Pittsburgh Steelers: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport /
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Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers
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player. 55. . DT. (1969-81). 'Mean' Joe Greene. 1

Was there any doubt that “Mean” Joe Greene wasn’t going to headline this list? The greatest defensive tackle to ever play happened to wear black and gold and has always been remembered as the best Steeler to put a hand in the grass.

The Steel Curtain had superstars everywhere, but the top of the list always remained Greene. A steel force on the inside, there was no escaping once you were in the hold of No. 79. Trying to block him? Not going to happen. Moving Greene off the line was like trying to push a mountain.

The man brought talent to a football field the world had never seen before. There have been plenty of unforgettable defenders to come through the NFL since, but there is no question Greene started it all.

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He wasn’t just the foundation of defensive football, though. Greene was actually a monster on the field. A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and 10-time Pro Bowler, no running back or quarterback could escape the wrath of Mean Joe. Making him the clear choice as the greatest Steeler of all-time.