When the Steelers’ No. 1 pick is announced at the 2019 NFL Draft, it won’t be just anyone making the announcement.
Far from it.
Joe Greene, the man who changed what it meant to play for the Steelers, will do the honors of announcing the team’s No. 1 pick on the stage in Nashville at the draft.
“It is special,” said Greene. “Since my draft day, more than 50 years ago, to be here and to announce the Pittsburgh Steelers No. 1 draft choice is very humbling, very humbling.”
Greene was selected by the Steelers with their No. 1 pick in the 1969 NFL Draft. At the time the Steelers struggled to win a game. But after Greene’s arrival the whole atmosphere changed and winning became the norm.
But when Greene first heard Steelers on his draft day, it didn’t sit well with him.
“I got a phone call,” recalled Greene. “I was at my dining room table. Me and (my late wife) Agnes. I said ‘Agnes that was someone from the Pittsburgh Steelers. They drafted me number one.’ And I didn’t want to go to that team.
“I didn’t know any better. All I was dealing with was what I had seen on television. The record. It wasn’t one of my favorite teams. I liked the Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, and Dallas Cowboys. They were winning then.”
Greene said he will be sure to tell whoever the Steelers take in the first round that things in Pittsburgh are a lot different than when he was drafted.
“I will be sure to let him know that this is the best organization in the National Football League,” said Greene. “It is good top to bottom. That is what you are looking for. To have a genuine organization that gives you the opportunity to succeed and have fun. That is the bottom line. To succeed and enjoy yourself.”
Greene will be joined at the draft by two other former Steelers, Santonio Holmes who will announce the team’s second round pick and Brett Keisel will announce the third round pick.
The announcements are part of the NFL Legends program, which connects some of the game’s greatest players with the newest generation.
The NFL Draft will be held April 25-27.