By Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - After a season of defensive struggles, Green Bay Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene said Friday he was leaving the team to spend more time with his wife and children.

Coach Mike McCarthy announced Greene’s decision.

“I am stepping away from the NFL at this time in order to spend more time with my wife, Tara, and our children, Gavin and Gabrielle,” Greene said in a statement. “I will miss coaching and will try to return after our kids move on to college if a team will have me.”

The former standout NFL linebacker called his experience with the Packers “nothing but positive.”

“I have a peace about the productivity that I helped bring forward in all of the fine young men that have been entrusted to me these past five years,” Greene said.

Green Bay (8-8-1) went 3-1 to finish the regular season but lost 23-20 to San Francisco in an NFC wild-card game.

In Greene’s five seasons as coach, the Packers recorded 204 sacks, fourth in the NFL over that period. Outside linebackers accounted for 91.5 of those sacks.

Under Greene’s direction, linebacker Clay Matthews earned four straight Pro Bowl selections, becoming the first player in Packers history to be named to the showcase game in each of his first four seasons in the league.

Matthews finished with a team-high 7 1/2 sacks but was out much of last season with a thumb injury. The Packers piled up 44 sacks, tied for eighth in the league, but struggled against the run and finished ranked 25th in total defense, giving up 372 yards per game.

They suffered from a lack of turnovers, with just 11 interceptions all season. Linebacker A.J. Hawk had a team-high 118 tackles and career-high five sacks, but the Packers could use speed and/or playmaking ability at linebacker - along with a new position coach under defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

In 2009, Greene was part of a staff that guided the Packers defense to a No. 2 overall ranking in the NFL, the highest mark since the 1996 team finished with the top-ranked defense.

“Kevin provided an incredible amount of energy, passion and knowledge each and every day he was with us. The dedication he showed to maximizing the potential of his players was clearly evident to anyone that worked with him, and he will be missed,” McCarthy said in the statement.

Greene, 51, played 15 years in the NFL, posting 160 career sacks for four different teams, the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Carolina and San Francisco, and recording 10 double-digit sack seasons. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time first-team All-Pro pick.

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