As the Green Bay Packers transition to a 3-4 defense, they'll need active outside linebackers to make Dom Capers' system work.
In Kevin Greene, the Packers will have one of the best to ever play the position to show them how it's done.
Greene reportedly has agreed to be the Packers' outside linebackers coach, with assistant head coach Winston Moss handling the inside linebackers. The Packers are not announcing any coaching hires until the staff has been completed.
Greene — who ranks third in NFL history in sacks — played for Capers with Pittsburgh in 1993 and 1994, when Capers was the Steelers' defensive coordinator, and for Carolina in 1996 and 1998, when Capers was the Panthers' head coach.
Greene has no coaching experience, though he has served as a guest coach for the Steelers during several one-week training camp internships. Whatever he said must have made some impact, considering outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley led all NFL duos in sacks this season for the AFC champions. Woodley and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin credit Greene for helping develop Woodley's powerful bull rush.
"When they first brought Kevin in, they told me he was a guy who was similar to me," Woodley said during training camp.
Those who know him say Greene's coaching style is just like his playing style — 100 mph. Greene still has the long, blond hair that was his trademark during his playing days and his brief foray into professional wrestling.
"We're coming from everywhere," Greene once said of playing in Capers' "Blitzburgh" defense. "We play with 15 guys in the huddle. We have guys parachuting from airplanes, fans coming from out of the stands to help us go after people."
Whether his passion can make up for his lack of experience is a major question mark, and the challenge is heightened by the Packers having no obvious outside linebackers on the roster. Clearly, though, Capers and coach Mike McCarthy are confident that Greene can make the transition.
In 1994 and 1996, Greene led the NFL in sacks and was a first-team All-Pro as a fearsome rusher from his outside linebacker position. Greene, a five-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL's all-1990s team, leads all NFL linebackers with 160 career sacks. He ranked in the top four in sacks five times, including 1996, when his 14.5 sacks helped the second-year Panthers reach the NFC championship game at Green Bay.
Late in 1998, Capers' final season as the Panthers' coach, he suspended Greene for one game for attacking an assistant coach during a game against Washington.
Greene played 15 professional seasons. He reached double-digits in sacks in 10 of his final 12 seasons. Greene was walk-on at Auburn and a fifth-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in 1985.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum.
Sack-ace Greene to coach outside LBs
Packer Report Top Stories
World’s Best Preview: Still Want Him Benched?Davante Adams had one of the worst seasons imaginable last season. The Packers never lost faith. And now we know why. Read more in this free sample of the World's Best Preview.
Packer Report12:48 PM
World’s Best Preview: Blocking the BlitzThe Packers might be beaten by a blitz on Sunday against Houston, but it probably won't be because of a mental error. Here's why. Also, the quarterback matchup shows why Aaron…
Packer ReportYesterday at 5:35 PM
Backfield Production on Historic PaceWith the passing game finding a rhythm, the offense is halfway there. But Packers coach Mike McCarthy is still stuck with a mix at running back operating at futile levels. The…
Packer ReportYesterday at 8:36 AM
Update: Rodgers, Matthews are QuestionableCornerback Damarious Randall was downgraded to questionable on Saturday's updated injury report. Houston ruled out Jadeveon Clowney.
Packer ReportYesterday at 8:16 AM
Podcast: Behind Enemy Lines; Keys to GameThe Cowboys did the Packers a favor on Thursday night. Here's why you must be a Saints fan on Sunday. Plus, we go Behind Enemy Lines to get the scoop on the Texans. And was the…
Packer ReportYesterday at 5:25 AM