Former New York Jets LB coach Kevin Greene passes away at 58

Born in Schenectady, Greene spent two seasons with the New York Jets as the linebackers coach on Todd Bowles staff.

Former NFL linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Kevin Greene passed away on Monday at the age of 58. Greene’s family confirmed his passing but the cause of death was not disclosed.

Born in Schenectady, Greene spent 15 NFL seasons as a linebacker. He then served as an outside linebackers coach for seven seasons, including two campaigns (2017-18) with the New York Jets.

“Our thoughts are with the family of NFL legend Kevin Greene,” the Jets said in a statement regarding Green’s passing. “A former Jets coach, Kevin made a positive impact on everyone he met. He’ll be missed.”

Greene began his career as a fifth-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1985 after walking on at Auburn. He also partook in military training in college and chosen in both the NFL and USFL drafts. Greene would go on to become one of the most dominant defensive forces in the 1980s and 1990s, earning at least 10 sacks in 10 of his 15 professional seasons, leading the league in the category twice (1994, 1996). Green ended his career in third place on the all-time sacks list (160) and remains in that spot behind only Bruce Smith and Reggie White.

In addition to the Rams, Greene also spent time with the Steelers, Panthers, and 49ers. He was later named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s, a decade that saw him in the Defensive Player of the Year Award with Carolina in 1996.

In addition to his football career, Greene also had a stint on the World Championship Wrestling circuit, briefly working in a tag team tandem with fellow NFL alum Steve McMichael. Green would later return to the NFL in 2009, a decade after his retirement, to serve as the outside linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers, helping the team win Super Bowl XLV in 2011.

“He’s the kind of coach I’ve always loved to have,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said of Greene during 2017 OTAs in video from the Jets. “He’s just intense all the time. Gets after it. He feeds off of us; we feed off of him. He’s just old-school. He went to Auburn, so I’ve got the SEC love with him. Talk trash with him all the time. He’s just a great coach, and watching him, trying to replicate his technique is all what I’m trying to do in OTAs. Just learning how he wants things done and doing it his way.”

Greene is survived by his wife Tara and children Gavin and Gabrielle.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

10 former New York Jets up for HOF nomination

Released earlier this week, the Modern Era ballot for Canton’s 2021 Hall of Fame class featured ten former New York Jets.

Earlier this week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame unveiled 130 names from the modern era (since 1970) that could potentially represent the Class of 2021. Notable first-time nominees include Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, and Charles Woodson.

Ten players of the group have connections, at some point or another, to the New York Jets. ESM tracks those aspirants below…

DE/LB John Abraham (2000-05)

Chosen 13th overall in the 2000 draft, Abraham’s name continues to be a constant prescience in the Jets’ history books. He compiled 53.5 sacks over six seasons with the Jets, good for third in team history. A franchise-best four alone (tied with Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau) came in a 2001 win in New Orleans. Abraham, who also represented Atlanta and Arizona, currently sits in 13th place on the NFL’s all-time sack list (133.5).

WR/KR Josh Cribbs (2013)

Best known for his special teams exploits in Cleveland, Cribbs partook in six games with the Jets during the 2013 season, earning 647 total yards.

G Alan Faneca (2008-09) 

Faneca will forever be better known as a Pittsburgh Steeler, but just because he looked out-of-place in a Jets uniform doesn’t mean he didn’t rise to the occasion. Jets rushers scored 41 touchdowns during his two seasons on the line, the latter of which ended in the AFC title game. Faneca was also invited to the Pro Bowl in each green campaign.

T D’Brickashaw Ferguson (2006-15) 

Jets fans were angsty over the arrival of Ferguson, an NYC native, Freeport High School alum and the fourth overall pick of the 2006 draft. He quickly made them forget all about the ensuing quarterback selections (Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler) by showing up for literally every game, starting every possible contest of his NFL career (160), missing only a single snap in that span.

CB James Hasty (1988-94)

A third-round arrival, Hasty earned 24 interceptions in green, tied for the fourth-best in Jets history. Upon transferring to Kansas City, Hasty went to two Pro Bowls (1997, 1999) and led the league in interceptions (7) during the latter all-star campaign.

K Nick Lowery (1994-96)

Lowery spent the final three seasons of an 18-year NFL career with the Jets. His most famous kick with the Jets was perhaps a 39-yard overtime boot that gave the Jets a win over Denver in September 1995.

WR Derrick Mason (2011)

The final year of Mason’s NFL career featured a brief, uncomfortable stint with the Jets, where he earned 13 receptions over five games that featured clashes with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

S Tim McDonald (2013-14)

McDonald, who partook in San Francisco’s victory in Super Bowl XXIX, never represented the Jets on the field but spent two seasons as the team’s defensive backs coach.

FB Lorenzo Neal (1997)

An accomplished fullback, Neal played a single full season with the Jets after leaving his original employers in New Orelans after four seasons. He helped Adrian Murrell run for 1,086 yards and his one receiving touchdown was a game-winner, coming in the fourth quarter in an October triumph over New England.

P Matt Turk (2002)

The Jets were one of five teams that hosted Turk during his 13-year NFL career. He averaged 41 yards per kick in his lone campaign and notably earned a first down on a 14-yard rush in a September loss to the Patriots.

For the full list of nominees, click here

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Several Giants on PFHOF 2021 Nominees List

New york Giants, Justin Tuck, Michael Strahan

The Pro Football Hall of Fame released the list of modern-era nominees for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 on Wednesday. There are several former New York Giants on the list of 130 names of which 14 are in their first year of eligibility.

According to the PFHOF website, “The roster of nominees consists of 65 offensive players, 49 defensive players and 16 special teams players. The list of Modern-Era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 finalists in January.”

Ex-Giants appearing on the list are one first-timer (defensive end Justin Tuck) and eight players who have appeared on the list in prior years: running back Tiki Barber, tight end Jeremy Shockey, offensive tackle Lomas Brown, guard Chris Snee, running back Herschel Walker, punters Jeff Feagles, Sean Landeta and running back/returner Brian Mitchell.

The field will be a tough one, no doubt. Several players are locks to be voted in on their first try such as Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson and Charles Woodson. Others who fell short in years past and could get the nod this year are Tony Boselli, Torry Holt, Ronde Barber, Reggie Wayne and Alan Faneca.

Tuck was a two-time Super Bowl champion and captain with the Giants but was only named All-Pro once and a Pro Bowler twice. Shockey began his career with a bang but fizzled out over time. Barber is probably one year short statistically to make the cut. Had he played in 2007 and won the Super Bowl with the Giants, he’d already be in.

New York Giants: Debunking the Eli Manning shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame debate

New York Giants, Eli Manning

Eli Manning has announced his retirement from the NFL, and the New York Giants‘ great will be immortalized in Canton.  The news of his retirement has once again sparked the debate on whether or not Eli deserves a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Many believe that if Eli Manning gets into the Hall of Fame, then almost anyone can get in.  So should Eli be inducted in Canton?  In my opinion, “yes” is the only answer.

Why Eli Manning is an unquestionable Hall of Famer

The discussions on Eli Manning’s Hall of Fame future have ramped up again, and with great reason.  Here you are with an NFL quarterback that does not have the flashiest statistics, a not so pretty resume over the last eight seasons, and let us not forget the “Manning Face” craze.

However, what does it mean to be a Hall of Famer?  By definition, the Hall of Fame is an institution honoring the achievements of individuals in a particular activity or field.  So, when it comes to pro football’s version, what achievements do we honor individuals for?

Dan Marino, Warren Moon, Jim Kelly, and Frank Tarkenton are four quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame that never won a Super Bowl.  For Jim Kelly, he made it to the championship game four times, which is an achievement in itself.  Dan Marino, Warren Moon, and Frank Tarkenton all had achievements statistically and with awards.  Their passing statistics came during eras when the passing game took a backseat to the run game.  Some of Moon’s best seasons came in the early ’90s.  Two seasons, in particular, 1990 and 1991, saw Moon throw for nearly 4,700 yards each year.  The next closest in those seasons didn’t even break 4,000.

Eli Manning, in an era where the NFL became a passing league, had seven seasons over 4,000 yards, including the 2011 season, where he threw for more than 4,900 yards.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t the leader in passing yards that year.  Of course, it’s a passing league, so being able to meet these yardage numbers is more manageable, right?

There is no taking away from Warren Moon’s ability. He is an absolute Hall of Famer, and there is no debating otherwise.  However, where would his numbers compare in a pass-heavy league?  Would he be caught up in the numbers with other great statistical seasons?  Of course, nobody knows the answer to this, and there is no way to find out.  We know Warren Moon was a great quarterback.  A Hall of Fame quarterback, without the championships, the All-Pro’s, the Super Bowl MVPs.

This same argument could be made for Frank Tarkenton.  Only two seasons over 3,000 yards passing in a run-heavy league.  He has no Super Bowl victories, but he does have the MVP season.

So why are we knocking a guy who has the rings and the Super Bowl MVPs?  No, Eli Manning’s career stats aren’t great.  At least not in comparison to those he shares Sunday’s with.  One of those counterparts being labeled the greatest of all time.  We’re going to knock a guy’s statistics because they don’t stand out significantly from some of the most exceptional passers the game has ever seen?  In a league that is all about throwing the ball around?

Andy Dalton, Josh Freeman, Ryan Tannehill, and Jay Cutler, among others, have all had “good” seasons when looking at passing stats.  If the Hall of Fame were strictly about stats, it would be that “anyone can get in” enshrinement that those who are so outspoken against Eli being in, claim that it would be with him inducted.

It is without question that the Super Bowl victories, Super Bowl MVP’s and the longevity of his career are what will get Eli Manning a Hall of Fame induction.  Why should it be anything more than that?

There have been 12 quarterbacks in NFL history that have won the Super Bowl more than once.  Eli Manning is one.

There have been only five players in NFL history that have more than one Super Bowl MVP award.  Eli Manning is one.

There are only four quarterbacks in NFL history that have started more than 200 consecutive games.  Eli Manning is one.

There is only one quarterback in NFL history to have beaten the greatest quarterback and greatest dynasty in league history twice.

These are Eli Manning’s achievements.  This is why the New York Giants great deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Former Giants GM George Young Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

It’s been a long time coming, but former New York Giants general manager and franchise saver George Young will finally be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Young, who left the Giants in 1998 and passed away in 2001 at age 71, was the driving force behind the Giants’ renaissance of the 1980s after being ‘appointed’ the Giants’ GM by then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in 1979 in an effort to solve a long standing feud between owners Wellington Mara and his nephew, Tim.

Young built a winner after taking over a franchise that had just two winning seasons and now playoffs in the prior 15 years. He turned the Giants into two-time Super Bowl champions by hiring coaches such as Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin and bringing in top players like Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, Michael Strahan, Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer, Carl Banks, Bart Oates, Mark Bavaro, Joe Morris, Rodney Hampton, O.J. Anderson, Carl Banks, Jeff Hostetler and many others.

From the Giants: Young served as the Giants’ general manager from 1979-97 and a five-time NFL Executive of the Year, was announced today as a member of the Hall’s Class of 2020, a uniquely large 20-member group selected in conjunction with the league’s centennial. He was one of three contributors chosen from a list of 10 finalists by a special panel comprised of members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Hall of Famers, coaches, football executives and several leading football historians.

“George is certainly very deserving of being in the Hall of Fame,” said Giants CEO John Mara. “My only regret is that he’s not around to enjoy this. He took our organization from being in last place and not having a lot of respect around the league to being a Super Bowl Champion. He made every football department in our organization more professional. He changed the reputation and level of respect that our team had for the better. He improved us in so many different ways. He certainly is a very deserving Hall of Famer. Again, I only wish he could be around to enjoy this moment. It’s long overdue. All of us here are very happy that at long last he will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.”

“George Young transformed our organization,” said Giants chairman Steve Tisch. “My father (the late Bob Tisch, who purchased Tim Mara’s 50 percent ownership in 1991) always appreciated George’s leadership and vision, and George was vital to our family as we transitioned from our traditional business interests into the National Football League. For that, we are grateful, and his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is most deserving and a long time coming.”

Young was not always an easy person to get along with but he was fair and now the football world is retuning the favor. He is where he belongs.

George Young Could Finally Get His Just Desserts With Hall of Fame Nod

New York Giants Podcast.

This could be George Young’s last and best chance to land his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The former New York Giants general manager is currently a finalist for the Hall of Fame’s special Centennial Class of 2020.

Young, who was ‘appointed’ the Giants’ GM back in 1979 as a compromise candidate by then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, is one of 10 contributors in nomination for the Hall. Contributors are classified individuals other than a player or coach.

The selection committee is comprised of members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Hall of Famers, coaches, football executives and several leading football historians. 

Only three of the finalists will be elected to the Hall of Fame as part of the special expanded Class of 2020.

Young served as Giants general manager from 1979-97, taking the franchise out of the “Wilderness Years” brought on by a long-standing feud between the Maras and making them a model for the rest of the league to emulate. 

During Young’s tenure, the Giants would become a league power under the guidance of head coach Bill Parcells and his defensive coordinator, Bill Belichick winning two Super Bowls and setting the franchise up for longterm success. 

Young drafted some the of greatest players in Giants’ history: Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, Michael Strahan, Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer, Mark Bavaro, Jesse Armstead, Rodney Hampton and Carl Banks just to name a few. 

He made key trades, acquiring players such as Ottis Anderson and Rob Carpenter and adroitly found players on the free agent market, most notably after the dissolution of the USFL, adding Bart Oates and Sean Landeta.

Young was a scholar of the game and a gentleman as well. He brought the Giants back to prominence and then left them in the very capable hands of  his friend, Ernie Accorsi, moving on to become the NFL’s czar of football operations. He sadly passed away in 2001at the age of 71.

Accorsi was asked recently how he thought Young would handle being a finalist for the Hall of Fame. 

“I think about George every day,” Accorsi said. “I remember one time he said to me, ‘Only players should be in the Hall of Fame.’ He wouldn’t have made a big deal about it and he wouldn’t have admitted it, but it would have meant the world to him…I’m just sorry he isn’t here to enjoy it. But, hopefully, he can look down and see it. He’s certainly deserving of enshrinement, that’s for sure.”

He’s got our vote.