Darrelle Revis, Joe Klecko immortalized as Jets into 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame

Jets have two of their own Inducted to Pro Football Hall of Fame
Former NFL player Darrelle Revis speaks during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo David Dermer, Pool)

It’s about damn time for two of the best defensive players in New York Jets history to finally be enshrined into the hallowed halls of Canton, Ohio. 

Saturday afternoon saw thousands of Jets fans take the pilgrimage to the Pro Football Hall of Fame to see cornerback Darrelle Revis and defensive tackle Joe Klecko finally honored among the greatest to ever walk on a field. 

For Klecko, his enshrinement is the final chapter of a long journey that started out being one of the brightest defensive stars in Jets’ history.

A member, along with Mark Gastineau, of the “New York Sack Exchange” Klecko was an All-Pro twice, including in 1981 when he unofficially led the NFL with 20 1/2 sacks and finished second to Lawrence Taylor in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. Klecko helped the Jets reach the playoffs multiple times during his career while also being on the doorstep of a Super Bowl berth twice. The Jets’ top interior defender hadn’t played in a game for over 30 years and was the HOF Senior Selection Committee’s choice to finally be awarded the tremendous honor. 

“I’ve been waiting 30 years to give this speech,” Klecko said as he began his speech. “You know, I’m in a lot of Hall of Fames. I’m in the Jersey Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Temple Hall of Fame, and hell, I’m even in the Polish Hall of Fame. Now, there’s only one Hall of Fame I have left. That’s His. I know God knows how much I love him, and every blessing in our lives is because of him.”

Former NFL player Joe Klecko speaks during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo David Richard, Pool)

Klecko gave credit to the Jets’ current ownership to get him to this position, as well as teammates that helped him throughout his playing career – most notably fiery pass-rushing dynamo Mark Gastineau whom he called “one of the biggest personalities in NFL history.”

Klecko’s nearly 14-minute speech concluded only after a loud “J-E-T-S” chant echoed through the audience courtesy of Fireman Ed and others who had waited a long time to see a franchise great honored in this way. 

Unlike Klecko, there wasn’t much of a wait for Darrelle Revis. The first-ballot Hall-of-Fame corner was among the greatest defenders at his position in league history. Creating the term “Revis Island” the former 14th overall pick in 2007 was a four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro-Bowler. His 2009 season where he held NFL greats like Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss, and other top receivers to minimal numbers is considered one of the greatest seasons for a corner in NFL history. 

Now enshrined among the other top cornerbacks in Pro Football history, Revis can comfortably compare himself to other All-time greats at his position.

“I didn’t get a chance to play with this guy but Deion Sanders was a prototype for me. What Jordan is to Kobe, Prime is to Revis Island. You came first and I wanted to play just like you. Thank you for paving the way,” Revis said during his speech. 

Revis later credited fans of the Jets that were there saying “You’ll always have a place on Revis Island.”

Darrelle Revis, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023, receives his gold jacket during the Gold Jacket dinner in Canton, Ohio, Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, Pool)

Two of the greatest defensive players in team history have been immortalized forever in Canton, Ohio. A week full of excitement for the fanbase has culminated in this moment. It may have taken a while to get here, but it’s finally time to celebrate. 

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