With the ceremony tonight at halftime honoring Wesley Walker and Mark Gastineau, we wanted to take a look back at these two players. For the benefit of younger readers that hadn’t seen these players, and for the rest of us to remember and look back, we give you both of these players. Earlier today we looked at highlights, now we look at their carers. The first profile is a reprint of a profile we ran on Wesley Walker in April, the second is a new profile of Gastineau.
Originally from San Bernadino, California, WesleyWalker played his college football at the University of California, where was an All-American. He was chosen by the Jets with their second round pick in the 1977 draft (33rd overall). Wesley spend his entire career with the New York Jets, from 1977-1989.
He was best known for his blazing speed, averaging over 20 yards per catch for several years of his career, and his career average was 19 yards per catch.
He led the league in receiving yards in 1978, was elected to the Pro Bowl twice 1978 and 1982, and was named the New York Jets MVP in 1978.
In the 2 playoff games that the Jets won in their 1982 season playoff run, Walker was dominant, with 15 receptions for 314 yards and 2 TDs, in two road games.
His career best in receptions came in 1983 with 61, and his career high in TD passes was 12 in the 1986 season.
On his retirement, Wesley Walker was second in team history in receiving yardage with 8,306 yards.
A worthy enshrinee, WR Wesley Walker.
And now another Jets legend, DE Mark Gastineau.
Mark Gastineau was born in Oklahoma, but moved with parents to Arizona at the age of seven. At Round Valley High School, Mark was not a willing player, as he needed coaxking from his father to play the game. He played well, but didn’t draw any attention from major colleges. He began in junior college at Eastern Arizona Junior College, earning All-American honors for the 1975 season. From there, he went from there to Arizona State University, but transferred to East Central Oklahoma State University, now known as East Central University, for the balance of his college career. He finished his college career with 27 sacks, and was drafted by the Jets with their second round pick in the 1979 NFL draft, the 41st pick overall.
In 1981, he combined with Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons, and Abdul Salaam to form the “New York Sack Exchange”, which became one of the most feared defensive lines in football, with 66 total sacks in 1981, Gastineau with 20(unofficial, sacks did not become an official stat until 1982). 1983 was the year he led the league is sacks, officially, for the first time, with 19. He followed that up with a 22 sack season in 1984, which was an NFL record he held until 2001 when Michael Strahan broke it with 22.5 sacks.