PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) -- Former Pittsburgh Steeler Kevin Greene has died at the age of 58, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Monday.
No cause of death was given.
"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Kevin Greene," said Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker in a statement. "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. 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. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Kevin's memory."
The linebacker spent three years in Pittsburgh during his 15-year career from 1993-95. Greene was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fifth round of the 1985 NFL Draft.
Greene was elected to the Pro Football 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. "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 Blitzburg and went on to play in Super Bowl XXX. 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 our thoughts and prayers."
Known for his long blonde locks, his relentless pursuit of the quarterback and his omnipresent charisma — which helped him in his brief career as a professional wrestler — Greene made the most of his skills.
"I wasn't the biggest (and) I wasn't fastest," Greene once said. "But as long as you have a motor, you have heart ... that will overcome any physical limitations."
Greene regularly used film study to search for an opponent's weakness.
"I figured out how to pass rush," Greene said. "I figured out how to put a guy, an offensive tackle three to four inches taller, 80 pounds heavier, put him in a position of failure, and I did that."
A two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Greene finished his career with 160 sacks, which ranks third in league history behind only Bruce Smith (200) and Reggie White (198). He also had 23 forced fumbles and five interceptions.
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