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Old 07-18-2008, 09:07 AM   #1
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Default Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

Friday, July 18, 2008

Greg Lloyd’s Departure is Now Ten Years in the Past….
Man, how time flies. It hardly seems possible, but it has been ten years since the Steelers cut former All Pro linebacker Greg Lloyd. Pittsburgh yields nothing to the rest of the NFL when it comes to linebacking tradition, and Greg Lloyd distinguished himself as a top member of that elite group.

The Steelers drafted in 1987 Greg Lloyd out of Ft. Valley State in the six round.
Expectations of 6th round picks from Ft. Valley State normally run low, but Lloyd so distinguished himself that ESPN honored him last spring by ranking him 37th on this list of “Top 50 All Time Draft Steals.” Lloyd would have ranked higher on the list, but so many of the things Lloyd brought the field were intangible

If, as Mike Tomlin says, Hines Ward is a football player first and a wide receiver second, then Greg Lloyd was a warrior before he was an outside linebacker second.

Greg Lloyd was about intensity, attitude, fury, and “Just Plain Nasty.”

What most people fail to realize is that Greg Lloyd played his entire careers with one ACL missing in one knee, and another ACL basically stapled together in his other knee. Lloyd overcame these liabilities because he had an undeniable on-the-field presence.

Lloyd was relentless. Lloyd was not blessed with anything near the athletic skills of Rod Woodson, but Greg Lloyd set the tone for the Steelers defense.

When Woodson went down in the first game of the 1995 season, Lloyd animated the concept of stepping it up. In his best season ever, Lloyd made 117 tackles, registered 10 sacks, intercepted three balls, and forced seven fumbles.

Greg Lloyd exploded at the snap and wrought havoc in the offensive backfield. Seldom was 95 outside of the camera view when a tackle was being made. Lloyd was the rare player who altered the course games with the sheer force of his will.

The Steelers were losing 9-3 at half time in the final game of the 1993 season to a mediocre Browns team. They needed to win for a shot at the playoffs. In the locker room Greg Lloyd read his team the riot act, smashing a chair, offering to go out and play offense if that unit continued to be unable to do its part.

Lloyd backed the word with the deed. Two weeks prior he’d torn his hamstring, but readied to play by doing more than the required rehabilitation. He dominated the Browns, leading the team in tackles, had one sack, forced two fumbles, and saved a touchdown by running down a Brown ball carrier from what seemed like ten yards behind.

Unfortunately, in the first game of 1996 it was Lloyd’s turn to go down with a season-ending injury. He recovered and was back on the field for opening day 1997, but was slow to regain his dominating presence. Lloyd opened the second half of the season by registering a sack in games 9, 10, and 11. He opened week 12 against the Eagle like a house of fire, knocking Bobby Hoying’s down as he threw the ball away on an early punt. After that play remember proclaiming to the members of the PSFCOB at the Purple Goose Saloon, “Greg Lloyd is Back!”

Alas, that would be Lloyd’s last play for the Steelers. He seriously injured his ankle on that play, and a brush with Veteran’s Stadium artificial turf resulted in a staph infection that caused him to lose more than 20 pounds.

Hobbled by injury, Lloyd nonetheless reported to mini-camp and drilled with the team. Bill Cowher praised his competitive drive, but the team was forced to cut him shortly before training camp.

That was ten years ago this week. While Joey Porter, James Farrior, Jason Gildon, and most recently James Harrison have certainly carried on the Steelers linebacker legacy, no one has ever matched Greg Lloyd's intensity, explosiveness, or on-the-field presence since then.

http://steelcurtainrising.blogspot.com/
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

I can't comment on any LB'r before 1975, but I rank Greg 5th in our LB's.

His strengths were:

Intimidation
Excellent speed off the edge
Excellent against the run

He never had huge sack numbers, but he always got decent pressure on the QB. To me, Greene was the better pass rusher between he and Lloyd, but Lloyd was the better all-around LB'r.

If he had a weakness, which falls into many of the Steelers OLB's, is that he wasn't that great in covering a TE or back out of the backfield.

I think he was the 2nd best LB'r on the Steelers from the 1994-5 group. Kirkland was the best and the glue of the bunch.

If I were to rank the Steelers Linebacker's since 1975, I would rank the top 5 like this:

1. Ham
2. Lambert
3. Russell
4. Kirkland
5. Lloyd

The rest would be:

6. Porter
7. Gildon
8. Hinkle
9. Merriweather
10. Cole
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

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If he had a weakness, which falls into many of the Steelers OLB's, is that he wasn't that great in covering a TE or back out of the backfield.

I think he was the 2nd best LB'r on the Steelers from the 1994-5 group. Kirkland was the best and the glue of the bunch.
Just had a fond memory of watching Kirkland blanketing Sharpe early in the '97 AFCCG and picking off Elway's first pass of the game. If only we had a QB at the time - we were loaded pretty much everywhere else.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

His son plays DE for Uconn. If he develops maybe we can have him in 2 or 3 years.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

He was definately one of the best. One of my favorite clips is with Cower in his face yelling/spitting, "rush the quarterback!" You can tell he is just stewing inside.

He has a martial arts studio here in Atl. His wallet definately says "Bad MFer".
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

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His son plays DE for Uconn. If he develops maybe we can have him in 2 or 3 years.
That wouldn't be bad if he turns out and plays like his dad did.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

Have Greg Llloyd come to your house to watch the Steelers destroy the Browns on September 14th 2008:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=320274322770
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

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Have Greg Llloyd come to your house to watch the Steelers destroy the Browns on September 14th 2008:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=320274322770
My God in Heaven....That would be so freaking awesome. I loved that man.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

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His son plays DE for Uconn. If he develops maybe we can have him in 2 or 3 years.
Lloyd or Kirkland? Either way I could care less, because it would be awesome!
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Greg Lloyd - A Top 50 All-time Draft Steal

LLoyd. there was a thread a year or so ago that had a picture of his son on the football field. he looked so much like his father it was scary. do a search. i think its in the steelers section.
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