In the midst of an afternoon full of football action, a legendary icon in Pittsburgh sports history has passed away at the ripe age of 67.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end L.C. Greenwood died of natural causes at a Pittsburgh hospital today, according to sources of KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland.
Greenwood was drafted by Pittsburgh with the 238th overall pick (10th round) in the 1969 draft, following his college career at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Greenwood, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro, played his entire 13-year career on the Pittsburgh’s defensive line. He was one of the four linemen that made up the iconic “Steel Curtain” that led the Steelers to four Super Bowl championships in the 1970s.
Greenwood is the third of the four members of that defensive line to pass away––Ernie Holmes died at age 59 in January 2008 and Dwight White died at age 58 just five months later. “Mean” Joe Greene, 67, remains the only living member of Pittsburgh’s famous front line following L.C.’s death.
Though sacks were not an official defensive statistic until 1982, Greenwood recorded 73.5 over his career––unofficially, of course. Though he didn’t make the headlines like his teammates and Hall of Famers Greene and middle linebacker Jack Lambert, Greenwood was a huge component to the run-stuffing front line throughout the entirety of the ’70s.
Greenwood is on the outside looking in when it comes to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, despite being a finalist six times (1991, 95, 96, 02, 05, 06). Hopefully one day he’ll be elected into the Hall as a senior candidate. It’s just unfortunate he won’t be there for his induction.