Joe Greene Player Personnel Pittsburgh Steelers
February 5, 2012 by staff
Joe Greene Player Personnel Pittsburgh Steelers, Charles Edward Greene, known as “Mean Joe” Greene, (born September 24, 1946) is a former all-pro American football defensive tackle who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. Throughout the early 1970s he was the one of most dominant defensive players in the National Football League.
He is considered by many to be one of the greatest defensive linemen ever and was the cornerstone of the legendary “Steel Curtain” defense. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a four-time Super Bowl champion. His nickname, “Mean Joe Greene” stems from his alma mater, the University of North Texas’ athletic teams, which are nicknamed the Mean Green.
Greene is also well known for his appearance in the “Mean Joe Greene” Coca-Cola commercial in 1979, considered to be one of the all-time best Super Bowl commercials.
In 1969, he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the fourth pick of the NFL draft and spent his entire career with them until his retirement in 1981. When Greene was drafted, a newspaper headline asked, Who’s Joe Greene? The question was quickly answered as Greene became so good that teams double-teamed, and even triple-teamed, him throughout his entire career.
After he was drafted, Greene quickly established himself as a dominant defensive player. He was strong, quick and intense. He was the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 1969, even though he played on a Steelers team that went 1-13 in Chuck Noll’s first year as its head coach. The Steelers quickly improved over the next few seasons. Greene later admitted that he was upset with being drafted by the Steelers due to their long history of losing. He often showed his displeasure on the field, including an incident during a game with the Chicago Bears in which he spat in the face of Dick Butkus and challenged Butkus, long considered the NFL’s meanest player, to a fight.
In his early years with the Steelers, Greene was at times uncontrollable, and often let his temper get the best of him. At one time, during a 1975 game against the rival Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in which the Steelers won 42-6, Greene repeatedly kicked Browns lineman Bob McKay in the groin while McKay was lying on the ground. Another incident had Greene snap the ball away from the center while the opposing team was lining up for a play. He had no tolerance for losing, and the team veterans quickly took notice. His intense desire to win rallied the veterans around him, and with great drafts as well as superb coaching, the Steelers franchise soon began to undergo a dramatic makeover. Joe Greene was credited as the cornerstone of the great Steelers dynasty and the most important player in team history.
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