Kevin Greene was hailed as a “game changer,” a “true Hall of Famer in every sense” and an “amazing player and person” in outpouring of emotion by the NFL following Greene’s death Monday at age 58.
Greene made a lasting impression wherever he went in a pro football career that included playing stints with the Rams, Steelers, Panthers and 49ers and coaching stops with the Packers and Jets. The Rams, Steelers and Panthers in particular made poignant statements.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame, where Greene was inducted in 2016, felt the loss deeply, too.
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“I regarded him as a personal friend and a true Hall of Famer in every sense,” Hall president and CEO David Baker said in a statement. “He possessed the most incredible can-do attitude of anyone I ever met. He was a great player, but more than that, he was a great man.
Several of Greene’s fellow Hall of Famers expressed similar sentiments.
Kevin Greene was a true warrior and a dear friend!!! As much as I disliked playing against him I loved everything about him at the same time and I loved him like a brother. Gods army just got much stronger 🙏 RIP brother
— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) December 21, 2020
We lost a legend in Kevin Greene. He was a HOF player and even better person. His passion for football and life exuded in everything he did. His spirit will live forever. Condolences to Tara and the entire Greene family. Heaven just got better on Defense. Love that man.
— Bill Cowher (@CowherCBS) December 22, 2020
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of my HOF Brother #KevinGreene… I am shocked to hear the news about my friend, as I reflect on the time we spent over the years! I will miss you brother… but Heaven got better today! Until we meet again #RIP
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) December 21, 2020
Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt, who wears the same No. 91 that Greene wore with the team, pledged to honor Greene in Pittsburgh’s game Monday night vs. Cincinnati.
Greene finished his career in 1999 with 160 sacks, which is third all time behind only Bruce Smith and Reggie White. He led the NFL in that category in 1994 and 1996.
The cause of Greene’s death has not been disclosed.