he served as an outside linebackers coach for both the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets.
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Duce Staley’s Son Trying out, Too
Meanwhile, the son of another NFL assistant is also trying out at Steelers rookie minicamp. That would be former South Carolina linebacker Damani Staley, who is the son of former Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles running back Duce Staley, who currently serves as assistant head coach/running backs coach for the Detroit Lions.
Damani Staley — 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds — was a five-year letter winner who appeared in 51 games for the Gamecocks (with 19 starts) between 2017-21. He finished his college career with 169 tackles (93 solo), including nine tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
His dad, now 47, entered the NFL in 1997 as a third-round pick of the Eagles out of South Carolina. He played seven seasons in Philadelphia before spending the last three years of his career with the Steelers (2004-06), initially signed to serve as a 1-2 punch with future Steelers Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis.
Per Pro Football Reference, Duce Staley appeared in a total of 16 games for Pittsburgh (with 11 starts), carrying the ball 230 times for 978 yards and two touchdowns, while also catching a dozen passes for 89 yards.
His best season with the Steelers came during Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie season, when he carried the ball 192 times for 830 yards, an average of 4.3 yards per carry.
Greene and Staley are among 28 non-roster invitees trying out at Steelers rookie camp, according to Teresa Varley. The names of at least 16 of the tryout players were available ahead of time, with former Toledo Rockets punter Bailey Flint — the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 CFL Global Draft — among the attendees.
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