Monday, April 14, 2014

Hall of Fame O-linemen lobby for former foe Klecko


Most New York Jets fans believe former defensive lineman Joe Klecko's Hall of Fame consideration is long overdue.

Many of Klecko's Hall of Fame opponents from back in the day agree.

"Joe was as good as anybody I played against," former Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns offensive lineman recently told's Randy Lange. "He was in the same league with the Steelers' Joe Greene. And he was in a league of his own as far as strength."

Klecko, who earned four Pro Bowl nods at three different positions (defensive tackle, defensive end and nose tackle) and made the All-Pro team twice, is entering his first year on the "Seniors" ballot, as he's been eligible for the Hall the last 20 years but has yet to make even the finalist round of the voting/induction process.

Klecko also has the endorsement of Hall of Fame center Dwight Stephenson and Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Munoz, among others.

"I'll write a letter of recommendation to say Joe Klecko belongs in the Hall," Munoz said.

Now that Klecko has reached the Seniors ballot, he's is his best position yet to make a run at the honor. Two series' of votes this summer will narrow the field from 15 to nine and from nine to two finalists in that category.

Then, it will be up to the normal 46-member selection committee to get him over the hump.

"He belongs in Canton," Hall of Fame voter Peter King, one of the most prominent voices in pro sports, told Lange. "Anyone who was as dominant as Klecko was, and a star player at three different positions on the defensive line, should be enshrined."

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily