Since its doors opened in 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has inducted 295 immortals, including 23 Pittsburgh Steelers. The question today is why L.C. Greenwood isn’t one of the inductees?
L.C. Greenwood was the 238th player selected in the 1969 Draft, and within two years became the everyday starting left defensive end. In his first year as a starter, he led the team in sacks with 8.5 (sacks were an unofficial stat until 1982). In his 13-year career, Greenwood compile 73.5 sacks and led the team in this category six times.
Over the span of his career, Greenwood compiled quite the collection of individual accomplishments. He was an All-Pro twice, All-AFC five times and a Pro Bowler six times. He was also elected to the All-Decade team for the 70s and was selected as the starting left end for the Super Bowl’s Silver Anniversary Team.
The great Steelers teams that dominated the NFL in the 70s were mainly known for their ferocious defense. At the heart of their legendary defense was the Steel Curtain defensive line, which was composed of Ernie Holmes, Dwight White, Joe Greene and Greenwood. The Steel Curtain defense was recently elected as the greatest defense of all time by NFL Networks Top 10 show.
During Greenwoods career, the Steelers won four Super Bowls and went to six AFC championship games. It was in the postseason where Greenwood really shined. In 18 postseason games, Greenwood compiled an amazing 12.5 sacks. His postseason numbers compare very well with Hall of Famer Reggie White who had 12 sacks in 19 games. Fellow Hall of Famer and all-time sack leader Bruce Smith has 14.5 sacks in 20 games. That’s not including the three Fran Tarkenton passes he deflected in Super Bowl IX.
Greenwood was six-foot, six-inches, weighed 245 and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds. This rare combination of size and speed would be a great addition to the Hall of Fame Team. Greenwood was voted a finalist for Canton six times so he’s definitely knocked on the door maybe the next time he will finally break it down like he’s done to so many offenses before.