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Howard Green’s Contribution to Super Win

Posted by Randy Lange on February 7, 2011 – 12:53 pm

Howard Green was gracious in victory.

“For the most part, I don’t have anything bad to say about New York,” said the big Green Bay DT that Rex Ryan always calls “Big How’rd.” “I appreciate everything they did for me. This here right now takes care of all that. It’s awesome. This is the biggest stage in the world. I’m just enjoying it and letting it all soak in.”

“This here” was the Packers’ Super Bowl-winning locker room, which as the minutes passed following their 31-25 victory over the Steelers at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday night, took on the feel of a bus terminal at rush hour filling with nitrous oxide. Packers players, coaches and personnel joked and laughed and slapped each other on the back all around the room. Even the reporters milling around wore smiles as their subjects spoke giddily about “returning Lombardi to Lambeau.”

And in the middle of it, after staying out in the stadium in uniform for the longest time to let it soak in, was Green.

Just as he was in the middle of the game’s first big takeaway exchange late in the first quarter.

“I just had to get off on the ball. I had a pass/run read on Kemo,” he said of Pittsburgh LG Chris Kemoeatu, who (perhaps appropriate of nothing) is the kid brother of Ma’ake Kemoeatu, Green’s rookie teammate on the 2002 Ravens. “I had a good bull rush on him, I had my hands in.”

Before Cheeseheads and Terrible Towels knew it, there was No. 95, Big How’rd, crashing into Ben Roethlisberger at the goal line. Big Ben got off a wobbler, intended for WR Mike Wallace but falling well short, into the hands of S Nick Collins at the Pittsburgh 37.

“I’m glad I didn’t get the sack,” Green said. “Nick was faster than I thought he was. By the time I got off the ground, he was already in the end zone. That play was big. That play there put points on the board for our team.”

Collins crashed through black-and-gold-uniformed bodies at the goal line not far from where Green had done the same seconds earlier. Suddenly it was 14-0. No team had ever climbed out of that large a hole in the Super Bowl. And while the Steelers tried their best and trimmed an eventual 18-point deficit to four points and then three, they never got the lead.

It was a twister of a ride for Green to get to Green Bay. As Jets fans remember, he was one of the members of the D-line rotation in Ryan’s first year at the helm. He left as an unrestricted free agent after the season, then returned twice to the Jets in 2010, on Sept. 15 (released Sept. 30) and again Oct. 4 (released Oct. 26).

We heard the stories, that the Jets weren’t happy with Green’s weight gain after his late-September release. Green kind of agreed and didn’t agree with that when he was asked about it during Super Bowl week. But in truth, there are many reasons why players get brought in over the side and tossed back by every team, and we’ll never hear all the reasons from both sides.

As Howard said Sunday night, “I didn’t know what would be my next move” after his final Jets release. “Green Bay gave me a call. It’s a great feeling now. I’m just enjoying it.”

Green has always had the knack for the big play. In his first action back as a Jet this year, Game 3 at Miami, he forced a Ricky Williams fumble and put a fourth-quarter third-down hit on Chad Henne that helped produce an incompletion and keep the Jets in control. In his first game as a Packer, he was in the middle of that fourth-quarter fumbled reverse exchange from LaDainian Tomlinson to Jerricho Cotchery at New Meadowlands.

Then he topped his first season on the Pack with his third straight playoff start and his only stat of the night, the key QB hit on Big Ben.

I asked him what he would tell his former Green & White teammates about the feeling he was enjoying, the one they wanted so badly for themselves and just came up two wins short of savoring as he was in front of me. Green responded with an eye toward not only the Jets but also toward his new line coach, Mike Trgovac, who was the Carolina defensive coordinator when the Panthers yielded 32 points in their Super Bowl XXXVIII loss to the Patriots in early 2004.

“This is an experience of a lifetime. You never forget either end of it, lose or win,” Green said. “Mike Trgovac would always tell us, you don’t want to be on that side of the game, on the losing side. We fixed it for him tonight.”

And shortly after a couple of us helped pull Green’s rack off his body in front of his Cowboys Stadium locker, he got his finger sized for a ring.

More Super Nuggets

As announced Sunday night, when teams have three or more takeaways in a Super Bowl, they are 31-4. Not sure if it was also announced that when teams have a plus-3 or larger takeaway margin in the title game, they are 22-0. … At this morning’s final SB news conferences with Packers coach Mike McCarthy and MVP Aaron Rodgers, commissioner Roger Goodell said that “We have preliminary readings that have come in already that indicate the game will be the most-watched show in the history of television.”

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Posted in Randy Lange | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “Howard Green’s Contribution to Super Win”

  1. By IRA on Feb 7, 2011 | Reply

    What a shame they cut Green. Wonder what type of role he might have played for the Jets this year? They sure could’ve used him vs Pitt 2 weeks ago.
    Randy, 22-0 great stat!

  2. By russ on Feb 7, 2011 | Reply

    Jets are entertaining lets leave it at that…most teams in NY are perennial losers..we have the Yankees and the occasional luck of the Giants to drink champagne..the rest of the teams are for amusement only….could be worse like Chicago………..

  3. By MrJetGreen on Feb 7, 2011 | Reply

    Good for you Big Howard……The Jets will be back next year!

  4. By carl on Feb 7, 2011 | Reply

    Mr. Green enjoy, you deserve it !! God bless!!!

  5. By Danny Mastrodonato on Feb 7, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Randy, do the Jets have a 3rd and 4th round pick and could we use one of them on Jacquizz Rodgers?

  6. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    Pretty pathetic that we can’t put our team colors on our own site but we’ll run a piece about some overweight back-up that we cut who had one play in the Super Bowl. Can’t wait for next year’s feature on Super Bowl MVP Danny Woodhead. I’m starting to think the Jets and their organization lack the killer instinct to get to the top. Which reminds me, Randy, I would be interested in why you’re a Goodell “fan” but honestly, I don’t expect you to be anything but. Given that the NFL controls all the team websites, I doubt you’d have this job for too long if you started telling some of the unpleasant truths about him and his reign of error over the league.

  7. By GaryC on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    Danny you want a back who is 5’7 and about 180 pounds. I do not think it fits rex’s ground and pound.

  8. By Tom Spicer on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    Danny, We have a pick in every round but the 2nd round.

  9. By Mike Jet Vet on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    Why Randy why ? reminding me of moves I could never understand…This one comes to mind, us needing all the D-linemen we could get our hands on but in the eyes of someone, and it wasn’t Schotty Tom64 so holster the verbage ..didn’t believe Green was good enough to keep and start but the super bowl winner did go figure …I just believe in my heart and sole a good pass rusher was the difference in us going home or winning the SB ..Thats the way I see it

  10. By GaryC on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    looking over the free agents,jets should be considering chad greenway of vikings, dawan landry of ravens and charles johnson of carolina, all are jets needs.also the draft, look at Justin Houston of georia, outside linebacker and jets did pretty good with Mo Lewis out of same school.If they cannot sign an end in free agency look at J.J. Watt in draft.

  11. By GaryC on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    jet fan tom, interesting point you make about the jets lack of killer instinct, they could of got more from the chiefs than a fourth rounder for herman edwards and got more from the vikings if favre really wanted to play for them.that is why some teams win and some teams lose, continually.

  12. By Mike Jet Vet on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    Tom64 I’m with you all the way on that one but its said life is a game don’t know how to play you lose, I believe Randy plays it the way he needs to and if it means supporting a family employing guys working at R-Radar then so beit .I have the upmost respect for the working man ..Give the Credit my friend don’t knock it

  13. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t blame Randy for not talking about Goodell, MJV, I’m giving him an excuse for not doing it (even if I’d love to know what he really thinks). As crook Robert Mitchum so famously said to cop Richard Jordan’s request that he give a judge more info on some bank robbers in THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, “The man can’t ask me to commit SUICIDE for him!” GaryC, I liked cutting Chad and letting him make his own deal but I agree, in those other instances we could’ve been more aggressive. Actually, I held my tongue on the other thing Green’s play made me think of, which is that we have to stop with these pick-ups of so-so vets and start believing in the draft more. While Randy’s writing about Green, I’m still thinking about Matthews.

  14. By The Jetfighter on Feb 8, 2011 | Reply

    Congrats to green! The third time will be ours and Rex’s charm after we secure at least TWO pass rushers and get our Big Man Jenkins back. My advice to Jenkins Third down only. Go Jets! Can’t wait ’til August

  15. By wayne on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Jetfighter, you hit a homerun with the idea about Jenkins. If he can make it back, the 3rd down package is perfect place for him….It goes against the norm in the NFL, where your run stuffer plays downs 1 and 2. Jenkins creates so many matchup issues for an OL that he couldnt help but improve the passrush. Playing this way would also go a long way in helping him make it thru a season…….If he can make it back, they have to do something different with him or the result will be the same as the last 2 seasons…..He was breaking down a lot before he got to the Jets, the likelihood that the trend would change now is very slim

  16. By Mike Jet Vet on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    GaryC and Tom64 in my opinion its not so much a lack of killer instinct as you both so eloquently put it, what I believe I is more a lack of product on our team of this instinct you mention … Wow now I know something is amiss .. next years schedule has us playing only 5 teams above 500 ? hope this isn’t a sign from the man upstairs I best get all my affairs in order … to be continued later calling my lawyer

  17. By Danny Mastrodonato on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Tom, thats refreshing to know. Haven’t had picks like that since i can’t remember. Anyone ever think of the possibility of putting a second round draft choice on the head of brad smith? or Edwards? cause i think a 2nd rounder with all the talent that is going to be left is needed.

  18. By christopher reid on Feb 14, 2011 | Reply

    We have to move pass Jenkins he is a great team guy but old and broken down, we need another big young guy in the middle ,that nose in the 3-4 defense takes a pounding you gotta be durable. The first draft or trade should be d-line then develop or draft young fast olb.

  19. By Danny Mastrodonato on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    GaryC, I am aware of his size but if you watch any of his highlights he definitely does not shy away from contact>? Haven’t you seen MJD>?

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