The soon-to-be Hall of Fame inductee had some fighting words for New York Giants’ great Michael Strahan.
“Simeon (Rice) was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday, “ Sapp told the Tampa Tribune “Rice didn’t rush the worst lineman. You know the right tackle is the worst of the five. Strahan played right end his first four years.”
Strahan is widely considered one of the greatest pass rushers of his generation. He also maintains the single-season record of 22.5 sacks in 2001.
Let’s take a deeper look at the numbers to see if there’s any truth to Sapp’s assertion. In his career, Rice had 122 sacks, including nine seasons of 10 sacks or more. In three seasons, Rice recorded 15 sacks, including a career-high 16.5 sacks with the Cardinals in 1999.
Strahan had 141.5 sacks in his career with six seasons of at least 10 sacks. More importantly, he played the best football of his career at left defensive end, which opposes Sapp’s notion that the Giants coddled him. From 2001-2003, Strahan recorded 52 sacks as the NFL‘s premier left defensive end, arguably the best stretch in history from any defensive end.
Finally, Strahan concluded his career by leading the Giants to a Super Bowl victory over the undefeated New England Patriots in 2007-08. Sure, his outgoing personality and leadership qualities might have created more buzz around him, but that’s hardly a crime. In fact, that’s something Sapp is guilty of too.
Or maybe Sapp is just jealous of Strahan’s unexpected success as a talk show host. After all, Sapp’s 96.5 career sacks is fewer than that of Strahan and Rice.