No. 5 – Joe Klecko

Joe Klecko played three different defensive positions in his 11-year career with the New York Jets. From 1977 through 1987, Klecko made four Pro Bowls, was an All-Pro twice and was named the AFC defensive player of the year in 1981.

Klecko was the heart of the formidable New York Sack Exchange, a group that tormented opposing offenses and quarterbacks throughout the 1980s. Perhaps their best season was in 1982 when Gang Green defense led the Jets all the way to the conference finals where they fell to the Miami Dolphins in a 14-0 heartbreaker.

Although the NFL did not begin officially recording defensive statistics until very recently, Klecko is widely believed to have had 20.5 sacks in 1981.

He is one of only five Jets to have his number, 73, retired, and he’s also a member of the Jets’ Ring of Honor.

Though not a member himself, Hall of Fame offensive linemen including Dwight Stephenson, Anthony Munoz and Joe DeLamielleure have all publicly sung praises for Klecko. He was a great player for the Jets for a decade, and fans only wish he could have helped them win a Super Bowl during his time there.


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I've wanted to write about sports since the first time I read Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News rip George Steinbrenner about the Boss' treatment of Dave Winfield. The Pen truly is mightier than the sword. I still look forward to reading the sports section in the paper every morning. Writing about sports, even in a part time capacity is a dream come true.