Gildon’s sack breaks record, turns momentum
Jason Gildon’s third-quarter sack vaulted him past L.C. Greenwood in the Steelers’ record books and helped to swing momentum in a 28-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
But one of Greenwood’s old Steel Curtain pals, Mean Joe Greene, wasn’t all that impressed.
Greene, the Cardinals’ defensive line coach, was asked to comment on the fact that Gildon now is the team’s all-time sack leader with 76.
That’s two-and-a-half more than Greenwood and 10 more than Greene.
“We don’t care anything about that,” Greene said. “(Greenwood) still has four Super Bowl rings.”
Two weeks ago, Greenwood wondered aloud what was taking Gildon so long to break the record.
Gildon came into the season needing three sacks. He had two in the first eight games before matching his career-best of three yesterday.
One wonders if the Steelers’ old-timers consider Gildon worthy of holding the sack record.
“I don’t know,” Gildon said. “You’d have to ask those guys. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. My opinion of those guys is they’re great players. You’ll just have to ask them how they feel about me.”
Earlier, Gildon was asked if he remembered Greenwood, who retired when Gildon was 10.
“No, I don’t,” Gildon said.
Gildon needed 151 games to amass 74 sacks. Greenwood needed 174 games but played in an era where passing was less common, thus creating fewer sack opportunities.
Gildon said he was hoping to speak with Greene on the field after the game.
“I was looking for him, but there were a lot of people out there,” he said. “Maybe down the road I’ll get a chance to talk to him.”
Perhaps the two could discuss how Gildon’s big sack led to a chain of events that buried the Cardinals and broke their modest, two-game winning streak.
The Cardinals had gained a measure of momentum with a field goal late in the first half, cutting the Steelers’ lead to 7-3, but a penalty on the second-half kick-off buried them at their 9.
On third-and-7, Gildon lined up at left end, delayed his rush and looped to the middle. He eluded center Pete Kendall and dropped Blake, forcing Scott Player to punt from his end zone.
Player shanked it and got a bad bounce – a 24-yard punt that put the Steelers on the Arizona 27. They scored three plays later and twice more before the quarter was half-finished to make it 28-3.
The Steelers had five sacks, tying their season-best, set last week against Seattle.
Gildon’s only other three-sack game was Nov. 11, 2001 at Cleveland, in a 15-12 overtime victory.
Gildon kept the ball from his record-breaking play and recalled afterward that his first career sack came at the expense of Dan Marino.
It hasn’t been one of Gildon’s better seasons, by any stretch, but head coach Bill Cowher said Gildon has “stepped up his game the past few weeks.”
Said Gildon: “I’m not putting a lot into personal accomplishments right now, because we really haven’t done anything as a team.”
Steelers’ all-time sack leaders:
Jason Gildon 76
L.C. Greenwood 73.5
Joe Greene 66
Keith Willis 59
Greg Lloyd 53.5