When Coach Vince Lombardi needed someone to demonstrate blocking on his own video teaching series he chose Forrest Gregg. It was Gregg’s inner fire, tenacity and dedication that made him the person Lombardi once called the best player he’d ever coached.
The Packers second round draft choice in 1956, Gregg missed the next season in the military, then returned to play 187 consecutive games from 1958-’70.
In addition to his durability, Gregg was also versatile. In 1964, he played left guard when starter Fuzzy Thurston was injured. In 1965, he filled in for Jerry Kramer at right guard for the opening game. Gregg was named All Pro at guard in one poll and at tackle in another that year.
At 6’4”, 250-pounds, Gregg had the ideal size and quickness for both positions. He dominated matchups against the legendary pass rushers of the 1960s, including Gino Marchetti, Deacon Jones and Carl Eller.
For eight straight seasons, from 1960 through ‘67, Gregg was named an All Pro. He played in eight Pro Bowl games. He played in seven NFL championship games including six with the Packers. He was a starter on the Packers’ Super Bowl winning teams and later played with the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.
Gregg temporarily retired in 1963 to become an assistant at the University of Tennessee. Later, he served as Packer player/assistant coach in 1969 and ‘70. He was head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1975-’77, the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League in 1979 and the Cincinnati Bengals from 1980-’83.
Gregg’s record as Packer head coach from 1984-’87 was 25-37-1. After leaving the Packers, Gregg was instrumental in rebuilding the Southern Methodist University football team, his alma mater. In 1994, he coached the expansion Shreveport (La.) Pirates of the Canadian Football League.
In 1994, Gregg was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Gregg was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
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