The football community is mourning the loss of a legend.
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that Kevin Greene — a star at linebacker and defensive end who played in the NFL for 15 years — died at his home in Florida. He was 58. No cause of death was given.
"We lost an amazing player and person this morning with the passing of Kevin Greene," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement on Twitter. "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 XXX," Rooney continued. "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," he added. "They will always ben members of the Steelers family and in our thoughts and prayers."
Greene began his pro football career as a fifth-round draft pick — 113th pick overall — for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1985 NFL Draft following his college football career at the University of Auburn.
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A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, Greene had the third-most sacks (160 total) in NFL history.
"I loved getting a sack," Greene once said, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website. "My teammates depended on me to do that. I contributed. I didn't want to let my teammates down … (It) was just me making a contribution and not letting my brothers down."
Greene joined the Steelers as a free agent in 1993 and played in six conference championship games and one Super Bowl (1995) with the team.
"I believed in my heart that I was unblockable, and it was a phenomenal experience," Greene said of his time with the Pittsburgh, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.
Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker said that the organization will fly their flag at half-staff to honor Greene's memory.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Kevin Greene. I regarded him as a personal friend and a true Hall of Famer in every sense," Baker said in a statement. "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. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin’s wife, Tara, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations."
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