Sapp would put Simeon Rice in the Hall of Fame over Strahan

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Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan do not like each other. When they were active players, Sapp reacted to Strahan breaking the single-season sack record by saying there should be an asterisk next to his record because Brett Favre laid down for the final sack. Strahan responded that there should be a McDonald’s next to Sapp’s house because Sapp is fat. That kind of verbal sniping has continued through the years, and kept going this year when Sapp was voted into the Hall of Fame and Strahan was voted out.

Now Sapp is saying that Strahan should stay out of the Hall of Fame. And Sapp says that if the Hall of Fame Selection Committee wants to put in a good pass rusher, it should look to his own former teammate Simeon Rice over Strahan.

“Simeon was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday,” Sapp told the Tampa Tribune.

Rice was an excellent pass rusher, a three-time Pro Bowler who had double-digit sacks in eight different seasons and 122 sacks in his career, the 13th-highest career total since the NFL started counting sacks in 1982. But was he really a better rusher than Strahan, who in addition to being the single-season record holder is No. 5 in career sacks, with 141.5? According to Sapp, yes.

Sapp says that Rice routinely beat opposing left tackles, while Strahan had an easier job facing right tackles.

“[Rice] didn’t rush the worst lineman,” Sapp said. “You know the right tackle is the worst of the five. Strahan played right end his first four years. When they were putting the label on him as a bust, they put ‘B-U-S . OK, let’s transition him on the other side and see if he can play in his fourth year.’ They put him at right end and he couldn’t do it, so they moved him to the weak guy. One-on-one with the [Eagles right tackle] Jon Runyans for eight quarters every year. Sim won’t ever have his name brought up [for the Hall of Fame], and that’s a shame. He’s one of the best pass rushers I’ve ever encountered in my life.”

And, at least in Sapp’s mind, a better pass rusher than Strahan.

89 responses to “Sapp would put Simeon Rice in the Hall of Fame over Strahan

  1. As a bucs fan, I’d have to disagree with Sapp. Strahan deserves it more then Rice, even though Rice was a very special pass rusher.

  2. Wow, I didn’t know these guy don’t like each other. I rememeber last yr on the NFL network, Strahan brought out a happy birthday cake for Sapp. Sapp even went as far as to give Strahan a kiss on the cheek. Guess just because you kiss a person doesn’t mean you like them.

  3. While I think more often than not Sapp is a moron, im not saying he’s better than Strahan, but Simeon Rice does deserve to be there, he was a major factor along with Sapp in them winning in Tampa Bay

  4. But did he say with the look of a psycho bug eyed pug? That’s how you know if he meant it.

  5. Maybe I am reading this wrong or taking his quote out of context, but how do you hate on Jon Runyan? Dude was a beast for more than a decade.

  6. Rushing the RT vs LT. Does Sapp not have a point? Simeon Also played 12yrs. Strahan 14.

    Simeon played on one of the greatest defenses of all time with big names so its easy for him to get lost in that shuffle, but lets not forget how good he was. I know you’re gonna want your boy from NY to think he is totally like the greatest thing evarrr, but the only gap between the 2 is Michael Strahan’s 2 front teeth.

  7. Two retired clowns who couldn’t have started for the Redskins don’t like each other, and one of those clowns says a mediocre Eagles castoff was better than the other clown. Makes me glad and proud to be a Redskins fan.

  8. “Strahan responded that there should be a McDonald’s next to Sapp’s house because Sapp is fat.” first of all that’s brilliant.
    as an eagles fan (i.e. someone who dislikes the giants a lot), i gotta say strahan was the scariest thing about that team for a long time. i don’t know which guy was better, but strahan is definitely a HOF pass rusher and he seems like a pretty cool dude.

  9. Sapp is a complete moron and this certifies it.

    Rice was a damn fine pass rusher, Strahan was all that and a lot more.

  10. Strahan was a complete DE and shut down against the run. Rice isn’t half the player Strahan was against run plus Strahan had like 300 more tackles and much longer career. Rice was done at 31

    Strahan is one of most complete DE’s of all-time and not up for debate

  11. I kinda agree… How many seasons did it take for Rice to rack up 122 sacks, compared to seasons it took Strahan to get 141.5, only 19 more? And like Sapp said, against Left Tackles vs Rights, etc… As far as Pro Bowl appearances, NY players always have an easier time getting to Honolulu compared to guys in smaller markets…. I think a case could be made.

  12. Rice was a good pass rusher who ignored his other duties as a DE. Want to run on the Bucs/Cards? Run to Rice’s side while he goes wide to get his sack. Hardly HOF caliber.

  13. Simeon Rice was a much better pure pass rusher than Strahan. Rice always played in small markets, so it’s no surprise he received less fanfare than Strahan.

    shogunassasin30 – Rice destroyed QBs when he played for Arizona, wouldn’t call that one of the greatest defenses of all time.

  14. As an Eagles fan, I’ve never really liked Strahan. but his record does speak for itself – 7 x pro-bowler, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 2 x NFC Defensive player of the year, 5 time all pro, 141 career sacks and 5th all time. I think at the very least the guy deserves to be in the conversation for HOF eligibility.

    I do agree with Sapp on two counts tho, (1) I also think the single season sack record was tainted by what certainly seemed to be Favre handing that last sack to him and (2) he went up against right tackles versus the stronger left tackles. That certainly should be a part of any evaluation.

    I think Simeon Rice also deserves HOF consideration as well. He logged 122 sacks through a career that was a few years shorter than Strahan, and the guy was an absolute beast on the field. If I recall correctly, I think he had a poor attitude and some off the field issues that took away from what really was a pretty remarkable career. At the time, if given the choice I think I would have preferred him over Strahan if there was an opportunity to add him to an eagles roster.

    Still hate Sapp though more than any other NFL player….but I do grudgingly admit, he is also a HOF player.

    Gotta give credit where its due.

  15. Simeon Rice, another Arizona Cardinal who stunk it up in Arizona and went on to be an all pro somewhere else. Thanks Mr Bidwell!

  16. Sapp has a right to his opinion of course and these two have been sniping at each other either playfully or not for a long time.
    That said, Strahan is one of the best all around DEs I’ve seen play. Rice? Not so much.

  17. Well it’s a good thing the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is actually the Pass Rushing HOF.

    Oh wait….you mean that isn’t what makes you a HOFer? Simply being a great pass rusher.

    The same reason Strahan deserves to be a HOFer over Sapp, is the same reason he deserves it more than Rice.

    Strahan wasn’t a better pass rusher than Rice. Strahan isn’t even a top 10 pass rusher of all-time.

    He was a great pass-rusher.

    What should have made Strahan a 1st ballot HOFer, is there may have never been a better 2-way D-lineman.

    Michael Strahan was the best combination of stopping the RUN, and rushing the passer during the 90’s and 2000’s.

    Jason Taylor and Rice were better pass rushers, but neither they, nor Sapp played the run well.

    You did not run to the right side against the Giants when Strahan played.

  18. Strahan’s record should be viewed with some disdain. Actually, Brett Favre should be viewed with disdain, for his asinine actions on that play.

    Strahan should be in the Hall of Fame, but the voting process is so screwy that there will surely be many less deserving, and some totally undeserving players, who get in before him.

    Warren Sapp, for example.

  19. Crabsjarrard- I believe shogun was referring to the Bucs defense in his comment about one of the greatest defenses ever.

  20. Derrick Brooks should have been in before Sapp. Rice was good, but neither of these guys were the player that Brooks was.

    Here’s his career awards.
    6× First-team All-Pro (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
    3× Second-team All-Pro (1997, 1998, 2001)
    9× First-team All-NFC (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
    11× Pro Bowl (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008)
    Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (2000)
    “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award (2003)
    Bart Starr Man of the Year Award (2003)
    AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2002)
    Super Bowl champion (XXXVII)
    Pro Bowl MVP (2005)

  21. From what I understand its easier to get sacks from the RE position because you’re approaching from the QBs blind side. That is why they put the best lineman on the left side. Not to mention Strahan was a much more complete DE that Rice in that 1) he could stop the run and 2) for pretty much his whole his career he didn’t benefit from a Sapp or D Brooks drawing the attention of the offensive. He was the #1 guy and still put up better numbers than Rice.

  22. Strahan will get in next year no doubt, though Sapp does have a point with Rice getting in the Hall at least, not over Strahan though Rice does deserve a spot in Canton for what he did over 12 years, truly a force to be reckoned with.

  23. I’m a Giant fan and love Strahan but Sapp makes some decent points. However, my counter to his LT/RT argument is that the RTs in the NFC East were better than the LTs in the NFC South/Central. For much of Strahan’s career, he lined up across the likes of Mark Tuinei, Erik Williams (3x SB champs), Runyan (pro bowl) and was doubled constantly/chipped by a back b/c he had nobody rushing with him. Keith Hamilton? He sure didn’t have a HOF tackle lining up with him or a HOF LB (Brooks) blitzing. Rice was good but gameplans didn’t revolve around stopping him.

  24. Warren Sap, was an OK player, but he is an even better person, in fact, he is the true definition of a kind man. I would take everything he says about Strahan to heart because Warren really is a highly intelligent and thoughtful person. That is why he is a HOF’er. If more of this countries citizens were like Warren Sapp and Aaron Hernandez our country would be a much better place.

  25. I agree 100 % on beating a RT vs LT because its common sense and you see the talent difference on the field. As for Rice over Strahan, I remember the NY Superbowl run their d-line basically won each playoff game for them with their future hall of famer leading the way. I actually think Sapp can be funny sometimes but most times his analysts is so far off base and too self-serving. You retired, you’re in the hall of fame and other players are just as worthy of respect.

  26. Why is everyone so in love with Strahan? He had a pretty good career and should definitely be in the conversation for the hall of fame, and eventually get in, but there is an obsession over this guy that I will never understand. That being said, Warren Sapp isn’t exactly easy to love either.

  27. HA! thats hilarious bec when i seen strahan got screwed for the HOF i was telling people he should of been in over sapp

    games played
    strahaan- 216

    MS- 141.5
    sapp- 96.5

    MS- 667 solo , 187 assist
    sapp- 438 solo, 135 assist

    strahan even had more touchdowns than him
    strahan dominated the superbowl and brady sapp was just ok

  28. When asked for a quote on how he felt about the situation, due to his playing with Strahan and his brother playing with Rice, Tiki Barber responded, “I’m flabbergasted.”

  29. Whoever wants to can argue over Strahan or Rice, but I can say that listening to someone who can’t even manage his own finances is not the way to settle that argument. Worry about your own backyard there Sapp and less about your obvious dislike of Strahan and some argument no one cares about and maybe you wouldn’t be where you are (bankruptcy).

  30. If you did not strike fear in opposing offenses the way Art Donovan, Joe Greene, Deacon Jones, Alan Page ,Merlin Olsen, John Randle, Lee Roy Selmon, Randy White, and Jack Youngblood did, then you do not belong in the Hall of Fame. Therfore, in my opinion, neither Rice, Sapp, or Strahan belong.

  31. It’s fine if Sapp wants to push for Rice to be in the HOF, you won’t find any argument from me on that point. But Sapp shows his lack of class by making it about Strahan vs. Rice and by taking cheap shots at Strahan. The Giants moved Strahan around the line his entire career. He went up against Runyan because that was the weak point on the Eagles line and the Giant’s coaches were smart to exploit that weak point. Sapp and his trench mouth should be silenced.

    On a related point, please, please, will the collective intelligence of the TV viewing public improve to the point where we can remove idiots like Sapp from the airwaves? I stopped watching ESPN and the NFL Network because of all the blustering fools they both have on air.

  32. Strahan could rush the passer and play the run which made him a special DE. Rice could only pass rush. Strahan was better than Rice and Sapp. Die hard Giants fan here who now lives in Tampa. The Bucs fans here respect what he did on the field, but the majority of them can’t stand him. I’ve been here 5 years now and Alstott is the fan favorite and everyone said he’s a really nice guy in person and everyone I know who has met or knows Sapp say he is the biggest jerk off. Doesn’t surprise me the way he runs his damn mouth. Everyone knows Strahan should have gotten in the HOF first and that they knew the SB was coming to NY/NJ so they saved his announcement for then. To me it’s wrong, but it is what it is.

  33. I would vote to put his mouth in the American Patriot Hall of Fame, just below a portrait of Pat Tillman, with the inscription: “He gave his life for money.”

  34. @ justintuckrule
    Who cares if the RTs in the NFC were better than left tackles in the South, Rice went against the LTs in that same NFC East for 5 years and averaged more than 10 sacks a year on a bad Cards team before moving on to Tampa.
    Plus divisional games are just 6 of 16 on the schedule, if all Rices sacks came in just games against “inferior” South OTs that would be impressive in its self.
    Lets not act like Strahan faced nothing but All Pro RTs all season, every season, the guy faced his fair share of chumps too.

  35. OK this is just crazy. I would not put any of these clowns in the HOF. My vote would go to Dexter Manley first. If you don’t know who he is GOOGLE it.

  36. bookofelisha10 says: Jun 20, 2013 12:19 PM

    HA! thats hilarious bec when i seen strahan got screwed for the HOF i was telling people he should of been in over sapp

    games played
    strahaan- 216

    MS- 141.5
    sapp- 96.5

    MS- 667 solo , 187 assist
    sapp- 438 solo, 135 assist

    strahan even had more touchdowns than him
    strahan dominated the superbowl and brady sapp was just ok

    Apples and oranges. Sapp was a defensive tackle moron.

  37. Strahan played for 15 years and played well every year including in his last year. Simeon Rice dropped off considerably, became expendable to the Bucs and wasn’t that good during the end of his career which lends to the statement he benefited in Tampa from Brooks and Sapp.

  38. Let’s not forget that Simeon Rice should have been the MVP of the Bucs dominating win over the Raiders in the Super Bowl.

    As Peter King explained in his MMQB article after the Bucs win, the fans were given a third of the MVP vote via text and they went with Dexter Jackson while the media went with Rice, who hounded Gannon into throwing quite a few of those INT’s as well as notching a sack and possibly a forced fumble (I forget the exact stat line for Rice, but it was MVP worth for sure).

    Rice belongs in the HOF and at his peak he was just as good if not better than Strahan. Both guys were great players though and were pretty much even, IMO.

  39. What Warren Sapp has never gotten is, pass rushing is only half of your job. RUN STOPPING to me is more important. Something him and Simeon forgot how to do during their careers. Todays pass rusher that can’t stop a point of attack is Jared Allen, dude gets pancaked on runs but he sure can get to the QB if they ever can get it to 3rd down.

  40. Sapp is a moron who should be fired, and never allowed to have an opinion voiced…put him in charge of high school football announcing for a small crap town in south texas..where no one gives a crap what idiotic sentences come out of his ridiculous mouth…

  41. Simeon Rice’s strength was without a doubt his ability to get to the QB, but he wasn’t a slouch against the run either.

    And look, I expect just about everything to come out of Warren Sapp’s mouth to be thumbed down on this site, but the HOF voters got it right; Sapp was one of the most dominant players to have ever played the game. You don’t get voted to both the all decade team for the 90’s and 00’s on accident. The man may be a clown, but he was the superior player to Strahan, and his first ballot induction proves it.

    Strahan will make it next year and Rice should eventually get in, although I see him being one of the Senior Committee votes 15 or so years down the road.

  42. Sapp has a point. Right tackles are generally worse than left tackles, and thus easier to beat. Strahan’s 18 sacks in his first 4 years (5.5 in his first two years as a RDE). It wasn’t until year 5 when he broke out into double digits. Rice had 87 seasons with double digit sacks compared to Strahan’s 5, and Rice played againt the team’s best tackle, the LT, every game, every year of his career.

    A lot of times Sapp is a blowhard, but on this one he has some weight and the stats back it up. 136.0 sacks against a team’s worst tackle vs 122.0 against a team’s best tackle. 5 double digit sack seasons to 8 for Rice. In fact, Strahan has only 1 more double digit sack season than Sapp and Clyde Simmons, and 5 fewer than Kevin Greene who still isn’t in the HOF (dude had 12 sacks in his final season @ age 37!).

    Strahan should not go in before Kevin Greene with his 160 sacks and only 5 of his 15 seasons he did without double digit sacks, and he had dbl digits and 52 sacks in his final 4 years.

  43. Warren Sapp is the most arrogant and overrated football player ever! Totally ridiculous the way he behaves, Anytime he’s on the NFL network I change the channel. Thank God he has nothing to do with PFT!

  44. Remember folks Sapp has and will have a life long grudge against theEagles because they obviously mistakenly passed over Sapp in his draft, and in the years before the Bucs won the Super Bowl the Eagles 0-line dominated and b@$# slapped everything out of the Bucs line.

    To say the worst player is the right tackle, in an age where both tackles are premium positions everyone throws money or high draft picks to get probowlers at, is just showing stupidity.

    So that’s why he mentioned Runyan as a poor player, not, you know, actually knowing something.

  45. Well, that’s just like, your opinion, man.

    Also, Tim Brown should be going into the Hall before Sapp. Truth.

  46. Rice was an incredible pass rusher, but that’s all he did. He had more stacks than tackles on running backs.

  47. Sapp is mad because of a few reasons:
    1. Sapp’s net worth is under $1,000,000. Strahan is worth over $35,000,000.
    2. Strahan gets to kiss Kelly Rippa every morning. Sapp gets to kiss Rich Eisen every morning.

  48. If I were Strahan:

    “You can’t use food stamps at Subway Sapp, sorry, don’t be mad at me, I don’t make the rules, just endorse the place”

  49. Sapp is right. Everyone remembers Strahan’s sack record, but what else did he do? He had 6 double-digit sack seasons in 15 years played. That means 9 seasons if mediocrity. Rice had 8 double digit sack seasons in a shorter career (12 seasons). Rice was a more consistent threat. Strahan should be in the hall of very-good.

  50. Using Sapp’s own logic then he should be out too because he got his sacks against Guards who are not as good at pass locking as RT or LT.

    It’s also pathetic that Sapp is supposed to be an analyst and apparently doesn’t know that the game has changed and now teams often put their best pass rusher against the RT. Strahan was the start of that trend and that’s also why you have teams investing more in RT.

    Sapp also fails to mention that Strahan had to deal with the TE on the right side too. Just because Andy Reid was too dumb to have his TE help on Strahan doesn’t mean other teams didn’t routinely double him.

  51. I bet if you ask the late great Deacon Jones who was better, he would say Strahan hands down because he NEVER came off the field. The only time Strahan came off the field was when he other team was punting. The stat’s of every D lineman and linebacker around Strahan went up because of the double and triple teams he had to endure his entire career.

  52. Hate on Sapp all u want he has a point. Simeon Rice was a beast and gave some of the greatest interviews ever.

  53. Sapp’s an idiot. No way he deserved to be elected into the HOF before Strahan — compare the stats.
    He’s a moron who lost all his money and is jealous because Strahan continues to be more successful than him. How the NFL Network keeps him employed is amazing — he adds nothing. As a player, Sapp was great, but he’s a loser in life.

  54. Warren Sapp is an overrated jerk. He put up good stats in Tampa b/c he played a 3 technique gap shooting DT with little run defending responsibilities. Look at his production when he went to Oakland and was moved to defensive end and asked to do more. His production was non existent. He stunk! Unlike Strahan, Sapp couldn’t do jack sh*t against offensive tackles (left side or right). He was exposed as a 1 trick pony.

    Strahan was a far more complete player than Sapp. Not only was he the best pass rushing DE of his generation, he was arguably the best run stuffing DE. What Sapp failed miserably at in Oakland, Strahan excelled at his entire career. He could set the edge & play RUN FIRST defense while still generating tremendous QB pressure against mostly double teams. Strahan didn’t get his QB sacks/pressures/hits by shooting gaps and abandoning the run. He got them the hard way.

    I also find it interesting that it’s the guy that got elected 1st ballot HOF that’s taking shots at the guy who got snubbed. If anything, this should be the other way around. Goes to show just how different these 2 men are from each other. While one has a tremendous class, the other appears to have absolutely none.

    Fat Warren got into the HOF over Strahan for 2 reasons that have nothing to do with being the better football player. He got in b/c…
    1) With Parcells’ selection, the committee was reluctant to vote for Strahan b/c they prefer not having 2 people associated with the same team be inducted the same year
    2) With the SB being played in NY next season, voters decided to hold off a year so Strahan could be honored in front of his home town fans.

    Bottom line – knowledgable football fans know Strahan was a better player than Sapp…. and based on Sapp’s obvious resentment/jealousy of Strahan, I suspect he knows it as well.

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