PHILADELPHIA -- The way Bill Davis saw it, Kevin Greene shouldn’t have been free to spend these three days working with the Philadelphia Eagles linebackers.
“He shouldn’t be here, helping us coach,” Davis, the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, said Monday. “He should be getting a gold jacket.”
With 160 sacks in a 15-year NFL career, Greene probably does belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which held its 2014 induction ceremony over the weekend. Instead of being feted in Canton, Ohio, Greene was giving tips on rushing the passer to the Eagles’ outside linebackers. His three-day visit ends Tuesday.
“I called (Davis) a few months ago and inquired about a potential opportunity to come and share a few of the things I learned playing this position,” Greene said after Monday’s practice. “He said, 'KG, hang on, let me talk to Coach (Chip) Kelly. I’m grateful to Coach Kelly and Coach Davis for the opportunity.”
Greene spent five years as the Green Bay Packers linebackers coach, working closely with Pro Bowler Clay Matthews. Greene left the Packers after the 2013 season, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Here, he has the ability to keep his hand in without the full-time commitment required of assistant coaches.
“I’m not going to compare myself to Kevin Greene, because that would be stupid,” Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin said. “But the way he rushed the passer for 15 years with such success, there’s been glimpses that I could do that type (of rush). We have similar body types, similar speed, similar arm length. The way he teaches the pass rush is invaluable to me because I can try to carry it over to my game.”
Barwin said he found Greene’s advice was working for him right away. Rookie linebacker Marcus Smith, the Eagles’ first-round pick this year, said he learned about Greene from his college teammates at Louisville.
“They would talk about him all the time,” Smith said. “I didn’t really look into him until I started playing defense and watching film. Our coaches used to talk about him all the time. It’s just an honor to be out here with him so he can coach me up on the things I might be doing wrong.”
“He brings a big skill set to the table,” Greene said of Smith, “so I’m whispering sweet nothings in his ear every chance I can.”
As for Davis’ point, that Greene should be in the Hall of Fame?
“It is what it is,” Greene said. “At the end of the day, I hang my hat on how I played and the peace I have in my heart.”