Silencing the Sack Exchange

Oh what a way to send Terry Bradshaw into retirement. On December 10th, 1983, the blond bomber would line up for the last time behind Mike Webster. It would be Terry's last game, and also the last game the Jets would play at Shea stadium.

Facing off against Bradshaw, and on the hunt for his scalp, or in this case toupee, was the original "New York Sack Exchange." This consisted of Marty Lyons, Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, and Abdul Salaam. This was a hungry bunch of meat eaters that rushed the passer extraordinarily well.

Terry had just come off some serious rehab work the week before with the Mina bird. Plagued by elbow problems, Myron Cope had gotten Terry and the bird together for a little sitting and a grinning.

Watching the show from afar, I must say the Mina bird was just as feisty as Cope. More hair too.

After the kickoff, Terry came into the huddle. During a TV timeout, he said, "Boys, this first play is supposed to be a run. But, you know me. I'm no mailman."

Having said that, Terry disregarded the game plan that called for running the ball and went on to throw two touchdowns that day, throwing all over the place. He would then bow out as the greatest Steelers quarterback in history as we rolled the Jets 34-7.

Bradshaw didn't make it through the whole game though. He got the "Mina touch" whacked out of his elbow when he cut loose and gunned the ball on his last touchdown throw of his career. Brad had to leave the game while Cliff Stoudt cleaned up.

The significance of that game was the mantra laid out for the entire week leading up to the game.

We sat in darkened film rooms watching tape of the Jets defensive line wreaking havoc on other opponents. It was continually pounded into us by our offensive line coach that we had to take a "do whatever it takes" attitude into the game. Keep Brad clean at all costs.

The decision making process in the trenches always comes down to split second reactions. Instincts count as much as skill, and the more of both, the better you're chances of surviving, and those of the ones you're trying to protect.

Early in the second quarter, on a pass rush, both skill and instinct were tested. One failed, the other came through. In the balance, the health of a future Hall of Famer was at stake.

Marty Lyons was an explosive defensive tackle. Lyons was a big 6'5" 290-pound quick starter who habitually got off on the snap with lightning reaction. We had been going at it pretty good thus far.

Big Marty dropped his paw down onto the line of scrimmage as he lined up. I could feel the crackling intensity of the moment. That gigantic forearm I was staring at looked like a medieval war club. Marty had been using it well on my head. And I was getting downright surly, because of it. Time to jack ol' Marty a good one.

I was lined up in a two point stance and the radar in my head was screaming blitz with some kind of stunt up front. Surveying Lyons, he appeared to have a lot of weight forward on his hand, and by his darting eyes, I had a gut feeling that he was going to run some kind of twist with the other defensive tackle, Klecko.

At the snap I made a short set, immediately punching Lyons with both hands to his chest. It was with murderous intent that I launched that punch. Simultaneously, as if I'd been struck with an epiphany, I knew intuitively that I'd been had. Marty was playing me.

Lyons was going the other way with his rush and hitting the B gap to my outside shoulder between me and the left tackle, Ray Pinney, rather than the A gap I shared with Mike Webster. He hit it full force while I was braced to my inside.

Lyons ripped into the B gap with the ferocity of a bucking bronco who just got zapped with a taser. I tried frantically to recover from being off balanced, but in doing so, by dropping my outside leg, I exposed Ray's hip to a blindside charge from Lyons.

Ray Pinney has long been called by his fellow hogs the "Rubber band man." We called Ray this because he had this incredible set of recovery skills that, when under duress, he could twist his body any which way to stop a guy on the hunt.

Ray needed every bit of those skills to shut the door on the Pandora's Box that I just opened.

Long has been the saying in trench life that "If there's something going away, there's something coming back." Truer words were never spoken at this moment.

As Ray miraculously Gumbied up Lyons, the coming back guy was all of 6'6" 295 pound defensive end Abdul Salaam. I was sunk. Salaam had a head of steam and was chugging around behind Lyons on a twist stunt while I was embroiled in a mess I had created myself.

Like a man trying to put out a fire all around him while en flambé himself, I tried to right the ship. It was sinking fast. Salaam was looking at a free ride all the way to Bradshaw, and coming on his blind side, no less.

Instincts are what they are. Often times born in desperation, this was one of those times. Survival of the Bradshaw kicked in. And there was only one option left.

Flailing like a drowning man who can't swim attempts to, I reached up with my right hand and grabbed Salaam in the neck of his shoulder pads with my right hand.

At this point it became a "Nantucket Sleigh ride" as the old mariners who hunted whales used to call it. Minus the harpoon, of course, which if offered at that moment, I would have gladly accepted.

As I sunk my weight and disengaged from Lyons, while hanging on to the hard charging Salaam, I could see Bradshaw right in his gun sights. With all the strength I could muster in a desperate moment, I dug in my heels and yanked down like a cowboy steer-wrestling one of them "doggies" at a rodeo.

I can't remember ever so flagrantly violating the rules in a game.

We thundered to a halt with me on Salaam's back and him making a turf angel with his face. I got up off his back fully expecting to be whistled, flagged, cussed at, start brawling, whatever. But this I knew. Bradshaw was untouched.

Salaam did get up screaming. After a momentary "chinner," as in chin-to-chin, (in reality it was his chest to my chin), I just headed back to where I thought the huddle would be. My bulldogging was so freaking obvious, I thought they might flag me twice.

You can only imagine my complete and total disbelief when no flag was to be found. Or the decibel boost to Salaam's voice as he tore after the officials. I was stunned.

Yep, there's a lot of sayings that fly around trench life in the NFL. One of my favorites is "Every dog has it's day." Whoof.


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\nFacing off against Bradshaw, and on the hunt for his scalp, or in this case toupee, was the original \"New York Sack Exchange.\" This consisted of Marty Lyons, Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, and Abdul Salaam. This was a hungry bunch of meat eaters that rushed the passer extraordinarily well.\r\n\t

Terry had just come off some serious rehab work the week before with the Mina bird. Plagued by elbow problems, Myron Cope had gotten Terry and the bird together for a little sitting and a grinning. \r\n\t

Watching the show from afar, I must say the Mina bird was just as feisty as Cope. More hair too.\r\n\t

After the kickoff, Terry came into the huddle. During a TV timeout, he said, \"Boys, this first play is supposed to be a run. But, you know me. I'm no mailman.\"\r\n\t

Having said that, Terry disregarded the game plan that called for running the ball and went on to throw two touchdowns that day, throwing all over the place. He would then bow out as the greatest Steelers quarterback in history as we rolled the Jets 34-7.\r\n\t

Bradshaw didn't make it through the whole game though. He got the \"Mina touch\" whacked out of his elbow when he cut loose and gunned the ball on his last touchdown throw of his career. Brad had to leave the game while Cliff Stoudt cleaned up.\r\n\t

The significance of that game was the mantra laid out for the entire week leading up to the game. \r\n

We sat in darkened film rooms watching tape of the Jets defensive line wreaking havoc on other opponents. It was continually pounded into us by our offensive line coach that we had to take a \"do whatever it takes\" attitude into the game. Keep Brad clean at all costs. \r\n

The decision making process in the trenches always comes down to split second reactions. Instincts count as much as skill, and the more of both, the better you're chances of surviving, and those of the ones you're trying to protect.\r\n

Early in the second quarter, on a pass rush, both skill and instinct were tested. One failed, the other came through. In the balance, the health of a future Hall of Famer was at stake. \r\n

Marty Lyons was an explosive defensive tackle. Lyons was a big 6'5\" 290-pound quick starter who habitually got off on the snap with lightning reaction. We had been going at it pretty good thus far. \r\n

Big Marty dropped his paw down onto the line of scrimmage as he lined up. I could feel the crackling intensity of the moment. That gigantic forearm I was staring at looked like a medieval war club. Marty had been using it well on my head. And I was getting downright surly, because of it. Time to jack ol' Marty a good one. \r\n

I was lined up in a two point stance and the radar in my head was screaming blitz with some kind of stunt up front. Surveying Lyons, he appeared to have a lot of weight forward on his hand, and by his darting eyes, I had a gut feeling that he was going to run some kind of twist with the other defensive tackle, Klecko.\r\n

At the snap I made a short set, immediately punching Lyons with both hands to his chest. It was with murderous intent that I launched that punch. Simultaneously, as if I'd been struck with an epiphany, I knew intuitively that I'd been had. Marty was playing me.\r\n

Lyons was going the other way with his rush and hitting the B gap to my outside shoulder between me and the left tackle, Ray Pinney, rather than the A gap I shared with Mike Webster. He hit it full force while I was braced to my inside.\r\n

Lyons ripped into the B gap with the ferocity of a bucking bronco who just got zapped with a taser. I tried frantically to recover from being off balanced, but in doing so, by dropping my outside leg, I exposed Ray's hip to a blindside charge from Lyons. \r\n

Ray Pinney has long been called by his fellow hogs the \"Rubber band man.\" We called Ray this because he had this incredible set of recovery skills that, when under duress, he could twist his body any which way to stop a guy on the hunt. \r\n

Ray needed every bit of those skills to shut the door on the Pandora's Box that I just opened.\r\n

Long has been the saying in trench life that \"If there's something going away, there's something coming back.\" Truer words were never spoken at this moment.\r\n

As Ray miraculously Gumbied up Lyons, the coming back guy was all of 6'6\" 295 pound defensive end Abdul Salaam. I was sunk. Salaam had a head of steam and was chugging around behind Lyons on a twist stunt while I was embroiled in a mess I had created myself. \r\n

Like a man trying to put out a fire all around him while en flambé himself, I tried to right the ship. It was sinking fast. Salaam was looking at a free ride all the way to Bradshaw, and coming on his blind side, no less.\r\n

Instincts are what they are. Often times born in desperation, this was one of those times. Survival of the Bradshaw kicked in. And there was only one option left. \r\n

Flailing like a drowning man who can't swim attempts to, I reached up with my right hand and grabbed Salaam in the neck of his shoulder pads with my right hand. \r\n

At this point it became a \"Nantucket Sleigh ride\" as the old mariners who hunted whales used to call it. Minus the harpoon, of course, which if offered at that moment, I would have gladly accepted.\r\n

As I sunk my weight and disengaged from Lyons, while hanging on to the hard charging Salaam, I could see Bradshaw right in his gun sights. With all the strength I could muster in a desperate moment, I dug in my heels and yanked down like a cowboy steer-wrestling one of them \"doggies\" at a rodeo.\r\n

I can't remember ever so flagrantly violating the rules in a game. \r\n

We thundered to a halt with me on Salaam's back and him making a turf angel with his face. I got up off his back fully expecting to be whistled, flagged, cussed at, start brawling, whatever. But this I knew. Bradshaw was untouched.\r\n

Salaam did get up screaming. After a momentary \"chinner,\" as in chin-to-chin, (in reality it was his chest to my chin), I just headed back to where I thought the huddle would be. My bulldogging was so freaking obvious, I thought they might flag me twice. \r\n

You can only imagine my complete and total disbelief when no flag was to be found. Or the decibel boost to Salaam's voice as he tore after the officials. I was stunned. \r\n

Yep, there's a lot of sayings that fly around trench life in the NFL. One of my favorites is \"Every dog has it's day.\" Whoof.\r\n \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" Facing off against Bradshaw, and on the hunt for his scalp, or in this case toupee, was the original \"New York Sack Exchange.\" This consisted of Marty Lyons, Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, and Abdul Salaam. This was a hungry bunch of meat eaters that rushed the passer extraordinarily well.

Terry had just come off some serious rehab work the week before with the Mina bird. Plagued by elbow problems, Myron Cope had gotten Terry and the bird together for a little sitting and a grinning.

Watching the show from afar, I must say the Mina bird was just as feisty as Cope. More hair too.

After the kickoff, Terry came into the huddle. During a TV timeout, he said, \"Boys, this first play is supposed to be a run. But, you know me. I'm no mailman.\"

Having said that, Terry disregarded the game plan that called for running the ball and went on to throw two touchdowns that day, throwing all over the place. He would then bow out as the greatest Steelers quarterback in history as we rolled the Jets 34-7.

Bradshaw didn't make it through the whole game though. He got the \"Mina touch\" whacked out of his elbow when he cut loose and gunned the ball on his last touchdown throw of his career. Brad had to leave the game while Cliff Stoudt cleaned up.

The significance of that game was the mantra laid out for the entire week leading up to the game.

We sat in darkened film rooms watching tape of the Jets defensive line wreaking havoc on other opponents. It was continually pounded into us by our offensive line coach that we had to take a \"do whatever it takes\" attitude into the game. Keep Brad clean at all costs.

The decision making process in the trenches always comes down to split second reactions. Instincts count as much as skill, and the more of both, the better you're chances of surviving, and those of the ones you're trying to protect.

Early in the second quarter, on a pass rush, both skill and instinct were tested. One failed, the other came through. In the balance, the health of a future Hall of Famer was at stake.

Marty Lyons was an explosive defensive tackle. Lyons was a big 6'5\" 290-pound quick starter who habitually got off on the snap with lightning reaction. We had been going at it pretty good thus far.

Big Marty dropped his paw down onto the line of scrimmage as he lined up. I could feel the crackling intensity of the moment. That gigantic forearm I was staring at looked like a medieval war club. Marty had been using it well on my head. And I was getting downright surly, because of it. Time to jack ol' Marty a good one.

I was lined up in a two point stance and the radar in my head was screaming blitz with some kind of stunt up front. Surveying Lyons, he appeared to have a lot of weight forward on his hand, and by his darting eyes, I had a gut feeling that he was going to run some kind of twist with the other defensive tackle, Klecko.

At the snap I made a short set, immediately punching Lyons with both hands to his chest. It was with murderous intent that I launched that punch. Simultaneously, as if I'd been struck with an epiphany, I knew intuitively that I'd been had. Marty was playing me.

Lyons was going the other way with his rush and hitting the B gap to my outside shoulder between me and the left tackle, Ray Pinney, rather than the A gap I shared with Mike Webster. He hit it full force while I was braced to my inside.

Lyons ripped into the B gap with the ferocity of a bucking bronco who just got zapped with a taser. I tried frantically to recover from being off balanced, but in doing so, by dropping my outside leg, I exposed Ray's hip to a blindside charge from Lyons.

Ray Pinney has long been called by his fellow hogs the \"Rubber band man.\" We called Ray this because he had this incredible set of recovery skills that, when under duress, he could twist his body any which way to stop a guy on the hunt.

Ray needed every bit of those skills to shut the door on the Pandora's Box that I just opened.

Long has been the saying in trench life that \"If there's something going away, there's something coming back.\" Truer words were never spoken at this moment.

As Ray miraculously Gumbied up Lyons, the coming back guy was all of 6'6\" 295 pound defensive end Abdul Salaam. I was sunk. Salaam had a head of steam and was chugging around behind Lyons on a twist stunt while I was embroiled in a mess I had created myself.

Like a man trying to put out a fire all around him while en flambé himself, I tried to right the ship. It was sinking fast. Salaam was looking at a free ride all the way to Bradshaw, and coming on his blind side, no less.

Instincts are what they are. Often times born in desperation, this was one of those times. Survival of the Bradshaw kicked in. And there was only one option left.

Flailing like a drowning man who can't swim attempts to, I reached up with my right hand and grabbed Salaam in the neck of his shoulder pads with my right hand.

At this point it became a \"Nantucket Sleigh ride\" as the old mariners who hunted whales used to call it. Minus the harpoon, of course, which if offered at that moment, I would have gladly accepted.

As I sunk my weight and disengaged from Lyons, while hanging on to the hard charging Salaam, I could see Bradshaw right in his gun sights. With all the strength I could muster in a desperate moment, I dug in my heels and yanked down like a cowboy steer-wrestling one of them \"doggies\" at a rodeo.

I can't remember ever so flagrantly violating the rules in a game.

We thundered to a halt with me on Salaam's back and him making a turf angel with his face. I got up off his back fully expecting to be whistled, flagged, cussed at, start brawling, whatever. But this I knew. Bradshaw was untouched.

Salaam did get up screaming. After a momentary \"chinner,\" as in chin-to-chin, (in reality it was his chest to my chin), I just headed back to where I thought the huddle would be. My bulldogging was so freaking obvious, I thought they might flag me twice.

You can only imagine my complete and total disbelief when no flag was to be found. Or the decibel boost to Salaam's voice as he tore after the officials. I was stunned.

Yep, there's a lot of sayings that fly around trench life in the NFL. One of my favorites is \"Every dog has it's day.\" Whoof. 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