It’s always sad to see a legend retire. In this case, the Pittsburgh Steelers have seen “Mean” Joe Greene walk away for the third time now. Once as a player who was the cornerstone of the dynasty they built in the 1970’s, when the franchise won four Super Bowls with the “Steel Curtain.” Once as a coach when Greene was the defensive line coach for the Steelers from 1987-1992. Lastly, as a scout for the the personnel department.
Mean Joe became a part of the personnel department in 2004 and scouted both college and pro players for the Director of Football Operations, Kevin Colbert. Greene was Chuck Noll‘s first draft pick as a head coach. In fact, when he was hired as head coach of the Steelers from being the Baltimore Colts’ defensive coordinator, he was told about how all Pittsburgh sports teams had terrible records. They were even called “The City of Losers” Noll said: We’ll change history.”
That is exactly what Noll did by drafting Greene who is the only Steeler to have all six Super Bowl rings. All of the professional teams in Pittsburgh (Steelers, Penguins, Pirates) now have been champions since. It started with the pick of Joe Greene.
Greene told this to Jim Wexell in his book: Pittsburgh Steelers Men Of Steel about his scouting:
“I’ve been scouting since the day I got drafted by the Steelers,” said Greene. “We came here 1-13 and so I followed the draft in the papers. I called everybody because we were looking to get some help. All that time, from playing to coaching, it’s players that allow you to win.”
Here are just a few of Greene’s achievements:
10 Pro Bowls; Hall of Fame Class of 1987; Voted Steelers’ all-time greatest player by fans in 2000; Steelers’ Rookie of the Year Award is called the Joe Greene Great Performance Award; Inducted owner Dan Rooney into Hall of Fame in 2000.