February 10, 1982
Hall of Fame defensive tackle Joe Greene retires from playing
It was a day that Steelers’ fans knew inevitably would come, but not one anyone who followed the team in the 1970s looked forward to. Joe Greene, the four-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and future Hall of Famer retired on this day in 1982 during a luncheon at Three Rivers Stadium.
"He set the standard for us,” said his late coach Chuck Noll that day. “'Physically, he had quickness, speed, agility, strength, and the ability to find the ball. But he also set the standard for attitude. There will never be another Joe Greene.'”
And to this day, there hasn’t. Greene, who had his No. 75 retired in 2014, truly set the standard for what it means to play for the Steelers. Greene, a man who admittedly was disappointed to be drafted in the first-round by the team in 1969 when they were a losing franchise, through his play and dedication made those who were drafted after him honored to be selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Joe could best be classified as a winner,” said Noll. “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.”
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.