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Why is Kevin Greene so underrated?

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by randomk1, May 30, 2011.

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  1. randomk1

    randomk1 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    The guy has 160 sacks....more than any LB in history yet the guy isn't in the hall of fame and very rarely do i hear his name mentioned among the greatest linebackers. He averaged some 10+ sacks per year for 15 seasons + he also seems to be a good coach. What's the knock on this guy?
  2. HomerSchooled

    HomerSchooled Rookie

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    I guess he never won a championship or defined a team in a way players like Lawrence Taylor did. He spent most of his time with the Rams, but they weren't much during his hey day. I'm guessing he was underrated during his career, as well. He only went to the pro bowl 5 times, despite 10 seasons with 10 or more sacks.

    Yeah, It's crazy to me how forgotten he is in an all-time capacity as a pass rusher. I can't really figure it out. It's not like he's a quiet, unassuming guy. He's had success beyond his playing career (Clay Matthews' position coach), and people seem to speak highly of him on a personal level. Has he alienated himself in some other way? If only Reggie White and Bruce Smith have more sacks than you, you're not exactly chump change.

    It must be that the era he played in was flooded with great DE/OLBs who had long, remarkable careers (B. Smith, R. White, C. Doleman, L. Taylor, D. Thomas, etc). Anyway, if he can't seem to get a sniff of the HOF, it's hard to imagine any DE or OLBs from this current era deserving it any more. Nobody's even close, unless DeMarcus Ware can keep it up for another 6-7 years.
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with HomerSchooled - far too many people focus on championships when it comes to individual honors such as 'best ever' rankings and the Hall of Fame.

    In my opinion far too much weight on the number of Super Bowl rings a player has when it comes to Hall of Fame discussions. And once one or two players from a championship gain entry, then people start talking about others on that team; the conversation is 'if player X is in, then why not player Y; he was just as good'. The end result is that you have eight players from the Steelers' teams of the '70's in the Hall, but players like Greene don't get the consideration that they deserve.

    The problem with placing so much weight on championships is that this is an individual honor rather than a team honor. Football is the ultimate team sport so therefore championships should really have very little consideration for this honor; at the very least it should carry less weight than in other sports, and should be less significant at a position such as linebacker than it is at quarterback.

    Greene did not get very far in the ballots in his first years of eligibility, but has made it to the semifinals in each of the last three years. However, he has an uphill battle to get in. With each year that passes people's memory of his play fades away, while at the same time another group of players become eligible and they dominate the conversation. On top of that a certain number of people start thinking 'if he was that good then why isn't he already in the hall'; I heard that more than once this past year when it came to Houston Antwine and the Patriots Hall of Fame voting.

    One last thing to consider is the voting process for the NFL Hall of Fame. A writer that covers that team makes his case for a player to the other voters. The nominees must get 80% of the votes, then it is whittled down to 17 candidates, and then four to seven are elected in. So if the writer from St Louis is not held in particularly high esteem by the other voters, or if he for some reason doesn't like Greene or present a very persuasive argument, then Greene's chances of getting in are greatly diminished. I'm not saying that is the case here - but I'm not saying it is not, either.

    Also keep in mind Green played with four different teams rather than spending them with one team and the first eight were with the Rams - the LA Rams, a city that doesn't even have an NFL franchise now. Does that make a difference in the nomination phase? Tough to say for sure, but it certainly doesn't help him.

    Greene is third alltime in sacks, leading the league twice. He was among the top seven in sacks eight times, and had nine or more sacks eleven times; Greene averaged over ten sacks per season in his career. Does he deserve to be in the NFL Hall of Fame? I would say so - but it is unfortunately very debatable whether or not he will get in.
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