By Adam Roberts – 12/21/2020
While he certainly made a name for himself as an All-Pro linebacker between his rookie year in 1985 and his final season with Carolina in 1999, it wouldn’t be until the 2010 NFL season when Kevin Greene would get his coveted Super Bowl ring. The third-leading sacker in league history missed out on a ring shot when the Steelers lost to Dallas in Super Bowl XXX, and with Charles Woodson out of the game suddenly for the Packers in Super Bowl XLV, the now linebacker coach needed to light a fire under someone’s rear.
That someone turned out to be a then-second year stud Clay Matthews, who drew Greene to the Packers in 2009 after seeing a lot of himself in Clay, plus skills he admitted he never had. After telling Matthews that Woodson was out for good, and that the team needed a leader to speak up, Matthews responded by hitting Rashad Mendenhall on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter to force a fumble recovered by Desmond Bishop. The Pack never lost their lead, and secured their 13th world championship that night.
Greene’s stats speak for themselves; the Hall of Famer also had 23 forced fumbles and five interceptions to go with his 160 sacks. But his fiery passion and knowledge of what the right thing to say in the moment to inspire a young star was why finally put that ring on his finger. A fiery passion many teams would certainly give an arm and a leg for today.
Greene was 58 years old.