The Jets will get their share of attention at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday because two of the top defensive players in their history will be enshrined.
It took 30 years for Joe Klecko to get there.
The other Jets inductee, Darrelle Revis, took just the minimum five years.
The long wait for Klecko ended last January, when as a Senior candidate, he became a Hall of Fame finalist for the first time, and then was elected in a member of the Class of 2023.
Klecko once said he “learned not to get too excited about anything unless the check’s in the bank.’’
With that check having cleared, Klecko will finally get to savor his deserving moment on Saturday.
“When it didn’t happen, I always said, ‘Next year,’’’ Klecko said in February. “I figured if it was to be and it was God’s will, it would happen.
“It’s unfathomable, hard to put in perspective.’’
The 69-year-old Klecko played 11 seasons with the Jets and had 78 sacks, 54 of them coming before 1982, when defensive sacks became an official statistic.
He had an NFL-leading 20.5 of those sacks in 1981, when the “Sack Exchange’’ set a franchise record with 66 sacks.
Klecko, who played every position on the defensive line in his career, was the anchor of the “Sack Exchange,’’ alongside Marty Lyons, Mark Gastineau and Abdul Salaam.
He made the Pro Bowl as a defensive end, a defensive tackle and a nose tackle, and is one of only two players to be voted into the Pro Bowl at three different positions, along with Frank Gifford.
“You didn’t realize how good Joe was till you watched the film on Monday,’’ Lyons told The Post’s Steve Serby recently. “You’re playing right alongside of him, but you don’t realize what he did to make that offensive lineman look so silly. Once Joe got into the heads of the offensive lineman, he could do anything you want. He would just look at me and give me a nod or move his head in one direction, and I knew what he was gonna do.”
That was Revis’ calling card as well. He was so detailed in his film study of the receivers he was going to cover that he was often running their routes before they ran them.
And, much the way Klecko was known for being a part of that “Sack Exchange,’’ Revis became known for “Revis Island,’’ a place where receivers felt lost and deserted and could catch no passes.
“Every matchup is different,” Revis said recently. “You have to approach every matchup with a different mindset, too, the way you study guys. That’s just the preparation of film study. My deal is to wear guys down from the first quarter to the fourth quarter. By the third quarter, you’ll be lining up saying ‘I’m tired of this guy.’ ’’
Revis, in 2010, trademarked the name “Revis Island,’’ a phrase that has made its way into the vernacular.
“For young corners in today’s game, to say ‘Revis Island’ or what their last name is and then put ‘Island’ next to it, it’s just a testament to your hard work and the thing you strive for to be great,” Revis said. “I think for me, guys have always been an inspiration to me, growing up. You are always doing it for the next generation.
“Somebody has done it for me, and I think that was the same approach.”
Revis was a seven-time Pro Bowler, a four-time first-team All-Pro and finished his career with 496 tackles, 29 interceptions, three touchdowns, 139 passes defended, four forced fumbles and 12 fumble recoveries.
“I think as you go through your career and you play the game at a high level, you believe that you are the best, and think you stacked up with the best,” Revis said. “I don’t think I ever thought about being a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I think I had tunnel vision.
“For me, it’s about, being dedicated to the game.”
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