History

NY Jets: Remembering each member of the New York Sack Exchange

NY Jets, Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, Mark Gastineau
NY Jets, Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, Mark Gastineau / Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit
1 of 5

Back in the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, the NY Jets assembled not only one of the strongest defensive lines of that era but one of the best of all time.

Going back even further in team history, the Super Bowl-winning team of 1969 also had a very strong defensive front four.

Led by defensive ends Gerry Philben and Verlon Biggs along with defensive tackle John Elliott, the late 1960's team was a very formidable group of perennial All-Pro defensive linemen.

However, when we look back on the greatest defensive lines of all time we think about the "Fearsome Foursome" of the Los Angeles Rams, the "Purple People Eaters" of the Minnesota Vikings, and of course, the "Steel Curtain" of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

From those great defensive units evolved Hall of Fame players like Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Carl Eller, and "Mean" Joe Greene.

The Jets also had a defensive line worthy of being in the conversation of all-time greats in the "New York Sack Exchange." This unit was known for being a disruptive force and for terrorizing the opposition's quarterback.

They set several pass-rushing records both individually and as a group and were somewhat responsible, along with the NY Giants' Lawrence Taylor, for the quarterback sack becoming an official statistic.

In 1981, the Sack Exchange combined for 53.5 sacks. In 1982, the quarterback sack became an official statistic and the group continued their league-wide dominance.

The name New York Sack Exchange originated from a contest in which a fan by the name of Dan O'Connor submitted the nickname to a team magazine and they were forever immortalized when all four players were called upon in 1981 to ring the ceremonial opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

All four linemen were drafted by the Jets in the 1970s and complemented each other with a diversified skill set. Let's take a look back now at each of these guys and their significance to the legacy of the New York Sack Exchange.

facebooktwitterreddit