Friday, November 4, 2016

New York Jets History: No. 99, Mark Gastineau

Marcus Dell Gastineau is a former American football player who was a defensive pillar of the New York Jets from 1979 to 1988. He has a record of 107½ quarterback sacks in only his first 100 starts in the NFL, making him one of the most daunting pass rushers of his time. To date, he is the 8th best pass rusher of all time in the NFL.

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After a very successful collegiate career, having journeyed through 3 schools, he was picked by the New York Jets in the second round of the 1979 edition of the NFL draft.

Virtually with a defensive talent unmatched by many, he made the Pro Bowl for five straight seasons running from 1981 to 1985. He was a member of the legendary “New York Sack Exchange, in which he was together with Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam. In 1981 alone, the four players combined for 66 sacks, 20 of which belonging to Gastineau.

He was famous for his signature “Sack Dance” which he did each time he sacked an opposing quarterback. Eventually, this gesture was considered as an unsportsmanlike conduct which was penalized. This was implemented by the NFL following a 1983 game which saw Gastineau and Rams Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater get into a fight because Gastineau sacked Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo.

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His best season in the NFL listed him with 22 sacks and 69 tackles. This sack record stood unbeaten for 17 years.

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