By Mick Moninghoff
November 8, 2019
The Massachusetts Pirates have signed former NFL linebacker Khaseem Greene for the 2020 season. Greene was a fourth-round draft pick by the Chicago Bears (117 overall) in 2013 out of Rutgers. Greene played two seasons with the Bears appearing in 25 games recording 44 tackles with one interception and one pass defended. Greene had been out of football since OTA’s with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, spending time with his family and three children while working at Bonnie Brae, a juvenile treatment facility in New Jersey. Then, a social media post started his comeback.
“One day I went on Instagram and I noticed that I had a message. I clicked on it and said, “what is this? So, I read the message and I said, “this is football; let me re-read this message.” I read the message, reached out and it all went from there,” Greene said.
Greene grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey and was recruited by Greg Schiano to play for the Scarlet Knights from 2008 through 2012. He appeared in 51 games over four seasons. In 2011 he led the Big East with 141 tackles and was co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year. As a senior in 2012, he won the award outright. That season he recorded 136 tackles, had six sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, forced six fumbles, had two interceptions and scored two touchdowns. At seasons’ end he was First Team All-Big East, selected for the Senior Bowl, and was named to five All-America teams. (AT&T ESPN First Team, Walter Camp Second Team, SI.com Second Team, Associated Press Third Team and CBS Sports.com Third Team) His next journey was an NFL experience with four teams over the next five seasons.
On his time with the Bears, Greene said, “It taught me a lot about myself, about this game of football, about the business side of football and being a professional. Mainly I got the experience. I was active for two years, then a pre-season with Tampa Bay, on the practice squad for a year and a half in Detroit, and OTA’s with Kansas City. I got to experience the league from all angles and all aspects. It was good. It was definitely a life changing experience for me,” he said.
Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim hopes the 6’1” 250 lb. Greene recaptures the skills that made him a standout at Rutgers and beyond.
“Khaseem is hungry to get back on the field, there’s no doubt about that in my mind. His experience and accomplishments speak for itself; we are just happy to be able to provide Khaseem an opportunity to continue to pursue a career in this sport and enjoy the game he loves. He has a rare combination of size and athleticism, he’s instinctual, has the ability to play in coverage being a former defensive back while also being an effective pass rusher. Not too common you see a player register seven interceptions, 31 TFL’s and 11.5 sacks in their college career, while also leaving school with an NCAA record of 15 career forced fumbles. We’re glad to have him on board and look forward to seeing him come March,” Yatim said.
When asked to describe his game Greene said, “I feel like I’m a game changer. I’m a team guy. I want to change the game. I want to get the ball back to the offense. I want to be aggressive. I think I’m just a high energy, high character guy. I get a rush from turnovers and I get a rush from the crowd,” he added.
This will be the first time Greene will try his hand at arena football and he’s not worried about the new rules he’ll have to learn as a linebacker with the Pirates.
“Football is football at the end of the day. For me, I’m on defense and I want to get the ball back for the offense. That’s the way I simplify it. If you’re playing flag football, touch football, tackle football, whatever it is, at the end of the day, once the rules are laid out, the whistle blows and the play starts, it’s get the ball back and make a play,” Greene said.
Now Greene can’t wait to write the next chapter in his football career.
“It’s very exciting. Obviously, I watch a lot of sports. It’s a little harder to watch football because I feel like I should be playing. Since I was five, I’ve been playing football, so the opportunity to play again; I wouldn’t say its surreal, but I actually got another opportunity, so it’s very exciting,” he said.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Forster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. Pirates season tickets for the 2020 season are now available starting at $99.00. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email [email protected] or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Follow the Pirates on Facebook, at Facebook.com/MAPirates, on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as on Twitter @mass_pirates.