Shocked. Heartbroken. Betrayed. These words became all too familiar to the hearts of Eagles' fans when they found out that Dan Klecko did not make the 53-man roster for the 2009 season. Klecko was never a player who performed on a pro-bowl level, but he was beloved by Philadelphians for his versatility, having played several positions throughout the course of his career. This post is a tribute to Dan Klecko... Our Mr. Everything.
Daniel R. Klecko was born in Chester, Pennsylvania to Debbie Klecko and former NFL great, Joe Klecko. Dan attended Great Valley High School, graduated from Marlboro High School, and played his college ball at his father's alma mater, Temple University, where he excelled as a defensive end, nose tackle, and linebacker. Just in case you're counting, that's three positions so far.
Dan's versatility should not come as a shock given his genetics. His father, Joe, played both college football and semi-pro football (while playing under a false name) at the same time. While playing in the NFL at what many journalists consider a Hall of Fame career, Joe was the only player to make the Pro-Bowl at three different positions (DT, NT, and DE). Joe also won two NCAA club boxing titles and had a minor roll in the cinematic masterpiece, Smokey and the Bandit II. Anyway, back to Dan...
Dan was drafted by New England in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL draft. As a member of the Patriots' 3-4 defensive scheme, Dan made his first start against Denver as a nose tackle. Desperate for blocking in the runing game, the Patriots converted Klecko into a fullback (position number four). After three years and two Superbowl rings, Klecko was cut by the Pats during the 2006 preseason cuts.
Klecko was signed by the Colts where he played the fullback role. His first touchdown came at the hands of the Miami Dolphins at the very end of the regular season. Soon after, he caught a touchdown pass in the AFC Championship game that paved the road for his third Superbowl ring. One year later, Klecko became a free agent.
Then it happened... In March of 2008, the Eagles signed Dan Klecko to their squad to play the fullback role. However, the Eagles would also use him as a second defensive tackle on Jim Johnson's 4-3 defense (thus, making him an under tackle, his fifth position). Klecko would continue to play his role throughout the course of the season where he would become the brunt of many BGN position-conversion jokes and live forever in our hearts.
I think it's safe to say that we all wish the best for Pennsylvania's own, Dan Klecko, as I'm sure he'll sign with another team and be converted into a tight end... or a long snapper... or a punter... or waterboy... or emergency quarterback. God's speed, Dan Klecko and good luck.
Oh yeah, Jack Ikegwuonu got cut too.