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Steelers L.C. Greenwood and Greg Lloyd’s Absence From Illogical 2023 Hall Of Fame Seniors Committee List Is Incompetent

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Steelers L.C. Greenwood and Greg Lloyd’s Absence From Illogical 2023 Hall Of Fame Seniors Committee List Is Incompetent

Former Pittsburgh Steelers, Greg Lloyd and L.C. Greenwood were ignored this week when the Hall of Fame Seniors committee released its list of 25 veteran players to be considered for Canton. The list certainly has some deserving names like Otis Anderson and Roger Craig who starred in Super Bowls at running back and Ken Anderson, the former Cincinnati Bengals QB, are all worthy of consideration. But the rest of the list is in a word, insulting.

Some of the names on the list are mind boggling. The defensive players who are listed do not compare favorably to the Steelers legends who are omitted. One player, who I candidly admit I imitated many times when I scored backyard touchdowns, Billie “White Shoes” Johnson, started less than a third of the games he played and seems like he is nominated for a touchdown dance. The NFL blew this one big time, and it is not the first time these players have been ignored.

 

L.C. Greenwood

Steelers Greenwood

L.C. Greenwood tackling Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Roger Staubach in 1979. Photo credit: Associated Press

Greenwood suffers from the fact that sacks did not become an official stat until 1982. Pro Football Reference credits him with 78 sacks in a 13-year career. He unofficially reached double digit sacks in 14 game seasons twice in the 1970’s and on average teams passed less than 20 times per game for most of the decade. Greenwood played next to Joe Greene on the famous Steel Curtain defense, and from 1973 to 1976, he made four consecutive Pro Bowls, two First Team All-Pro selections, and if not for an injury in 1977 that interrupted the streak, he may have gone to seven consecutive Pro Bowls instead of six in seven years. The pair were nearly unstoppable during the Steelers run of four Super Bowls in six years.

Looking back on Super Bowl X, Greenwood put on one of the greatest defensive performances ever on the biggest stage. The Steel Curtain was the star of the show and Greenwood shined brightest with four sacks of Roger Staubach. Lynn Swann made multiple acrobatic catches, but Greenwood was robbed of the Super Bowl MVP he so clearly deserved. Greenwood started 17 postseason games for the Steelers and recorded unofficially 12.5 sacks during those games. If sacks had been recorded, Greenwood would be the all-time leader in Super Bowls with five sacks, all against Staubach coincidentally who was notoriously hard to catch.

He was a clutch performer when the chips were on the line. If sacks had been an official stat in the 1970’s, Greenwood would be tied for third all-time in postseason sacks, yet he is still ignored year after year. The Hall of Fame should have inducted him years ago and this error is beyond offensive at this point. Greenwood was a finalist six times for the Hall of Fame, but has not been one since 2006. At this point, it would be posthumous, but he deserves to be in Canton.

 

Greg Lloyd

Steelers Lloyd

LATROBE, PA -JULY 18: Linebacker Greg Lloyd of the Pittsburgh Steelers wears a shirt imprinted with “I Wasn’t Hired for My Disposition” as he walks on the field during summer training camp at St. Vincent College on July 18, 1993 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

I will preface this by saying Lloyd is my second favorite defensive player behind Jack Lambert of all-time for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tony Boselli and Terrell Davis who were contemporaries of Lloyd, were finalists several times, but finally broke through and got gold jackets. Lloyd has never been a finalist for the Hall of Fame, and it is simply astounding he has not had his day in front of the committee.

Lloyd and Kevin Greene formed one of the most dominating pass rush tandems in league history. Greene recorded 160 sacks during his storied career and is richly deserving of his induction in 2016. When the two played together, it was a defining moment in both their careers because their play elevated the Steelers to three consecutive playoff appearances, two AFC Championship games, and the painful Super Bowl XXX loss.

At no point during this three-year run together was Lloyd not the unquestioned leader of the defense. Greene was great, but they looked to Lloyd for leadership. Despite the presence of Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, it was Lloyd who struck fear in opposing teams. Teams had to game plan for the Steelers linebacker who was seemingly everywhere for the black and gold.

Lloyd played 11 years as a sixth round draft pick from an HBCU and before injuries robbed him of the latter half of his prime, he went to five straight Pro Bowls, had three consecutive First Team All-Pro selections, and was the 1994 UPI Defensive Player of the Year. He finished third and second in the AP Defensive Player of the Year voting in 1994 and 1995, respectively. Sterling Sharpe is a semi-finalist, had a shorter career than Lloyd, and the same short prime. He will have his case heard, again while the former Steelers leader will not.

Lloyd is hamstrung by the perception that he was a dirty player. No question he was intense and played on the ragged edge, but during his prime, every team in the league would have preferred he was on their side. Lloyd’s exclusion from even getting his day as a finalist is evidence of a fundamental lack of understanding about how a professional is supposed to play the linebacker position.


Steelers #95 Greg Lloyd Once The Most Feared; Now The Most Forgotten


Bottom Line

It is going on 25 years since Lloyd retired and 40 years since Greenwood suited up in Pittsburgh. One holds the record unofficially for the most sacks in Super Bowl history and the most sacks in one Super Bowl, and the other was the most intimidating linebacker of his era. Neither is going to take their place in Canton in 2023 and that is an egregious error that needs to be corrected.

 

What do you think, Steeler Nation? Should this pair of Steelers legends be in the Hall of Fame? Please comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. KARL KILCREASE

    July 10, 2022 at 5:07 am

    Many times L.C and I discussed his being snubbed for the HoF although he has Hall of Fame numbers. He told me that the stadium announcer would attribute his sacks to Joe Greene. After his injury, the doctor suggested a high top shoe. The trainer presented him with several types of shoes he found unsatisfactory until he found a shoe and had it painted gold. When he returned to the field in 77 with his gold shoes, upon a sack he would extend his leg in the air. The stadium announcer would no longer make the mistake of calling number 75, the gold shoes became L.C’s identification.

  2. vernon berry

    July 12, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Greg Lloyd and Kevin Green were the most dominate 3-4 olb combo for the Steelers ever. They were meeting at the quarterback on every snap and Lebeau’s drop zones made sure the ball was finding a steeler somewhere on hurried throws.

  3. Pingback: Steelers Legends WR Hines Ward and DE L.C. Greenwood Revealed as 2 of the Greatest Players NOT in the Hall of Fame - SteelerNation.com

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