Blitzburgh linebacker Kevin Greene at Super Bowl XXX.
By Gene Collier / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SAN FRANCISCO -- Blitzburgh linebacker Kevin Greene, one of the most accomplished and punishing pass rushers in NFL history, was among six players selected Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for its Class of 2016.
Greene, who spent the majority of his 15-year career with the Los Angeles Rams after they drafted him in the fifth round out of Auburn in 1985, played for four teams while piling up 160 quarterback sacks, third most in league history, 351/2 of them for the Steelers in the mid-1990s.
Along with bookend linebacker Greg Lloyd and the Steelers' relentless pressure defense, Greene helped drive Bill Cowher's club all the way to Super XXX, the club's first in 16 years.
Greene was joined in the new Hall of Fame class by Tony Dungy, who played and coached for the Steelers under the late Hall of Famer Chuck Noll, and went on to be head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts.
In 13 years directing those two franchises, Dungy compiled a record of 139-69, won six division titles, one AFC title and Super Bowl XLI, when his Colts behind Peyton Manning beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17.
In his first time as a finalist, former Steelers guard Alan Faneca was not selected, although his appearances in nine Pro Bowls, four conference title games, and a Steelers Super Bowl victory in 2006 make his induction a virtual certainty at some point.
What: Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Class of 2016.
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 6.
Where: Canton, Ohio.
Greene and Dungy joined quarterback Brett Favre, Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison and former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. -- a Youngstown, Ohio, native -- in the class, among a couple of others. DeBartolo's father, the late Edward DeBartolo Sr., once owned the Penguins, the Pittsburgh Maulers of the defunct USFL and the Pittsburgh Spirit soccer team.
Also selected by a 45-person panel at an election meeting that lasted more than nine hours on the eve of Super Bowl 50 were St. Louis Rams tackle Orlando Pace, former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler -- who also played for Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints -- and former Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins guard Dick Stanfel, this year's senior selection.
Favre, the most celebrated of 18 finalists up for consideration, played 16 seasons for the Green Bay Packers and four others for the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons, the team that drafted him in 1991. Over the next 20 years, Favre would set 31 Green Bay passing records, nine NFL passing records and five postseason passing records.
Favre quarterbacked the Packers to four NFC title games and two Super Bowls, beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, and losing to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. In all of NFL history, only Manning, who'll quarterback the Broncos against the Carolina Panthers tonight in Super Bowl 50, has thrown for more yards than Favre.
Gene Collier: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @genecollier.
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