When you think of the Pittsburgh Steelers defenses of the last twenty years, one of the first players you think of is Greg Lloyd. After the original Steel Curtain defenses of the 1970s, there was a time Pittsburgh’s defense just didn’t scare anyone. Think back to the abysmal defenses from the mid 80s going into the early 90s. Aside from Mike Merriweather few of their defenders played with any distinction.
The one player that brought back the intimidation factor that had been a hallmark of Steeler defenses was Greg Lloyd. From his demeanor down to his disdain for the opposition. He flourished with the coming of Bill Cowher in 1992 and when Kevin Greene was signed a year later, Pittsburgh became Blitzburgh. They were the impetus for a ferocious defense and as for the embodiment of Steeler defensive football:
Unfortunately 1995 was the last year we saw Lloyd at full strength as a knee injury robbed him of his 1996 season and much of his explosiveness. However from 1991-1995 there wasn’t a more active linebacker as he averaged 97.5 tackles, 7.4 sacks, & 5.4 forced fumbles per season. Didn’t we give high consideration for TBT Defensive Player of the year to Navorro Bowman for his 6 forced fumbles??
Lloyd had played 8 seasons before that knee injury. He made the Pro Bowl 5 straight years and garnered All Pro distinction in the last three of those five. He played on through 1998 completing an 11 year career with the final played with the Carolina Panthers. It might be time to discuss his Hall of Fame candidacy. If you think about it… you can’t discuss NFL defensive excellence in the 1990’s without Lloyd’s inclusion.
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