Rookie linebacker Khaseem Greene finds a mentor in Lance Briggs
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com July 27, 2013 8:48PM
Rookie Khaseem Greene (60) was a two-time Big East defensive player of the year at Rutgers and can play any of the three linebacker spots. | Nam Y. Huh/AP
Updated: August 30, 2013 6:46AM
BOURBONNAIS — Rookie linebacker Khaseem Greene has a lot to learn, but he’s learning from the best.
Greene, a fourth-round draft pick from Rutgers, is playing on the second team at weak-side linebacker behind Lance Briggs, a seven-time Pro Bowl player. And Briggs is doing everything he can to bring the rookie along quickly.
‘‘He’s great,’’ Greene said. ‘‘I’m picking his brain. I’m watching him on film. I’m watching him in practice. I’m asking him a lot of questions, and he’s giving me
‘‘He’s been a dominant player for all these years. That’s something I want to be. Having him in front of me, somebody I can go to when I have doubt or questions, it’s amazing. It’s a really good situation for me.’’
The 6-1, 241-pound Greene, a two-time Big East defensive player of the year, is a former safety who became a playmaking strong-side linebacker at Rutgers. He can play any of the three linebacker positions.
For now, though, Greene is learning all he can playing behind Briggs, which might be the best way to accelerate his development. It’s mostly mental for rookies with talent, and Briggs sets a great example for any player.
‘‘He’s an All-Pro, but he works,’’ Greene said. ‘‘He doesn’t take plays off. He’s not lackadaisical. He’s not one of those guys who [thinks], ‘It’s all about me.’ He’s a very selfless guy. It’s all about the team.
‘‘Just seeing that makes you want to give your all for somebody like him or Charles Tillman. Those guys have been around for years, and they give it their all in every practice. How could you not give it your all for those guys?’’
Greene said he is adjusting well to NFL training camp because he played in similar situations under Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers. But he has noticed the difference.
‘‘You can tell right off the bat: The lineman are stronger, faster,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re bigger.’’
But Greene said he knows he can handle the adjustment.
‘‘No doubt at all,’’ he said. ‘‘I truly believe in myself and in
everything that’s going on around here. If they didn’t think I could do it, they wouldn’t have brought me here.’’