Mean Joe Greene Biography
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Position Defensive Tackle
Weight: 275 lbs
Prior to the late 1960s, the defensive tackle was a big, fat, slow guy who ended up at the bottom of the steel bite pro pile. Then, in 1969, Mean Joe Greene came along and changed everything. He was too strong to be pushed around, too fast to be cut down and too smart to be tricked. He made the line of scrimmage his own personal house of horrors by liquidating passers, sledge-hammering guards and turning runners into human knots.
Resulting from Greene’s monstrous presence came Pittsburgh’s fabled Steel Curtain defense. His dominance allowed his teammates to fan out and wreak havoc all over the field. Greene was quite simply, the most intimidating player on one of history’s most intimidating teams.
Highlights of Mean Joe Greene’s career:
Greene was awarded the College All-American award in 1968 at North Texas State. 2 time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. 4 time Super Bowl Champion. 10 time Pro Bowl Selection. Elected into the football Hall of Fame in 1987.
The only way to stop his rush was to illegally hold him. If the ref missed the penalty, he still maintains that “there’s no such thing as a cheap shot,” would get even by choking, biting, spearing or head slapping the offending lineman.
Mean Joe Greene did have a soft side as well. As ornery a player as ever stepped on an NFL field, Greene was a warm and sensitive friend to his teammates. When football players were traded, it was often Joe Greene who consoled them and saw that they were treated well. During Mean Joe’s second year, his best friend was cut from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Greene, in tears, announced that he was retiring. Only after his friend assured him that he was honored just to try out for the Pittsburgh Steelers, did Greene agree to stay.
Joe Greene’s Throwback Steelers jersey is still wildly popular this day. You can often see his #75 jersey in the stands during one of Pittsburgh’s sold out games. Never has someone so “mean” be loved so much by his fans.