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Saturday, February 1, 2014
Kevin Greene denied Hall entrance again

By David Newton

In a league that shines the spotlight on individual achievements, former Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Kevin Greene was shunned for his -- once again.

Greene on Saturday failed for the third straight year to make the cut from the final 15 to selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A veteran of 15 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Panthers, the five-time Pro Bowler remains the only player among the top four in the NFL in sacks not in the league's shrine.

No. 1 Bruce Smith (200 sacks), No. 2 Reggie White (198) and No. 4 Chris Doleman (150.5) already are in.

Greene had 160, 41.5 with Carolina (1996, 1998-1999) where he ended his career in 1999.

Some argue Greene was a one-trick pony, that he collected his sacks playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Some argue he wasn't a great all-around defensive player.

That is sort of like saying Dominique Wilkins was a great dunker, but he shouldn't be in the basketball hall of fame because he wasn't great on defense.

Or that Denver quarterback Peyton Manning throws a lot of touchdown passes and wins a lot of games, but he's not much of a runner.

Green played in six conference championship games and one Super Bowl. He helped Green Bay win a Super Bowl as an outside linebackers coach, a position from which he recently resigned to spend more time with his family.

Teams he's been around have been better because of the pressure he put on some of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game.

"I guess it wouldn't be such a letdown if I knew my stats and my production didn't match up to those that are going in or have gone in," Greene told me this week as he tempered his hopes of making the Hall.

"The Hall of Fame voters, if they would look at my entire body of work, how I played, maybe they'll see fit to put me in. ... commitment, passion, study habits, workout habits ... everything I did I think I did it the right way."

Greene will make it one day. In a league where individual accomplishments are glorified, it only makes sense.