Once again I'm forced to watch the major sports networks employ recently retired players that (despite applauding themselves) pick these absurd list of the top defenders's in the modern age. Our old friend Ray Lewis makes sure he's near the top, and of course Mr. Steeler hater himself Warren Sapp never passes on an opportunity to let us know how HE changed the face of how current defenses are run.
Once again time has clouded the judgement of the so called " experts " who seem to also factor in league wide popularity as a prerequisite for recognition. My all-time Steeler player wasn't well liked, He was even feared by the coaching staff, he never did promotional commercials that made him look silly, Joe Namath might of thought wearing pantyhose was funny but Greg Lloyd lacked vital ingredient that's necessary to reach superstardom......a sense of humor.
As a 6th round pick from small school Fort Valley State, and being 6-2 and generously weighing in at about 225 to 230 pounds Lloyd always approached practice as if it were was it war and every single game like it was Armageddon. His own teammates pushed themselves harder, not so much out of their love of football but the last thing anybody on the team wanted to do was piss Greg Lloyd off. When he wore his patented " 60 minute Men " to practice, it wasn't for show.
So what made Greg Lloyd so feared? Just ask the offensive players that faced him during his prime. Besides owning numerous black belts and possessing almost superhuman strength, Lloyd loved to hurt people. He never shied away from that comment and if you doubt his sincerity just ask former Eagles RB Ricky Waters or young Steve Young, they still talk about #95.
From a purely football standpoint he was the ultimate Steeler OLB. He was fast, could diagnose a play in a millisecond, could cover TE, and had the strength to make LT look like rag dolls. Lloyd was so strong that I'll never forget what my Uncle said when he saw lloyd with his shirt off "You could throw dagger's at that guys chest and they still would bounce off."
If you can still stomach it (I Can't) you'll see in the Super Bowl against Dallas how by the 3rd and 4th quarters Lloyd was manhandling a player that was considered to be the best LT in football. Often outweighed by close to a hundred pounds, his mental and spiritual training allowed Greg to play in a different zone then us mere mortals.
Lloyd was a freak of nature who's absence from the discussion of the greatest LB ever shows mw 2 things 1. The current "experts" today have no idea or reverence for the NFL 2. The Steeler Bias (or jealously) from the media. Maybe he doesn't have the Ray Lewis Tacking stats but if you watched a raven game you'll see he often jumped on a pile to get credit for the tackle. The best ever? Tell me: if he was so feared why did Porter attempt to fight off a bus full of Ravens just to Kick the crap out of Ray Lewis? Do you think anybody would of tried to chase Lloyd down? I don't think so.
Greg Lloyd was the greatest LB during his playing days, nobody was more feared, disliked, or less popular. However, Lloyd had something that in the NFL that Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp still cry about....and that's respect. Our whole defense took it's identity from Lloyd and on game day you never heard Lloyd talk about playing together, or have fun Blah, Blah, Blah. Lloyds speeches were simple: " Somebody's going to die today, and it isn't going to be me "
Will the 6th rounder from Fort Valley State someday get the recognition his fearsome play deserves? I don't think so, To many of the current NFL T.V personalities are either Jealous or ant-Steeler. But let me add one more thing: before 1998 Greg Lloyd was the most feared and talented LB in football. He was a one man wreaking crew that made his teammates follow his example. The NFL HOF was created for players like Greg Lloyd. On a personal note: Greg I never forgot the 60 minute shirt you always wore and in many ways you were the biggest influence in my life.