Longtime Los Angeles Rams defensive end standout and Granite City South graduate Kevin Greene were among the eight men elected to to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday along with former St. Louis Rams star left tackle Orlando Pace.
Not making the cut were former Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, former St. Louis Cardinals coach Don Coryell and receiving great Terrell Owens.
Others elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 2016 were former Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre and former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, former Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison, former Colts and Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy, former Detroit and Washington guard Dick Stanfel and longtime San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo.
Players elected needed at least 80 percent of the vote
Pace is a five-time All-Pro player and seven-time Pro Bowl selection. He was the first overall pick in the 1997draft out of Ohio State and the first offensive lineman selected first overall since 1968.
He was the left tackle on the Rams’ lone Super Bowl championship team and blocked for three straight NFL Most Valuable Players. The list includes quarterback Kurt Warner (1999 and 2001) and running back Marshall Faulk (2000).
Being the left tackle on those high-powered “Greatest Show on Turf” teams meant Pace was many times left to fend for himself protecting Warner’s blind side against heat-seeking defensive ends.
He was an integral part of a Super Bowl champion and two NFC championship teams.
Pace helped anchor a Rams ofensive line that threw for 50,770 yards in 12 seasons, the most by any NFL team over that span. He blocked for three years of 4,000-yard passers and seven 1,000-yard rushers.
Greene played college football at Auburn, then spent his first eight seasons with the Los Angeles Rams from 1985 to 1992. He later played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers.
Greene’s 160 career quarterback sacks rank third in NFL history and he played 10 seasons with at least 10 sacks. A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, Greene also was a three-time All-Pro selection and five-time Pro Bowl selection.
Only Bruce Smith (200 sacks) and Reggie White (198) have more sacks than Greene in league history. Greene had double-digit sacks 10 times and in his final 10 seasons there was only one when he didn’t have at least 10 sacks, recording a team-high nine for the 1995 Steelers.
Among his achievements were a career-high 16.5 sacks in 1988 and 1989 and Green also led the league in sacks twice.
Greene helped lead his team to six conference championship games and one Super Bowl.
He came into the NFL as the Rams’ fifth-round draft pick in 1985 and was in the league for 13 seasons.