To make it to the NFL…you need to be a superb athlete.

To become a Pro Bowl caliber player…you need to have great work ethic.

To make the Hall of Fame…you need not only to be successful, but to make an impact.

Michael Strahan made an impact every week.  In the locker room, on the field, on the street,  Michael Strahan made a difference.  Most outsiders or national media people consider him only a pass rusher; however Strahan dominated against the run while going up against some the games best right tackles.

Over a 9 year stretch from 1997 through 2005, Strahan dominated the NFL at his position.  His two down years were caused by a foot and pectoral injury.

Hall of Fame players contribute on a high level for a long time.  15 years of playing defensive end in the NFC East with 9 years of dominate play is an eternity by NFL standards.  In light of what has become public information  pertaining to players like Jason Taylor and Junior Seau one could describe Michael Strahan as a warrior.

Over 240 regular season games, Michael Strahan only missed 24 games at one of the most demanding and grueling positions on the field. While contract negotiations were tough at times…he was considered an asset by the New York Giants and never had to seek employment any where else than with Big Blue.

No. 92 never took a play off.  Some players that come to New York shrivel in the lights or just fade away, but not Michael Strahan.

Thinking about the defensive ends of his era, Strahan was better for longer than Simeon Rice, Shaun Ellis, Patrick Kerney, and Richard Seymour.  He played the run much better than Dwight Freeney and Jason Taylor.  He had multi years of 70+ tackles and made many NFL QB’s nervous on Sunday’s.

Not many players can rival his resume:

1. 794 career tackles – 15 year career – 1 team

2. 141.5 sacks – #5 all time

3. 7x Pro Bowler Player – 4x First Team Selection/2x Second Team Selection

4. 2 x NFC Defensive Player of the Year  (2001 & 2003)

5. NFL Alumni Pass Rusher of the Year

6. NFL Defensive Player of the Year

7. NFL 2000 All Decade Team

8. NFL All Time Sack Leader – 22.5

9. New York Giants All Time Sack leader

10. Super Bowl Champion(XLII)

When you play defensive for the New York Giants you will always have big shoes to fill.  Sam Huff, Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks and others have all come before Michael Strahan.   To hold these type of franchise records is reason enough for Michael Strahan to be given a gold jacket.

There are 25 players in the Hall of Fame that at one time or another wore New York Giants blue.   Michael Strahan deserves to be number 26.  The best Strahan memory was watching him flexing over a fallen Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLII.  Priceless.

First Ballot:  Michael  Strahan

– Craig J. SantucciSenior Editor Giants Rush

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