Happy Friday, New York Jets fans. Let’s continue or look back through history at the top jersey numbers in team history. In case you missed it, you can read part one by clicking here.
Remember the criteria is that more than one memorable player wore the number, or that a hall of famer wore the number. We finished yesterday with #83, so let’s continue backwards from there:
JERSEY NUMBER: 80
MEMORABLE PLAYERS TO WEAR: Wayne Chrebet, John Elliot
The great Wayne Chrebet wore the number 80. There isn’t a lot to say about this guy, we all watched him play. Nobody made the catch over the middle better than Wayne, no fear. Going from an un-drafted free agent, to a career where he posted 580 catches, 7,365 yards and 41 TDs, makes him a guy that Jets fan will remember forever. The day his career ended, against the San Diego Chargers, was a sad day in Jets history.
John Elliot is not the one from the 1990s-2000s, this one played in the Super Bowl era, spanning 1967-1973. He was a defensive tackle that played an influential role on the Super Bowl III winning team.
JERSEY NUMBER: 74
MEMORABLE PLAYERS TO WEAR: Nick Mangold, Abdul Salaam
Hasn’t it been a privilege to watch the center with the beard play? Nick Mangold, for all of Tanny’s mistakes, was one of the best draft choices he made. He anchors the team’s offensive line, and the Jets have looked terrible when Nick is not on the field.
Some of you will remember Abdul Salaam, as part of the “New York Sack Exchange”. For those of you that don’t, the Sack Exchange consisted of Salaam, Marty Lyons, Joe Klecko, and Mark Gastineau. In 1981, the team set a record with 66 sacks. He was not the one with the gaudy numbers, but he was the one that got the attention in the middle, leaving the rushing lanes open for Klecko and Gastineau. He deserves a lot of the credit.
JERSEY NUMBER: 67
MEMORABLE PLAYERS TO WEAR: Damien Woody, Kareem McKenzie, Dave Herman
Here is a number that had several offensive linemen that we will never forget, most recently Damien Woody. He was brought to town in 2008, and helped anchor an offensive line that led the NFL in rushing in 2009. He was at his right tackle slot for back to back championship game appearances in 2009 and 2010, before he was let go, and his subsequent retirement.
Kareem McKenzie may be most recently a Giant, but he started his time in the NFL with the New York Jets, starting at right tackle from 2001-2004. I believe he would have remained a Jet past 2004, had the Giants not blown him away with an offer he couldn’t refuse, especially for a guy that was not on the blind side. The Giants recognized his talent and overpaid as they built an offensive line for Eli Manning.
Dave Herman played guard, back in the Joe Namath era, actually arriving on the scene prior to Namath. He was a staple from 1964-1973, including the championship year of 1968. Readers that go back that far will remember him fondly.
More to come tomorrow, stay tuned.