Late last week, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive lineman Warren Sapp ripped into former New York Giants' defensive end Michael Strahan, suggesting that Simeon Rice was a far better pass rusher than he and more deserving of the Hall of Fame. It was just another in a long line of unprovoked verbal attacks from Sapp in Strahan's direction, and something he defended on Tuesday night during an interview with NFL Network.
"For all of the people who are not historians of football as I am, Michael Strahan started his career at right defensive end in New York to replace Lawrence Taylor – the great Lawrence Taylor," Sapp said on NFL Network Tuesday night. "In those three years, he had 12 sacks which averages out to four a year. So they put ‘B-U-S’ and they said, ‘Wait, before we call him a bust let’s move him to the left side.’ Ten-and-a-half sacks a year, 128 [at left defensive end]. He’s a great left end. Simeon Rice [had] 122 [sacks] at right end and was never moved.”
Sapp's stance has not been received well by many, with current Giants' defensive captain Justin Tuck calling Strahan "the greatest pass rusher to ever live," and former Big Blue running back Tiki Barber coming out and bluntly calling Sapp "an idiot."
For such a "football historian," it's somewhat ironic that Sapp seems to have forgotten that Reggie White played primarily at left defensive end his entire career. It's also worth noting that Strahan moved from LDE to RDE in 1995 — not 1996. And, finally, Strahan played only nine games during his rookie season, initially as a back-up, due to a number of injuries. But, hey, since when does Sapp care about facts?
The other thing Sapp fails to mention in his endless jealous criticism of Strahan is his ability to play the run. Not only was No. 92 one of the most elite pass rushers of all-time, he was also leaps and bounds better against the run than both Sapp and Rice.
At the end of the day (royalties to Antrel Rolle), this assault by Sapp is nothing more than what you'd expect to see out of a spurned teenage girlfriend. The next thing you know, Sapp will be sending Strahan a note that reads: "Do you like me? Circle one. Yes – No."
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