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Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene dies at 58

Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (L) coached for the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets after his retirement from playing. File Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/UPI
Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (L) coached for the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets after his retirement from playing. File Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, who is considered one of the greatest pass-rushers in NFL history, died at his home in Florida, the Pro Football Hall of Fame said. He was 58.

Greene's family and the Hall of Fame confirmed the death of the NFL legend Monday. No cause of death was given.

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"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Kevin Greene," Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a statement Monday. "I regarded him as a personal friend and a true Hall of Famer in every sense.

"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."

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Greene, known for his long blonde hair and relentless pursuit of opposing quarterbacks, finished his career with 160 sacks, which ranks third in NFL history behind only Bruce Smith (200) and Reggie White (198). He added 23 forced fumbles and five interceptions.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection led the league in sacks twice (1994, 1996) and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1996. He also was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.

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Greene spent 15 seasons in the NFL and played for the Los Angeles Rams (1985-92), Pittsburgh Steelers (1993-95), Carolina Panthers (1996, 1998-99) and San Francisco 49ers (1997). He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

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"We lost an amazing player and person this morning with the passing of Kevin Greene," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement Monday. "His sudden death is a shock to us all as he was a close friend and teammate to so many people in the Steelers family.

"When Kevin came to the Steelers in 1993 he had an immediate impact. Paired with Greg Lloyd, Kevin and Greg led a defense that became known as 'Blitzburgh' and went on to play in Super Bowl 30. Kevin's energy and enthusiasm were inspiring for our team as well as our fans.

"My condolences go out to Kevin's wife, Tara, their children and the entire Greene family in this most difficult time. They will always be members of the Steelers family and in our thoughts and prayers."

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Greene, born in Schenectady, N.Y., played college football at Auburn. The Rams selected him in the fifth round of the 1985 draft.

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Greene recorded 14 or more sacks in five different seasons, including twice as a member of the Panthers toward the end of his playing career. He coached for the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets after his retirement.

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Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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