Greene and Pace are the 16th and 17th Hall of Famers who spent a significant portion of their careers with the Rams. Greene was elected in his fifth year as a finalist, while Pace was a two-time finalist.
“Kevin’s success is a true testament to the commitment and vigor with which he approached the game each day,” Rams Owner E. Stanley Kroenke said of Greene. “After serving primarily as a special teams player early in his career, Kevin developed into one of the best pass rushers in NFL history. His passion, production and longevity are matched by few that have ever played the game. The Rams’ organization has a long history of great pass rushers, and we applaud Kevin as he takes his rightful place beside them in Canton.”
Pace is the third offensive lineman in Rams history to be enshrined in Canton, joining Tom Mack and Jackie Slater. He was selected following a career in which he was named to seven Pro Bowls. He was a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection and was named Second-Team All-Decade for 2000s by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Orlando was a cornerstone on one of the greatest offenses in NFL history,” Kroenke said. “He did the dirty work on those high-scoring attacks, and he did his job as well as anyone in his era. ‘The Greatest Show On Turf’ simply couldn’t have functioned the way it did without a lockdown left tackle. Orlando was the perfect fit for a truly unique offense that changed our game. We’re grateful for his contributions and we’re thrilled to join him in this celebration.”
Greene spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Rams (1985-92). He ranks third on the NFL’s all-time sack list with 160, which are the most ever by a linebacker. Greene was named First-Team All-Decade for 1990s at linebacker and was a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro.
“I'm so proud to have played with Kevin Greene,” Rams Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson said. “This is a well-deserved honor for him. Welcome to the Hall of Fame, my friend and teammate.”
In 15 NFL seasons, Greene led the NFL in sacks twice and finished in the top 10 eight times with five top five finishes. He reached double digits in sacks 10 times, third most in NFL history, and led his team in sacks 11 times.
Greene posted two or more sacks in 40 career games, which ranked second in NFL history at the time of his retirement (Reggie White, 49). He posted 97.5 sacks after the age of 30, second most ever by a player in his 30s, trailing only Bruce Smith (108) and ahead of White (90). The Auburn alum played in six conference championships and one Super Bowl during his career with the Rams, Steelers, Panthers and 49ers.
He posted 46 sacks from 1988-90, most in NFL in that time frame, besting White and Smith (43 each) and Lawrence Taylor (41). His 113.5 sacks in the 1990s are tied with Smith for second most during the decade, trailing only Derrick Thomas (116.5). Greene missed just six games due to injury in 15 NFL seasons and played in 228 games, tied for sixth most in league history by a linebacker.
Pace anchored an offensive line that helped St. Louis finish in the top five in passing offense in eight-consecutive seasons (1999-2006). He was a cornerstone on an aerial attack that saw the Rams lead NFL in yards per game, passing yards per game and points per game for three-straight seasons (1999-2001). The Rams finished in the top 10 in the NFL in total offense seven times during Pace’s career.
“What a great day,” Rams Hall of Famer Jackie Slater said. “Orlando is one of the truly great lineman to ever play in the NFL and I am so proud of him. Boy was he fun to watch.”
The first-overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, Pace blocked for three-straight NFL MVPs (Warner 1999, 2001 & RB Marshall Faulk 2000). He started 165 regular-season games and played in 169 total during 13-year career and started 10 playoff games, including two Super Bowls. He’s one of just four offensive tackles ever selected first overall in the NFL Draft.
This year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will take place on Saturday, Aug. 6.