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Forrest Gregg passes away at age 85

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Forrest Gregg passes away at age 85

Once described as "the finest player I ever coached" by Vince Lombardi, former Packers offensive lineman and head coach Forrest Gregg has passed away at age 85.

When Gregg retired from football in 1971, he was one of only three men to have won six titles as a player. He would go on to coach the Browns, then the Bengals, where his team made a Super Bowl appearance and then a less sucessful stint with the Packers.

Despite his disappointing coaching tenure in Green Bay, there's no denying his greatness both as a Packer and an ambassador for the game of football. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (33) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Since '61's picture

Very sorry to hear this news. Gregg was a great player and I enjoyed watching him play. IIRC he was flagged for just one penalty during his career with the Packers.

Give me a player like him and the others on Lombardi's OL, with Rodgers mobility, and we would never need to worry about Rodgers being hit again.

Thanks for all the great plays Forrest and RIP.
THanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

I have been thinking the same thing over the past few months when we have discussed the OL prospects out there. If we only could find a player with some of Forest's qualities. Definition of a hard nosed OL.

RIP

Since '61's picture

Forrest (Trees) was a Fundamentally sound player. Watch his footwork and watch him come off the ball. To this day I have yet to see another offensive line come off the ball as one unit the way Lombardi’s OL did.

The first thing I watch on every play once the ball is snapped is the footwork of the OL. That’s where the success of a play is often determined. Gregg was the best of the best. Thanks, Since ‘61

zeke's picture

Always thought they should have retired his number.

Montana's picture

Great talent and gritty just like all of Lombardi's players. RIP Forrest.....

dobber's picture

This somewhat puts an exclamation point on how far in the past the Lombardi era really is. Good memories (for those of us who can block out the Gregg-coached 80s Packers).

Tim Backes's picture

One of the greatest football players, not just linemen, to ever lace them up. RIP Forrest.

Handsback's picture

Seemed like at every player introduction for the game, the announcer would say " All-Pro offensive tackle Forrest Gregg from SMU". He was a great player!

Dragon5's picture

That's freaky...I was just thinking about him the other day. My first piece of Packer's memorabilia was a signed picture of him (as coach) that my Grandpa obtained for me in '86.

4thand1's picture

The 60's packers were so good, hard to believe they could ever lose a game. FG should have an award named after him. RIP best o-lineman ever.

blacke00's picture

Great player...Horrible coach

blondy45's picture

RIP Forrest Gregg. This brings back memories of me watching him in the late 50's (1959) on my parents old Sylvania TV. That time era is when I became a packer's fan for life. A truly great man.

cuervo's picture

Yeah...so horrible he coached a team to the super bowl.

Old School's picture

Great player, and pretty successful coach, just not with the Packers. In Cincinnati, he won about 56% and got the team to the Super Bowl in 1981.

11 year coaching record: Won 75, lost 85, tied one. Not horrible by any stretch.

Another one of the heroes of my youth has crossed beyond. One day it'll be Bart.

jannes bjornson's picture

He was splendid!. Packer management tied his hands. We know the story. RIP Forrest.

sam1's picture

Remember well those teams being in my 20s and early 30s and watching those teams. There were so many GREAT players on those teams always hard to watch just one guy, but when you did watch Mr Gregg you saw perfection! What a joy to watch back then. RIP, you gave us old timers some great memories!

4thand1's picture

Holy shit sam, you must be in your 80's.

sam1's picture

Holy shit 4th, no in my 70's and doing just great and home Monday from Florida and gee drove both ways all by myself! Graduated college in 1967.

sam1's picture

If that is you in the picture on the left you look older than me!

4thand1's picture

lol, sittin at a bar in Dallas at the SB.

Ferrari Driveer's picture

I always admired the passion which which he undertook both playing football and coaching the game.

Swisch's picture

These Lombardi Packers were warriors; and God bless all of them, living and deceased.
It's good to cherish each and every one of these guys, and to have them back to Green Bay at least once a season.
It's of more than a little interest to me that it seems so many of them have lived into their 80s, and apparently without serious mental complications from football.
If this is indeed the case, what was it about football in the 1960s that seems to be less devastating for the players with regard to brain trauma?
We love football, and want it to continue to thrive; and yet we care about the players from high school to the pros, and don't want them severely impaired.
Therefore, I'd like for the health of players to be studied across different decades.
Perhaps it is, but I'm not aware of the findings.

IceBowl's picture

I never heard stronger praise for a player from Lombardi.

Says a lot.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

He seemed like he adopted a lot of Lombardi's no nonsense coaching philosophy during his time as GBP head coach. That style of coaching did not work for Greg and would not work now in today's NFL. Did however create some interesting entertainment and drama from time to time.

IceBowl's picture

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou,

Lombardi's "no nonsense" style was supplemented with a psychological manipulation that worked hand it hand to it's goal.

I wasn't in the country for much of Greggs' tenure, so I didn't/haven't heard if he had both qualities. Seems like he did not.

Glad he was a Packer.

nostradanus's picture

One of the great Packers of the Lombardi era

R.I.P.

A Pickled Packer's picture

I don't remember Forrest Greg playing much, but I do remember his snarl, he had one of the meanest in all of football, it probably helped him make a block or two... a look that said get out the way dude or your gettin' rolled... RIP

Lare's picture

RIP Forrest. I remember watching him as a player and a coach.

The Packers of the late 50's and 60's were a joy to watch, the 70's and 80's not so much. Lombardi was an impossible act to follow as the NFL evolved from smash-mouthed to more sophisticated & technology driven.

Bure9620's picture

RIP Forrest Gregg, very sad to hear, terrific Packer.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

RIP Mr. Gregg. It was an honor to watch you play.

Donster's picture

Another one of my football heroes that I watched when I was a kid. One of the best offensive linemen to ever play the game. Rest in Peace Mr. Gregg.

Big Moe's picture

RIP, and condolances to your family.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

RIP

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