Joe Klecko is Canton-Bound!
Barring some kind of unusual happening, all signs point to Joe Klecko being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I’m thrilled to have another New York Jet in the HOF!!!!
Memories of Drafting Joe
I worked in the scouting department for the Jets when we drafted Joe in the 6th round in 1977, one of the greatest Jets drafts of all time (Marvin Powell, Wesley Walker, Dan Alexander, Scot Durking, Kevin Long, Matt Robinson) led by my brilliant mentor, Mike Holovak.
He drove a truck and was a boxer before going to college at Temple. Joe had a non-stop motor, strength in every sense of the word, and was a natural leader. He was a man of few words who always spoke with his actions. You’d never know what a beast he was on the field when you’d meet him, with his bright blue eyes, warm smile, and humble demeanor, which reminded me of Dave Herman (another Jet Great).
Joe made an impression as soon as he stepped on the field with his power and strength, as well as his ability to switch positions, whether a 4-3 or 3-4, he could play defensive tackle, defensive end, and nose tackle brilliantly. He remains the only player to make the Pro Bowl at three different positions and had a fantastic 11-year-career with the Jets.
He was the 2nd drafted member of the eventual Sack Exchange (after Abdul Salaam in 1976), and he played a key role in allowing Marty Lyons and Mark Gastineau (both drafted in 1979) to pin their ears back and terrorize quarterbacks.
Joe loved the game and his teammates, and his induction into the HOF is an individual achievement and a nod to a Championship-level team from 1980-1986. I wish Coach Walt Michaels was alive to hear this wonderful news. He would be so thrilled!
I’m so happy for Joe, for the Jets, and for his story to be told, and he truly deserves this achievement. It’s surreal to have played a small part in helping the Jets build this amazing squad.
I’m so proud of our team! J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS!
PS: Here are some photos of Joe from over the years from my collection.