Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Howard Green goes from yo-yo to hero
An important Super Bowl moment has been lost somewhat amid Aaron Rodgers' performance, Jordy Nelson's numbers, Charles Woodson's injury and even speculation about what Brett Favre was thinking.
In the first quarter, Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Howard Green plowed forth -- and almost through -- Pittsburgh Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu on his way to Ben Roethlisberger.
Green's pressure and hit forced an awful throw. Defensive back Nick Collins intercepted and returned it for a touchdown in a 31-25 Packers victory.
ESPNNewYork.com writer Rich Cimini caught up with Green after the game.
Green spoke about how redemptive the play was in light of the New York Jets releasing him twice this past season.
"One simple word: perseverance," Green said. "I had to deal with some tough things, some ups and downs. The Jets cut me for whatever reason. That's not an issue anymore.
"I appreciate them for giving me the opportunity, but I'm a Packer now and we just won the Super Bowl. That's all I need to say about that."
Green's time with the Jets in 2010 was tumultuous.
The Jets placed nose tackle Kris Jenkins on injured reserve and signed Green on Sept. 15 -- a day after they released running back Danny Woodhead.
Green was inactive for Week 2 and played in Week 3. Then the Jets released him for defensive lineman Trevor Pryce, who the Baltimore Ravens surprisingly cut in a roster-juggling maneuver.
The Jets re-signed Green and reinstated suspended receiver Santonio Holmes on Oct. 4. The Jets waived receivers Patrick Turner and David Clowney, the player the Jets needed to cut Woodhead to make room for.
Green played in Week 5, was inactive for Week 6 and was waived after the Jets' bye. He was so bewildered, he chose to drive home to Mississippi from New Jersey. Before he got home, the Packers claimed him.
He soon was on his way back to New Jersey because the Packers' next opponent was the Jets at the Meadowlands.