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PFS Mount Rushmore Series: New York Jets


Jonathan Machlin

Continuing with the PFS's Mount Rushmore of NFL teams, here is the Mount Rushmore of the New York Jets.

While the Jets have been the butt of everyone's jokes since the early 70s (figuratively and very very literally), Jets fans always take pride in the true greats that have worn the Green and White.

Here are the 4 Jets that all true fans must stand and recognize:

Joe Namath - the quintessential Jet. Led the Jets to their first and only Superbowl Title with an upset over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Superbowl III. Revolutionized the passing game by becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for over 4000 yards. He remains the all-time leader in every major passing category for the Jets. And of course, his Broadway Joe persona made him one of the first pro athletes that was as big a celebrity as any movie star.

Joe Klecko - perhaps the greatest defensive player never inducted into the Hall of Fame. Klecko is universally acknowledged by many HOF O-Lineman as one of the greatest of all time. He was named to the Pro Bowl at 3 different D-Line positions - the first and only player to accomplish such a feat. As the leader of the New York Sack Exchange with Mark Gastineau and Marty Lyons, Klecko was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1981. His #73 jersey was retired and he was one of the inaugural members of the Jets Ring of Honor.

Don Maynard - the greatest Jets receiver of all-time. Maynard owns every major receiving record in Jets history and retired in 1972 as the NFL's all-time leading receiver. He was also durable, playing in more games than any offensive weapon in team history. The Namath-Maynard connection was essential in building the team and winning the AFL Championship Game that sent them to their only Superbowl win.

Curtis Martin - perhaps the most versatile RB in NFL history. Martin is the Jets all-time rushing leader and one of the most respected players in NFL history. Martin could beat defenses with anything - power running, elusiveness, pure speed, receiving, even passing when the situation required it. In 2004 he became the oldest player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing - proving that even age could not slow him down. Every year since he retired, the best player on the Jets receives the Curtis Martin MVP award - signifying their willingness to do anything it takes to help the team win.


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No Wayne Chrebet?

Chrebet seriously?  Nice player but Mt. Rushmore?  I might have put Larry Grantham on instead of Joe Klecko.  Not a lot of great players is Jets history that's for sure.

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As an addendum, here is the 2nd-Team Mount Rushmore:

 

Winston Hill - the best OL in Jets history.  Hill was an 8-time Pro Bowler tasked with blocking Joe Namath's blind side and blocking for the RB tandem of Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer in Superbowl III.  An inaugural Jets Ring of Honor member and part of the AFL All-Time team.

 

Wesley Walker - one of the most talented receivers in Jets history.  Walker had 8 seasons where he averaged 20+ yards per reception and his career 19.0 yards per reception are 12th in NFL history. On Sept. 3, 1986, Walker caught 6 balls for 194 yards and 4 TDs in a legendary performance against the Miami Dolphins.  He was named to the Jets Ring of Honor in 2012.

 

Mark Gastineau - one of the best pass rushers in Jets history.  Gastineau's tandem with Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam formed the legendary New York Sack Exchange. He is one of only two players in NFL history to lead the league in sacks in consecutive years - Reggie White is the only other.

 

Larry Grantham - an original Jet and defensive juggernaut for over a decade.  Grantham is perhaps the best all around LB in team history.  He could tackle, cover, hit the QB and stay healthy.  In his first 5 years in the AFL, Grantham was named All-Pro 5 times.  In a 13-year career he missed only 1 game, and was a part of the Jets Superbowl team in 1968.

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No Wayne Chrebet?

Chrebet has his own special place in Jets lore - his story of going from scrap heap to top of the heap is second to be very.

 

But when I think of the Mount Rushmore of Jets, I want the few guys that are absolutely essential to the Story of the Jets.  The few individuals whose contributions are so great that to exclude them would nullify any list.

 

Look at the list again and tell me which of those guys Chrebet could possibly take the place of.

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I think this is a pretty spot-on Rushmore for the NYJ.  Gastineau could maybe squeeze in there, but then who would you force out?

You really think Wayne Chrebet is that important to the history of the Jets that he merits being on there Mt. Rushmore?

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Chrebet seriously? Nice player but Mt. Rushmore? I might have put Larry Grantham on instead of Joe Klecko. Not a lot of great players is Jets history that's for sure.

Hey Jeff maybe you should take a lesson & realize not everything is meant too be serious.

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Chrebet has his own special place in Jets lore - his story of going from scrap heap to top of the heap is second to be very.

But when I think of the Mount Rushmore of Jets, I want the few guys that are absolutely essential to the Story of the Jets. The few individuals whose contributions are so great that to exclude them would nullify any list.

Look at the list again and tell me which of those guys Chrebet could possibly take the place of.

Hey guys hey, hmm I don't know how to tell you this, but, it was a joke.

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