Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former player Joe Klecko before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The Jet Press Hall of Fame Nominee: Joe Klecko

We are back with our candidates for the Jet Press Hall of Fame.  Today’s candidate for enshrinement is brought to you by Sean Durham.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a place dedicated for the best the NFL has had to offer since it’s origin in 1920.  For the most part the selection committee gets it right but there are a few instances in which we debate their selections or non-selections because……well…..we can?

Former Jets D-lineman Joe Klecko is certainly a JetNation fan favorite, but doesn’t seem to get much love when it comes to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he’ll get plenty of love for The Jet Press Hall of Fame.

Joe Klecko was a D-lineman for the Jets from 1977-1987.  Klecko has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame several times but never inducted.  His multiple nominations means there are more than a few people who are looking past his numbers.  In 10 NFL seasons Klecko has 24 sacks but did so playing three different positions for the Jets doing his time there.  Klecko was switched from Defensive End to Defensive Tackle in 1983 and immediately made the Pro-Bowl at his new position 2 years in a row.

Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure famously noted that Klecko was more than what his career numbers suggest, much more.

“You can’t think of his ten year period without him. I had to block Joe Greene and Merlin Olsen when I was playing and, believe me, Joe Klecko was equal to those two guys. If Joe Klecko had played one position for ten years, he’d have been considered one of the top two or three players at that position, whichever one it was. There’s not another player who went to the Pro Bowl at three different positions. You take a defensive end and put him at nose tackle and he’s just as good there, that’s a great player. We need to get Joe Klecko in the Hall of Fame.”

The Jet Press Hall of Fame is a Hall of Fame that will consist of Jets players that stood out during their tenure here with the team.  Players that had an impact on the team despite what their numbers may or may not suggest and Klecko personifies that type of Jet player without a doubt.  Here are a few reasons why Klecko should be inducted into “The JetPress Hall of Fame.”

- Klecko was a member of the Jets’ legendary Sack Exchange defensive line in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

- Klecko was honored by the Jets in 2004 when he had his numbered retired and officially became just the 3rd member of the Jets Ring of Honor.

- Klecko is the second player, after Frank Gifford  in professional football history to be selected to the Pro Bowl at three different positions (NT, DT and DE).

- During his ten-year stint with the Jets, Klecko was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, four time Pro-Bowler, two-time All-Pro.

Klecko dominated at three positions.  Do you realize how hard it is to dominate at one position in the NFL? Let alone three???  Klecko is a JetNation favorite for good reason but if the Pro Football Hall of Fame can’t get their minds right and induct him there, we need to do it here at The JetPress Hall of Fame.

We will be back with all of the candidates one more time, and then it will be up to you the fans to choose the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame.

 

 

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