Forrest Gregg, one of Vince Lombardi’s offensive linemen, NFL and college coach died Friday April 12, 2019, in Colorado Springs; he was 85. His NFL career began in 1956, but he was called into the army that year and served the following year as well. Gregg was born in Birthright, Texas and grew up tough and courageous. He played and coached hard.
As a Packer, Gregg was a Pro Bowl selection 9 times and was first team All Pro 7 times. He joined the Dallas Cowboys in his final season and retired as a 15 season veteran. He was part of 5 NFL Championship Teams while a Packer and 1 NFL Championship Team for the Dallas Cowboys. Gregg played tackle and moved to guard when needed. He was 6 foot 4 and 249 pounds. He was a key member of Lombardi’s offensive line, which was a significant focus for the coach and in many ways a key component of his winning system. He played in 188 NFL games in a row.
After his long playing career, Gregg became a head coach of the Cleveland Browns (1975-77), Cincinnati Bengals (1980-83), and Green Bay Packers (1984-87). He would also coach at his college alma mater, SMU (1989-1990). He would also coach in the Canadian Football League where he led the Toronto Argonauts (1979) and the Shreveport Pirates (1994-1995).
Gregg came close to snagging another NFL Championship with the Bengals in 1981. The Bengals were AFC Champions and played the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. Behind 20–0 at the half, Gregg’s quarterback Ken Anderson led the Bengals back with two touchdown drives. A 49ers’ goal line stand in the third quarter froze the Bengals’ momentum. The Bengals put one last drive together in the waning minutes of the game to close in, 26–21, but they could not recover an onside kick for one last chance.
NFL TV Announcer Chris Collinsworth played for Gregg his first 3 years with the Bengals.
Gregg played for 15 years and coached in the NFL for 11 more. Gregg was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
Gregg is briefly described in our Pillars of the NFL where Lombardi and Walsh are covered in detail (see description in product section on this site).