To be given the nickname ‘Mean’ Joe Greene, one would assume when it comes to intimidation, you got it on lock. But as it turns out, there was another player who intimidated even him. He spoke with Pro Football Talk on Friday and told a great story about the one man who really intimidated him.
“Probably my biggest example of being intimidated was a ball game that we played in 1972, we played the Oakland Raiders and Bob Brown was the right offensive tackle and I was the left defensive tackle — I played one player removed from him. L.C. Greenwood lined up opposite Bob Brown.
“As the course of the game went on I kept hearing moans and groans over there. I said ‘LC, what’s happening? He said ‘Oh man the guy is killing me.’ I said, ‘Let me have him. You move down to tackle, let me go over there and line up in front of him.’ And when I lined up in front of Bob, and I looked at his face, he’s a couple shades darker than me and in that helmet all I could see was his eyes and I said ‘Oh my goodness, this isn’t good at all.’ Just the look in that helmet was intimidating I was very fearful.
“When the ball was snapped, all I remember was getting up and looking through the ear hole of my helmet, and one shoe was off, and the play was gone. I told LC ‘you got him back. Let me have my position.’ So that was fun times.”
You can hear the audio of the interview here. It’s at the 8:50 mark of the interview.
The Raiders played the Steelers twice that year — their first and their last. Once in the season opener and once in the playoffs. The Steelers won both meetings. Though they would lose the following week to the Dolphins who were on their way to the NFL’s only ever perfect season (17-0).
Bob Brown spent the final three seasons of his ten year NFL career in Oakland from 1971-73. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.