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Joe Greene retires from Pittsburgh’s personnel department

Hines Ward, Joe Greene AP

Joe Greene has retired from his post as a special assistant to Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, the club said Monday.

A 1o-time Pro Bowler at defensive tackle, Greene starred on some vaunted Steelers defenses throughout his career, which ran from 1969-81. After his retirement from the field of play, Greene was the Steelers’ defensive line coach from 1987 to 1991. Thirteen years later, after stints with Miami and Arizona coaching defensive linemen, he returned to Pittsburgh. He evaluated pro and college players in his role with the Steelers’ personnel department.

“There are very few people in the history of the NFL who have had a greater impact on one franchise than Joe Greene has had on the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement issued by the club. “As a player, Joe was the cornerstone of the greatest defense of all time. As a coach, Joe helped Chuck Noll finish his tenure as head coach. Then we were fortunate to have Joe rejoin the organization in our player personnel department for the last nine years, which included two more Super Bowl championships.

“Joe has been an inspiration in this organization in many different capacities over so many years. We will miss Joe Greene, but he will certainly continue to serve as an ambassador of this organization for many years.”

Greene, 66, was the Steelers’ first-round pick in 1969. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in1987.

“When I played, our success was based on the people there — the players, coaches and front office — and I felt the same way when I was in scouting,” Greene said, according to the Steelers. “The people were very important to me, brought me along and made me feel comfortable, and I thought we made a pretty good team together.

“The people that I was working with made it all good for me — made it important to me — made it special. I will miss everyone in the Steelers organization.”

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41 Responses to “Joe Greene retires from Pittsburgh’s personnel department”
  1. filthymcnasty1 says: May 6, 2013 5:39 PM

    They gave him a Coke as a going away gift.

  2. citizenstrange says: May 6, 2013 5:39 PM

    My all-time favorite player. Any sport.

    I saw him play in his rookie season against Bart Star and the Packers in the old Pitt Stadium.

  3. mazblast says: May 6, 2013 5:45 PM

    The shame is that a lot of people remember him only for that great Coca Cola commercial.

    What a player. People don’t remember just how awful the Steelers always had been before Chuck Noll arrived–and how his first #1 pick put the team on the road to its amazing success. Not Bradshaw, not Franco, not Lambert, Ham, Bleier, Swann, or Stallworth, it was Joe Greene who really personified that great team.

  4. Joemontanaflacco says: May 6, 2013 5:52 PM

    Someone saw the writing on he wall and got out while the getting is still good. Smart move, mean Joe.

  5. joeflaccosunibrow says: May 6, 2013 5:53 PM

    For the moment I will shelves my Steelers hate. Mean Joe Green is a great person. I sure hope that this was his decision and not one that was made for him. What a great player and a person

    Steeler hate will resume…

  6. modellforprez says: May 6, 2013 5:57 PM

    Thanks for everything Mean Joe and Good luck the rest of the way…

  7. ravensdominate says: May 6, 2013 5:59 PM

    The rats are abandoning ship. The steelers are sinking fast. 5-11 this year.

  8. fat4jc says: May 6, 2013 5:59 PM

    I guess signing a guy named Whimper was the last straw?

  9. pittsburghsteelerz says: May 6, 2013 6:01 PM

    All the best to Ol’ Joe.

    Too bad he wasn’t as good at evaluating players as he was at playing back in the day…

    See 1st round disappointments Ziggy Hood & Cam Heyward.

  10. raqaiw says: May 6, 2013 6:01 PM

    Even “Mean” Joe is abandoning this sinking ship. Dang.

  11. anpsteel says: May 6, 2013 6:07 PM

    Let us hope this was not a Bruce Arians style retirement.

    All the best to you Joe.

  12. eddiek77 says: May 6, 2013 6:22 PM

    Let me get this straight: Joe’s retirement means that everyone is “abandoning ship?” What a laugh.
    I like the idea that the Steelers told a number of veterans to hit the highway. I can think of a few more who should go…and quickly. I like what the team did in the draft. I love the way Mean Joe played. I love the way LC played too, and can only wonder why the idiots in power don’t vote him into the hall.
    Ok, enough for stream of consciousness posts.
    I say 11-5 this year. I say the Ravens don’t make the playoffs and their fans scream bloody murder about overpaying him and losing Ed Reed, who has another big year, but for the Texans this time.
    No one’s abandoning ship, friends.

  13. keiselsbeard says: May 6, 2013 6:25 PM

    God, I hate the ignoramus collective known as Ravens fans. Your team has done NOTHING in the grand scheme of all things NFL. Still 4 Lombardis short, don’t forget that. That being said, thank you Mr. Greene, for all you’ve done for the greatest team in NFL history. Steeler Nation is eternally grateful.

  14. donnymacjack says: May 6, 2013 6:43 PM

    Have a Coke and a smile Joe. Great career, even though I grew up a Raiders fan. :)

  15. ivedoneyourwife says: May 6, 2013 7:01 PM

    Best of luck Mean Joe Greene! As a young boy boy, I always respected you and that formidable Steelers defense even though, at that time, I was a Dolphin fan until the Jags came to NE Florida.

    You have to admit, the Steelers back then were perhaps, the best team ever, no matter who you root for. I, for one, was able to witness the first Super Bowl era dynasty.

  16. steeltuff says: May 6, 2013 7:05 PM

    Chuck Noll’s first-ever draft pick. He was the main reason why Steeler fans would have rather had the defense on the field than have the ball. Those were magical times.

  17. Joemontanaflacco says: May 6, 2013 7:15 PM

    If joe Greene was part of the majority of those trophies, he must be like 80 by now, right?

  18. scoobies05 says: May 6, 2013 7:19 PM

    all the best to mean joe. happy retirement

  19. garyhd01 says: May 6, 2013 7:21 PM

    mean joe greene one of the d lineman one one of the 3 best d lines in that era if not ever fearsome foursome (rams) steel curtain steelers and purple people eaters Vikings id be hard pressed to choose the best line although I believe joe was the best of his line congrats mean joe and thanks as a ram fan I had the utmost respect for you and that line

  20. boyshole25 says: May 6, 2013 7:21 PM

    The guy from the coke commercial played football?

  21. stew48 says: May 6, 2013 7:23 PM

    I certainly agree Joe Greene stands alone.

    Also, standing alone is the shame and disgraceful behavior of all the alleged NFL writers who chose to ignore Chuck Noll for Coach of the Year. It still remains the most undeserved result of anyone in the history of the NFL.

  22. sizzleownsbigben says: May 6, 2013 7:51 PM

    I see you talk about championships. The Ravens have not had the time that the steelers had to win those championships. BUT the Ravens do have a 56% winning percentage compared to the steelers 51.3%. If only our other championships didn’t pack up and leave one night. Hopefully Mr. Greene enjoys his time away from the game.

  23. rajbais says: May 6, 2013 7:51 PM

    The only time Joe Greene wasn’t mean was in the front office.

    Then again if you want mean get your walking papers from Kevin Colbert or Omar Khan. James Harrison knows what I am talking about.

  24. monsterscream says: May 6, 2013 7:53 PM

    Colts D-Cord Greg Manusky is happy to hear this….he almost got his ass whipped by Mean Joe Greene at the combine a few years ago.

  25. captainloaded says: May 6, 2013 8:08 PM

    So much hate towards the Steelers……Maybe, after 40+ years of devoting his life to the NFL he has decided to enjoy the remainder of his life. Is that such a hard thing to consider?

  26. fanfrommontreal says: May 6, 2013 8:11 PM

    Man he was good… Best defensive lineman I ever saw. Loved the story (legend?) of him who as a rookie spat in the face of Dick Butkus, who looked at him for a few seconds and turned away, not sure he could take that mad monster one on one…

  27. psmith7716 says: May 6, 2013 8:16 PM

    Thanks for the memories, Mean Joe. You were a joy to watch as a player, and I wish you good health and much happiness in whatever you choose to do.

    For those who did not get to see this man play football, you simply do not know what you have missed.

  28. therealpittbull says: May 6, 2013 8:39 PM

    Say it ain’t so Joe. The greatest Steeler of All time!!!!

  29. bigcid10 says: May 6, 2013 9:19 PM

    He’s going to miss out on getting his 7th ring
    this year

  30. bornsteel62 says: May 6, 2013 9:37 PM

    I met Mean Joe Greene in the parking lot of a strip mall in Pine Township (PA) back in the early 80s, had a short convo and shook his hand… I swear I coulda fit both of my hands into one of his. Unbelievably physically gifted.
    Had the privilege of seeing him play in person numerous times. He made some of the best players in the NFL at that time look silly. Invented the ‘offset’ look at the line of scrimmage. Single-handedly changed the way O-coords had to approach the D-line.

    I met him again years later when he was with the AZ Cards… always humble and happy to talk with fans. Gave tons of credit to Noll and his early coaches for his success.

    This type of player no longer exists.

  31. j0esixpack says: May 6, 2013 10:18 PM

    No offense, but good riddance.

    Remember, this is the guy who traded an authentic NFL jersey actually used in a game – for a coca cola.

    Do you realize how badly this guy got taken?

    You don’t put a guy like that in charge of NFL player trades.

  32. Deb says: May 6, 2013 10:25 PM

    Still love that Coke commercial … but it makes people forget how he earned that nickname ;)

    Thanks for the memories, Joe. Steeler Nation will never forget.

  33. thesteelers says: May 6, 2013 10:44 PM

    This is why we have been so dominant. We know what we are doing. We are not the LOLBrowns.

  34. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: May 6, 2013 10:49 PM

    If the organization just brought in someone named “Guy Whimper” and I worked in Personnel – I’d retire on the spot too.

    Who next – I.M. Feeble?

  35. FoozieGrooler says: May 6, 2013 10:55 PM

    ravensdominate says:
    “..The rats are abandoning ship. The steelers are sinking fast. 5-11 this year…”

    ..sez the guy whose team just lost half their starters…
    LOL

  36. bnwillard says: May 6, 2013 11:32 PM

    He’s a smart dude. He knows if he hangs around the hapless. free-falling Steelers for much longer, he’s seriously going to ruin his legacy.

  37. seaeagle707 says: May 6, 2013 11:40 PM

    Franco’s Army? Who Dey? Joe Greene was an Army unto himself.

    Not a Steeler’s fan, but I know greatness when I see it.

  38. crownofthehelmet says: May 6, 2013 11:47 PM

    Mr. Greene, you’re the reason I became a fan of this glorious game, and the most successful professional franchise in this free world. Our team became weaker when you recently left your office for the last time, but to say you’ve earned it would be a gross understatement. God bless you and your family.

  39. joewilliesshnoz says: May 7, 2013 5:56 AM

    Another Pgh.icon to leave the game. Where are all the Baltimoron icons ? Oh yeah, Cleveland.

  40. Joemontanaflacco says: May 7, 2013 6:33 AM

    By ” the most successful professional franchise in this free world” I sincerely hope you mean Coca Cola. Nothing successful about the last few years of the Steelers and their scandalized QB.

  41. steel2372 says: May 7, 2013 8:03 PM

    ravensdominate says: May 6, 2013 5:59 PM

    The rats are abandoning ship. The steelers are sinking fast. 5-11 this year.

    I would hope you are not calling one of the greatest players and a great person a rat? You should show your respect in a time of someones retirement no matter who he played for.

    Steelers nation wants to thank Mean Joe for the great play and hustle you displayed throughout your career. Thanks for the memories ! Go Steelers!!!!

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