Mean Joe Greene not sure he could play under modern NFL rules.
Mean Joe Greene is one of the greatest players in NFL history, but he’s not sure if he could play today.
Not because NFL players are so much bigger and stronger today (Greene, at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, is one of the few players of those days who would fit in today physically), but because he’s not sure he could abide by today’s rules, which protect quarterbacks at the expense of pass rushers.
“I used the head slap that Deacon Jones started, but you can’t do that anymore, and I would go after quarterbacks below the knee, and you can’t do that anymore,” Greene told Forbes.
The 72-year-old Greene reminisced about the days when he was allowed to be mean to opposing quarterbacks, and wondered whether he’d fit in these days.
“I also used to just hit quarterbacks in the head, and you definitely can’t do that anymore, because that’s cause for ejection,” Greene said. “So I don’t know. I really don’t know.”
The NFL loves the scoring explosion that has resulted from its rules restricting the hits that defensive players can put on quarterbacks. But it would be a real shame if there’s no longer room in the NFL for a player like Mean Joe Greene.