Jets Legend Joe Klecko Is Headed to Pro Football Hall of Fame | Heavy.com


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New York Jets legend Joe Klecko at his jersey retirement celebrating with old teammates.

It has been a long time coming, but a New York Jets legend is finally set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The news was first leaked by Mike Klis of 9 News that longtime Gang Green defensive lineman Joe Klecko was one of three nominations chosen by the HOF Senior Committee.

Chuck Howley and Ken Riley were the other two finalists that were selected, per Klis.

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Zach Wilson’s surgery a HUGE success, Jets fans finally get lucky!Boy Green hops on to talk about the fantastic news of Zach Wilson’s surgery being a success and talking all things New York Jets! Make sure you guys like the video and hit subscribe!2022-08-17T09:23:57Z

The HOF Senior Committee met via zoom call on Tuesday, August 16 to debate and argue who the top three worthy candidates were of the 12-man pool.

The three selected including Klecko will now need 80 percent of the entire 49-member committee in January, per Gary Myers. However, Myers said that portion of the exam is considered a “formality.”

All in all, that means Klecko will eventually land in the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2023.

It’s finally happening! #Jets DL Joe Klecko was one of the 3 finalists selected (per @mikeklis) & his eventual placement in the @ProFootballHOF is considered a ‘formality.’ SO LONG OVERDUE, this is a magical day! #TakeFlight #Klecko2Canton pic.twitter.com/8fwAH32zjh

— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) August 17, 2022

The 68-year-old originally entered the league back in 1977 as the No. 144 overall pick in the sixth round out of Temple.

Klecko would spend 11 of his 12 professional seasons with the Jets becoming one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL:

A Hall of Famer Through and Through


Joe Klecko: Worthy of a Hall CallA Deep Dive into the Career of Jets Legendary DL Joe Klecko2017-06-30T19:36:27Z

Every once in a while a player slips through the cracks.

The Jets were a bad football team during Klecko’s run and even during his time never got the true notoriety that he deserved.

Now more than 34 years after his playing career, Klecko is finally getting his due.

When asked to describe #Jets legend Joe Klecko the first word that came up was, ‘intensity’ + ‘never took a play off’ + ‘a dominant player at 3 different positions’ @GaryMyersNY + ‘just knocked the crap out of the guy across from you’ @peter_king: 🎥 @nyjets @ProFootballHOF pic.twitter.com/TIKsaaZKaj

— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) August 17, 2022

Klecko made the Pro Bowl at three different positions: defensive end, defensive tackle, and as a nose tackle.

Not only did he dominate as an individual but he was a key cog in one of the greatest defensive factions in NFL history: the New York Sack Exchange.

A dominant group that was made up of Klecko, Mark Gastineau, Abdul Salaam, and Marty Lyons recked the NFL in the 1980s.

#Raiders legend Howie Long said the 20.5 sack season by #Jets DL Joe Klecko in 1981 is even more impressive when you consider how much more the #NFL passes the ball today vs back then: 🎥 @nyjets @ProFootballHOF #TakeFlight #Klecko2Canton pic.twitter.com/UOr6I9yns9

— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) August 17, 2022

The highlight of Klecko’s career was notching 20.5 sacks in 1981. In any year that would be special, but when you consider how much more we pass the ball today in the NFL versus back then, that number stands out even more according to Las Vegas Raiders legend Howie Long.

Klecko can thank the recent expansion rule change by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the reason he is set to be immortalized next year. The committee recognized a disturbing backlog of worthy candidates and decided that over the next three years they will look at and consider more candidates for the Hall of Fame.

Thanks to that decision Klecko and so many others will finally get their moment in the sun. This has been a long time coming and now the Jets can finally celebrate a long overdue induction.

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