I think Michael Strahan is the greatest defensive lineman in New York Football Giants history.
According to former Giants Head Coach Jim Fassel ,unequivocally, Michael Strahan was a complete defensive end. Strahan played the run and rushed the passer very well. This is what separates him from the rest of the pack of one dimensional ends. Michael was a student of the game. He used technique in order to get passed offensive tackles like Eagles Jon Runyan. I will always remember his leadership skills. When Coughlin was being too autocratic, Strahan spoke his truth about Coughlin’s behavior. Michael spoke up about Coughlin’s unfavorable treatment of players. Needless to say, I think this showed his leadership skills. Recall, Michael was fined for being 5 minutes early for a meeting. Later, Strahan became part of Coughlin’s leadership council. Strahan was a mentor to Osi Umeniyora and the rest of the defensive lineman.
I have been following the Giants since 1978. There have been very good defensive lineman like George Martin, John Mendenhall, Leonard Marshall; however, they were not in the same league as number 92.
In his 15 year career, I think he played his best game against the Rams on Oct 14, 2001. Strahan was a force against the “Greatest Show on Turf”. He sacked Kurt Warner 4 times and put constant pressure on him all game long. In addition, the Giants stuffed Marshall Faulk. Faulk gained only 20 something yards in this game.
I think his sack on Brady in Super Bowl XLII was a game changer. In the 3rd quarter, the Patriots were driving for a score. On a 3rd and 7 play, Strahan dumped Brady on the turf. Subsequently, Belichick decided to keep his offense on the field to convert a 4th and 13. Fortunately, the Giants denied the Patriots. Without question, this series was the turning point of the game. The score remained 7-3. If the Patriots were able to score points, I think the outcome of Super Bowl XLII would have been different.
Michael, I think you are a Giant among men. Thank you for the memories.