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Simeon Rice: I was in a class of my own

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In recent days, we’ve heard Warren Sapp and Tiki Barber give their opinions about the question of whether Simeon Rice or Michael Strahan was the better player.

Now we’ve heard from one of the men at the center of the question as well. Rice was a guest with his former teammate Booger McFarland and Rich Herrera on 98.7 The Fan to talk about Sapp’s belief that Rice belongs in the Hall of Fame ahead of Strahan and Barber’s retort that Sapp was an “idiot” for thinking that.

Rice said he thought Strahan was a great pass rusher and put together a great career, but made no secret about his belief that he did enough to earn a bust in Canton. Rice said his skill level was “unparalleled” and that he was in “a class of my own” when it came to defensive ends. Rice also admitted he’s felt slighted in the past by the lack of attention he feels he’s been paid, but that he’s content with the career he had and the impact he’ll have on future players.

“I think you look at 99 percent of the league,” Rice said. “And they would want to have 100-plus sacks in 10 years and they would want to average more sacks than anybody did at that time. Looking back now, I can only be content and happy at the body of work I left behind, because one thing that [we] talked about was the future players would learn from the tape of our past. And I think that’s kind of where I am now.”

Rice averaged 11.9 sacks per year over his first 10 years in the NFL and was at one time the second-fastest player to 100 sacks, trailing only Reggie White, but he didn’t have the closing kick to his career that Strahan did. Whether or not that’s enough to keep him from Hall consideration is in the eye of the beholder, which fits right into this overall battle of opinions that can never be conclusively settled.

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52 Responses to “Simeon Rice: I was in a class of my own”
  1. bigwayne75 says: Jun 26, 2013 2:38 PM

    Yeah shame it is a class lower than Strahan’s.

  2. bookofelisha10 says: Jun 26, 2013 2:39 PM

    Stray> rice >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>sapp

  3. ken0west says: Jun 26, 2013 2:39 PM

    Rice was a better pure pass rusher than Strahan. Its not even close.

  4. bookofelisha10 says: Jun 26, 2013 2:39 PM

    Stray> rice >>>>>>>>>>>>sapp.

  5. packerblitz says: Jun 26, 2013 2:40 PM

    Who?

  6. markustt says: Jun 26, 2013 2:41 PM

    Rice was a HOF-worthy player but I don’t think there’s enough room in Canton for his ego.

  7. captainstagger says: Jun 26, 2013 2:46 PM

    The original quote from Sapp said “pass rusher” and Sapp was right. We aren’t talking about stopping the run, sealing the edge, or best DE. He was also right about the OT’s…..there is no premium for a RT. LT’s get the big contracts for a reason….stopping premium pass rushers. Saying otherwise shows extreme bias.

  8. commonsensedude says: Jun 26, 2013 2:49 PM

    Let’s compare:

    Simeon Rice:
    Seasons Played: 12
    Sacks: 122
    Tackles: 475
    Forced Fumbles: 25
    Championships: 0

    Michael Strahan
    Seasons Played: 14
    Sacks: 141.5
    Tackles: 854
    Interceptions: 4
    Touchdowns: 3
    Championships: 1

    Edge goes to Strahan. Put him in the HOF where he belongs and tell Sapp to stay current with his child support and to shut his big mouth.
    Seasons Played: 14

  9. rgwhodey says: Jun 26, 2013 2:50 PM

    wow, those are solid stats… if he played in a bigger market like the Giants/Jets/pats/cowboys… he would have no problem getting in… problem is the small market teams get no credit from the media and very little coverage on ESPN (you know the World Wide leader in sports, that only covers the north eastern part of America) unfortunately it is what it is, many deserving players out but unfortunately are overlooked because they don’t get the coverage other teams get.

    I honestly had no idea he put up great numbers like that.. Great career Mr. Rice very deserving of the hall of fame. hope you get the credit you deserve.

  10. logicailvoicesays says: Jun 26, 2013 2:51 PM

    Sapp, Strahan, Rice. Three chumps, who couldn’t hold Dexter Manley, Dave Butz or Brian Orakpo’s jocks.

  11. turbo2728 says: Jun 26, 2013 2:52 PM

    Rice was a better pass rusher, Strahan was better against the run.

    I don’t know why Rice doesn’t get as much credit as others do. He absolutely ruined Barry Sims in the Superbowl and probably should’ve been the MVP

  12. thehouseofho says: Jun 26, 2013 2:53 PM

    Simeon Rice was probably a better pass rusher than Strahan, but Stray defended the run much better than Rice. As a pass rusher, Rice was great and belongs in the upper echelon of those associated with that role. As a defensive end, however, Strahan was a much better player than Rice.

  13. Grinds My Gear says: Jun 26, 2013 2:56 PM

    Greg Townsend had 107.5 sacks in the 10 years he played too, but he’s not a HOF player. Rice was great, but these guys were pure pass rushers. Not a HOFer imo. Strahan was named all-pro more times that both of them combined.

  14. jerseyshoregiant says: Jun 26, 2013 3:00 PM

    Simeon, did Strahan play alongside any Hall of Famers on the D line? With Sapp along side Rice, Rice probably never got double or triple teamed!

    I can name a few D lineman that had career years when playing alongside Strahan only to disappear after they left the Giants and tried to be the man.

  15. jebdamone says: Jun 26, 2013 3:09 PM

    strahan was very good but i do have to give this one to rice. even with his career ‘trailing off’ at the end he was stil one of the most dominant ends of his time and could absolutely take over games.

  16. torturedraiderfan says: Jun 26, 2013 3:10 PM

    Saying you’re in a class of your own shows you have no class at all. I wouldn’t put him in the HOF just for saying that. Truely classless.

  17. fafafuey says: Jun 26, 2013 3:10 PM

    Spoken like a true Panther, uh wait, what?

  18. nyfcat says: Jun 26, 2013 3:12 PM

    Simeon Rice was a one-dimensional player, but he was pretty darn good at that dimension.

    But HOF? No way. If Kevin Greene isn’t a HOF’er with 160 career sacks, Simeon Rice isn’t getting in with 122.

  19. farvite says: Jun 26, 2013 3:21 PM

    I don’t think Rice makes the Hall.

    I think he and Strahan are equals, but Strahan WILL make the Hall because he played in NY.

  20. ibreathefootball says: Jun 26, 2013 3:27 PM

    Simeon Rice was a flamingo that got drove off the ball 5 yards every time there was a run. As a pass rusher, he was awesome. Overall, this dude was overrated and was similar to Jared Allen.

  21. packerbackernj says: Jun 26, 2013 3:34 PM

    commonsensedude says:
    Jun 26, 2013 2:49 PM
    Let’s compare:

    Simeon Rice:
    Seasons Played: 12
    Sacks: 122
    Tackles: 475
    Forced Fumbles: 25
    Championships: 0
    ———————

    Simeon Rice doesn’t have a championship? Fact checking is pretty common sense, “commonsensedude”

  22. malkinrulez says: Jun 26, 2013 3:43 PM

    packerbackernj was gonna say the same thing. I wouldn’t trust a word common sense dude says seeing as how Rice was a huge part of Bucs championship team!

  23. gpete1962 says: Jun 26, 2013 3:48 PM

    2 more years, 20 more sacks, 400 more tackles and a Superbowl.

    That’s a huge “GAP” in Strays favor!

  24. sampsonswag01 says: Jun 26, 2013 3:50 PM

    If they put Randall in the HOF, who was good but not great, they’ve got to put Simeon Rice in who was a primary staple of that great defense. And I’m a 49ers fan.

  25. japmen says: Jun 26, 2013 3:55 PM

    122 sacks is great. He should be added after Strahan though. Strahan was a more complete player.

  26. justintuckrule says: Jun 26, 2013 3:56 PM

    I could have had 50 sacks playing end on that Tampa defense and my natural position isn’t left end but left out.

  27. lajmahal says: Jun 26, 2013 3:57 PM

    It’s a joke that Simeon is not in the HOF.

    Over his first 10 seasons he averaged exactly 12 sacks per season. In those ten seasons, he had 5 INTs and 35 Forced Fumbles.

    He’s the perfect model of consistency at his position, and he didn’t play next to Sapp in the year he had his most successful season “sack-wise”.

  28. trollaikman8 says: Jun 26, 2013 3:59 PM

    Kevin Greene isn’t in the HoF because he was a known juicer.

  29. sampsonswag01 says: Jun 26, 2013 4:00 PM

    commonsensedude says:
    Jun 26, 2013 2:49 PM
    Let’s compare:

    Simeon Rice:
    Seasons Played: 12
    Sacks: 122
    Tackles: 475
    Forced Fumbles: 25
    Championships: 0

    Ummmmm…you best check yourself before….well you know……….you sure you still want to say he didn’t win a championship???????????

  30. thingamajig says: Jun 26, 2013 4:18 PM

    Simeon Rice killed his chances at getting into the HOF when he called the Cardinals the armpit team of the NFL.

  31. greenandyellowarebabypoopcolorsiwouldrathrwearpink says: Jun 26, 2013 4:22 PM

    sampsonswag01 says:
    Jun 26, 2013 3:50 PM
    If they put Randall in the HOF, who was good but not great, they’ve got to put Simeon Rice in who was a primary staple of that great defense. And I’m a 49ers fan.

    *****************************************
    I know your not speaking of John Randle
    owner of 137.5 sacks from the DT spot and a top 3 DT to ever play the game, you may want to rethink your argument if your using him as only ” good” because we was great….

  32. myeaglescantwin says: Jun 26, 2013 4:30 PM

    if he played in NY, Rice would have been one of the most renound names in the sport.

    but he didn’t he stayed in Tampa…. where there is nothing…..

    If he wanted esteemed accolades, he should have made a decision to move elsewhere during free agency…

    He should indeed be content with the career he had.
    whining like this does nothing but detract from a legacy..

    also, all real football fans know the type of player he was. that respect should be enough alone.
    the HOF will come.

  33. mackie66 says: Jun 26, 2013 4:33 PM

    No Simeon, your wrong indeed, only D-linemen in a class of his own is the Decon,,,as in Decon Jones.

  34. lawrencemercado says: Jun 26, 2013 4:43 PM

    Let’s compare:

    Simeon Rice:
    Seasons Played: 12
    Sacks: 122
    Tackles: 475
    Forced Fumbles: 25
    Championships: 0

    Michael Strahan
    Seasons Played: 14
    Sacks: 141.5
    Tackles: 854
    Interceptions: 4
    Touchdowns: 3
    Championships: 1

    Edge goes to Strahan. Put him in the HOF where he belongs and tell Sapp to stay current with his child support and to shut his big mouth.
    Seasons Played: 14
    ________________

    So you’re telling me Simeon Rice didn’t win a Superbowl in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

  35. granadafan says: Jun 26, 2013 4:48 PM

    What a bitter old man Sapp is.

  36. bunjy96 says: Jun 26, 2013 4:59 PM

    jerseyshoregiant says: Jun 26, 2013 3:00 PM

    Simeon, did Strahan play alongside any Hall of Famers on the D line? With Sapp along side Rice, Rice probably never got double or triple teamed!

    I can name a few D lineman that had career years when playing alongside Strahan only to disappear after they left the Giants and tried to be the man.

    **

    Name some. I just don’t remember any

  37. kayakattack says: Jun 26, 2013 5:17 PM

    We live an awful era of selection … I swear they just put in anyone… Rice and Sapp both fit into that category of really good and sometimes great players that shouldn’t be hall of famers…

  38. BringBackTheFlex says: Jun 26, 2013 5:36 PM

    If you have to remind everyone of how great you were, then you probably weren’t that great.

  39. braunliesandcheats says: Jun 26, 2013 5:55 PM

    Reggie White is the best DL and 2nd best defensive player. Only LT edges him out.

  40. stazziak says: Jun 26, 2013 6:18 PM

    Strahan should really only have 140 sacks, that one freebee from Brett Farve is still a joke! we’re talking D-Line here, LT was a linebacker, best were Deacon, Reggie and Bruce

  41. rjwill says: Jun 26, 2013 6:33 PM

    only DE’s in a “class of their own” in my eyes would be Deacon Jones and Reggie White.

  42. greg285 says: Jun 26, 2013 6:50 PM

    Simeon was a key component on those great Bucs defense right along with Sapp, Brooks, Lynch, and Barber! Don’t think so? As a Bucs fan, the Bucs have tryin to replace his production for 10 yrs now and that says it all! Here in Tampa, we know what Simeon meant to that defense and he deserves to be in the HOF, especially if Chris Doleman is in there! Better than Strahan? No, but a close 2nd…

  43. bigbluewreckincrew says: Jun 26, 2013 8:04 PM

    Why did fatmouth Sapp make the HOF? Other than just playing the run, was a great pass rusher at DT. Strahan, other than just rushing the passer, was great against the run at DE. See the connection haters? PFT posters drown in their haterade towards the Giants. All that bling in East Rutherford will do that, it’s ok. As for Rice, great pash rusher, so so vs the run. Strahan also didn’t area bookend DE until the end of his career, and other than Keith Hamilton, didn’t have much on the line throughout most of career. Double teamed? You bet.
    Stray HOF ’14. Eli ’25. Deal with it.

  44. commonsensedude says: Jun 26, 2013 10:27 PM

    My mistake. Rice has a championship. My bad.

  45. njligernj says: Jun 27, 2013 7:58 AM

    [[myeaglescantwin says:
    Jun 26, 2013 4:30 PM
    if he played in NY, Rice would have been one of the most renound names in the sport.

    but he didn’t he stayed in Tampa…. where there is nothing…..]]

    That argument might make sense if we weren’t talking about a situation which started in part because Sapp (Tampa) got HoF when Strahan (NY) did not. So your theory is kind of in the toilet there.

    According to Football Outsiders the Bucs team (which Rice played on) is the greatest pass defense they have ever charted and the second best defense they have ever charted.

    That fact could have you going either way (that Rice had better players around him OR he was part of something better than Strahan ever was).

    Sapp, Brooks and probably Barber are going in from that Bucs team which leaves Rice in a bad spot as they might not want to put so many people from one team into the hall.

  46. neo813r says: Jun 27, 2013 9:05 AM

    Simeon Rice at the time when he played for the Bucs and they had their run to the Super Bowl, played in a very weak NFC South division, I think the other team that was in contention back then was the Falcons when they had Vick under the center, or scrambling for his life. Rice was a great player, perhaps even hall of fame worthy conversation but because he played in a relatively small market and didn’t as much exposure as ‘’The Gap’’ (Straham) he will not make it in to Canton…not taking anything away from Straham but if the roles were reversed Rice would have probably made it by now.

  47. anon5121 says: Jun 27, 2013 9:12 AM

    This reeks of bitterness and jealousy. It has absolutely nothing to do with Michael Strahan and his terrific career. It does go to show one thing though.

    People praise the Giants defense left and right in SB 42, and rightfully so, but if Eli Manning doesn’t drive his team down the field in one of the most exciting, outrageous, clumsy, gutsy, iconic drives from a young QB, then Strahan and his defense become a mere footnote to the Patriots perfect season.

    That drive cemented the Giants defense’s performance as much as Eli Manning’s legacy. Rice never had any of that fan fair, fair or not. But no need to diminish Strahan’s career in expressing that bitterness.

  48. whysomanylosers says: Jun 27, 2013 10:35 AM

    Damn! Nobody gives a better interview than Simeon and I missed this one….

    Rice was awesome to watch on the field (live /in person). I admit I was a hater when he was with the Cards and when I heard the Bucs were signing him I changed my mind once I saw his stats. He signed a 1 year, “nothing” deal and dominated (earning a big contract the next year).

    Rice also overwhelmingly leads Strahan in forced fumbles and passes defensed.

  49. newtoallthis23 says: Jun 27, 2013 12:32 PM

    Let’s compare:

    Simeon Rice:
    Seasons Played: 12
    Sacks: 122
    Tackles: 475
    Forced Fumbles: 25
    Championships: 0

    Michael Strahan
    Seasons Played: 14
    Sacks: 141.5
    Tackles: 854
    Interceptions: 4
    Touchdowns: 3
    Championships: 1

    Edge goes to Strahan. Put him in the HOF where he belongs and tell Sapp to stay current with his child support and to shut his big mouth.
    Seasons Played: 14
    ________________

    So you’re telling me Simeon Rice didn’t win a Superbowl in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

    _______________
    Oh, by the way, it’s funny that you did not list the forced fumbles for Strahan it was 24, nor did you list how man interceptions Rice had, he had 5. Very comparable numbers. Let’s hope East Coast bias does not win out here.

  50. neo813r says: Jun 27, 2013 12:46 PM

    newtoallthis23: i agree with you 100%, i am not taking anything away from the GAP but rice was just as good. I recall the Bucs being one of the few if not the only D to keep old M.Vick in check..and Rice was a big part of that.

    Now as far as SAPP goes, that imbecile should count his lucky stars that he made it. The guy is not a role model, does not impire any leadership.

    Canton, you may want to reconsider his admission and I am Bucs fan.

  51. jeanmgonzalez says: Jun 27, 2013 12:53 PM

    un 27, 2013 12:32 PM
    Let’s compare:

    Simeon Rice:
    Seasons Played: 12
    Sacks: 122
    Tackles: 475
    Forced Fumbles: 25
    Championships: 0

    Michael Strahan
    Seasons Played: 14
    Sacks: 141.5
    Tackles: 854
    Interceptions: 4
    Touchdowns: 3
    Championships: 1

    Edge goes to Strahan. Put him in the HOF where he belongs and tell Sapp to stay current with his child support and to shut his big mouth.
    Seasons Played: 14
    ________________

    So you’re telling me Simeon Rice didn’t win a Superbowl in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

    _______________
    Oh, by the way, it’s funny that you did not list the forced fumbles for Strahan it was 24, nor did you list how man interceptions Rice had, he had 5. Very comparable numbers. Let’s hope East Coast bias does not win out here.
    ——————————

    -Simeon had 35 FF

  52. knight7565 says: Jun 28, 2013 11:24 AM

    Strahan had almost twice as many tackles and only played for two more seasons the Rice did. Strahan was a complete DE who often didn’t play with much more help on the D-Line and got double and tripled team a lot in his career. He never played next to a DT of Sapp Caliber. and the reason why they placed him at LDE is because most team run behind their RT. The fact that he had so many sacks while being in most QBs line of sight (more right handed QBs than left handed) rather than coming from the blind side says a lot.

    Also, he’s a better commentator and analyst than Sapp is. How Sapp is getting paid to spew his nonsense on TV is beyond me.

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