One Green Bay Packer and another with Packers ties on HOF finalist list


Dave Robinson in the tunnel at Lambeau Field just before being introduced prior to the Packers vs. Vikings game.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Today, Saturday, Feb. 2, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet to pare down the list of finalists to be elected to the 2013 Class.

The announcement of those selected from a group of 17 finalists will be made tomorrow, Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3, at 4:30 p.m. CST (5:30 p.m. EST).

To be elected, a finalist must receive 80 percent of the vote. Rules stipulate that between four and seven members can be inducted at one time and no more than five modern-day nominees can be elected in a given year.

Among the 17 are one longtime Green Bay Packers great and one who has strong current ties with the team.

Dave Robinson, a linebacker who played for Vince Lombardi in the 1960s, and finished his career, along with Lombardi, as a Washington Redskin, has been nominated for the first time as a senior candidate after more than 30 years of eligibility.

Kevin Greene (center) with linebackers Clay Matthews III and Frank Zombo during a recent game at Lambeau Field. Greene, one of 17 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is the Packers outside linebackers coach.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Kevin Greene, the Packers current outside linebackers coach and the man who has guided Clay Matthews III to stardom, is also among the finalists. He started his career with the Los Angeles Rams, and also played in Pittsburgh, Carolina, and San Francisco.

Robinson was selected out of Penn State by Lombardi in the first round as the 14th overall pick in the 1963 Draft.He was also drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the American Football League draft, but ended up signing with the Packers.

He was a three-time Pro Bowler and 1-time First-Team All-Pro. He played 12 years, 10 with Green Bay. He started at left outside linebacker in three consecutive NFL championship wins, 1965-67 … He was the starting outside linebacker in the Packers’ victories in Super Bowls I and II.

The athletic Robinson intercepted 27 passes during his career and is best known for pressuring Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith into an interception in the end zone on the final play of the 1966 championship game to seal the win for the Packers.

Another interesting statistic of Robinson’s was that he returned seven kickoffs for 80 yards … ah yes, those were the days.

Greene was one of the linebackers in the 1980s who used speed to turn the position into a consistent sack threat. His presence was always on the minds of offensive linemen and offensive coordinators as he was always a threat, like Lawrence Taylor, to disrupt an offense and to get to the quarterback.

NFL fans will remember Greene for his long, flowing golden hair. Packers fans will remember Greene as a member of the Carolina Panthers in 1996 who came into Lambeau Field on a frigid afternoon in January for the NFC Championship Game won by the Packers to propel them to their first Super Bowl since 1967.

Greene was drafted in the 5th round (113th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft. He played 15 years in the league, eight of them with the Rams, three with Pittsburgh, one with San Francisco and four with Carolina. He played in 228 games and started 176. He recorded 160 sacks, had five interceptions, forced 23 fumbles, had 26 fumble recoveries, and made 669 tackles. He scored three touchdowns in his career, one on an interception return and two on fumble recover returns.

 Here is the complete list of the 17 finalists:

G/T Larry Allen (1994-2007): Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers
 RB Jerome Bettis (1993-2005): St. Louis Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers)
 WR Tim Brown (1988-2004): Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay  Buccaneers
 WR Cris Carter (1987-2002): Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins
 DT Curley Culp (1968-81): Kansas Chiefs, Houston Oilers, Detroit Lions
 Eddie Debartolo, Jr. (1977-2000): San Francisco 49ers owner
 DE/LB Kevin Greene (1985-99): St. Louis Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers
 DE/LB Charles Haley (1986-96, 1999): San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys
 Owner/NFL President Art Modell (1961-2011): Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens
 OT Jonathan Ogden (1996-2007): Baltimore Ravens
 Head Coach Bill Parcells (1983-90, 1993-99, 2003-06): New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys
 WR Andre Reed (1985-2000) Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins
 LB Dave Robinson (1963-74) Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins)
 DT Warren Sapp (1995-2007) Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders)
 G Will Shields (1993-2006) Kansas City Chiefs
 DE Michael Strahan (1993-2007): New York Giants
 CB/S Aeneas Williams (1991-2004): Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams