Joe Klecko had to wait a long time. Darrelle Revis waited for no time.
The two greatest defenders in Jets history will now enter into football immortality together. They have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame — Revis on the first ballot, Klecko as a senior candidate 34 years after he retired.
Couple the Hall calls with Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson each winning rookie of the year honors at NFL Honors in Phoenix and it was a banner day for the Jets. The only downside is they may get forced to play in the Hall of Fame Game this summer. But they will worry about that later.
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Revis was a dominant, transcendent cornerback at his peak; a player who changed games on the field and flipped the league’s financial system on its head off of it. And Klecko was a standout pass rusher who had many things out of his control stand in the way of his induction for far too long before finally breaking through.
“I don’t think it’s hit me yet as far as total acceptance or whatever,” Klecko said Thursday night after his election was announced, via NJ.com.
“I was talking to my friend the other day, and he says, ‘You know, you’ve got to get over this. … You belong. You’ve got to convince yourself you belong.’ And that’s one of the things after you wait 30 year and you finally get the call, even though you want it and you’re grateful for it and all, it’s still sinking in.”
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.