Pro Football Hall of Famer. Four-time Super Bowl Champion. Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Yes, the list could go on and on, because when it comes to Joe Greene, the limitless space on the internet doesn’t even have enough room to hold all of his accomplishments and truly share what he meant to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization.
Joe Greene’s accomplishments:
- Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
- 10-time Pro Bowl selection, including eight straight years from 1969-76.
- Five-time first-team All-Pro selection.
- 11-time first-team All-AFC selection.
- Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1972, 1974)
- NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1969)
- NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.
- NFL 1970’s All-Decade Team.
- Steelers All-Time Team.
Joe Greene’s top quotes from playing days:
“The zone is a place that you rarely visit. It’s not some place you go every week. The zone is sacred ground.” – Joe Greene
“They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we aren’t gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight.” -- Joe Greene
Former Steelers Coach Chuck Noll was Greene’s presenter for Greene’s Hall of Fame induction. The following are some highlights of what he said about his first ever draft pick.
-- “Joe could best be classified as a winner. He was a guy who had great physical abilities, the ability to come off the ball fast, the ability to play low, and the ability to play every play to the end.” – Chuck Noll
-- “Joe is one of those guys, one of the great football players who had his antenna out and was really sensitive to the people around him and as a result, I think we played together as a football team and regardless what some of the sportscasters may say when they start adding up yards and tackles and get sums, you win as a team and you function as a team even greater than that and Joe was very much a factor.” – Chuck Noll
Greene’s best season came in 1974 when not only did he provide the numbers, earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors, but he also was an emotional leader, inspiring his teammates en route to the team’s first Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl IX.
Greene became the first player ever to record an interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery in a single Super Bowl in that victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
But his performance the week before in the AFC Title game against the Oakland Raiders was in one word, dominant.
“Joe was a beast, an absolute beast. He was a destructive force,” said Raiders receiver Mike Siani.