Kevin Greene is a Hall of Fame nominee, a former player who probably still instills fear into the eyes of former quarterbacks, and a coach with the Green Bay Packers who has led a group of linebackers to new heights and has helped bring Clay Matthews III into elite status.
He’s been a coach with the Packers since 2009 and given the fact that teams across the league have a penchant for swooping in and snatching coaches and front office personnel, one wonders how long it will be before Greene finds greener pastures in some other NFL city.
Mike McCarthy hired Greene on Feb. 3, 2009, and has given him the reins in developing the team’s outside linebackers in the Packers’ 3-4 defensive scheme – a task he has done successfully.
Let’s consider Matthews, Greene’s star pupil who came into the league at the same time the linebackers coach started roaming the team’s sidelines. Since 2009, Matthews has recorded 42.5 sacks in 58 games, he scored thee defensive touchdowns in his first three season, has had 163 tackles, 44 assists, and 22 passes defensed. He’s also had four interceptions.
All this has taken place under the tutelage of Greene.
Consider also that Greene has coached the likes of Frank Zombo, Brad Jones, Dezman Moses, and Erik Walden at the position. While Jones and Moses are still with the team, they aren’t considered at the level of Matthews, but it was Greene who helped bring out their best – as well as Walden and Zombo. Walden signed a lucrative free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason and Zombo landed in Kansas City.
Greene knows a thing or two about the position, having played many years in the league. Here is how packers.com has described the former player-turned-coach:
As a 3-4 outside linebacker during his playing careeer, Greene posted 160 career sacks for four different teams, ranking him third on the NFL’s all-time list behind Bruce Smith and Reggie White and first all-time among linebackers. In 15 seasons (1985-99), he was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time first-team All-Pro pick by AP. He recorded 10 double-digit sack seasons, which ranks third in league history behind Smith and White. Greene led his team in sacks 11 times and the league twice, and played in six conference championship games and one Super Bowl (XXX). He was a semifinalist in the Pro Football Hall of Fame balloting each year from 2008-11 and was a finalist in 2012.
So again we ask the question about how long it will be before Greene is considered for a defensive coordinator’s position or possibly even a head coaching job in the NFL? The next logical stop would be a coordinator’s spot and given that Greene heads into his fifth season in Green Bay, that might seem about the right timeline to build a resume other teams may covet.
Is it time? Well, the clock is ticking, but with another season of success in developing the likes of Nick Perry in the position opposite Matthews, the time may be inching closer.
In the meantime, we shouldn’t take for granted the coaching talent the Packers have with Greene. We have to respect the job he has done to date and appreciate his contributions to the development of key defensive players.
Our hope is that he continues to develop these players and as long as he is in Green and Gold we will thank him for his services.
But as he is so famous for saying – it may be time.