Sapp: Simeon was better than Strahan

June, 21, 2013
6/21/13
3:59
PM ET
Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan Paul Howell/Getty ImagesIt tends to get messy when Warren Sapp (left) talks about Michael Strahan (right).
Warren Sapp has no love for Michael Strahan.

Sapp, who has been critical of Strahan in the past, now says his former Tampa teammate Simeon Rice was twice as good as Strahan, one of the best players in Giants history.

"Nobody ever talks about Simeon," Sapp told the Tampa Tribune. "Simeon was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday."

Sapp, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, told the Tribune that Strahan's career didn't take off until he moved from right defensive end to left end. Strahan, who wasn't voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, has 141.5 career sacks, fifth on the NFL's all-time list.

[+] EnlargeSimeon Rice
Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports Simeon Rice spent the bulk of his career with the Bucs and Cards, racking up 122 sacks.
"[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.'"

Strahan notched 18 sacks in his first four seasons combined. He enjoyed a breakout season with 14 sacks in 1997, followed by 15 in 1998.

"They put him at right end and he couldn't do it, so they moved him to the weak guy," Sapp said. "One-on-one with the Jon Runyans [of the Eagles] 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."

Rice, who finished with 122 sacks in his career, averaged 13.5 sacks a year from 2001-05 while with the Bucs. When Strahan set the single-season record of 22.5 sacks in 2001, Sapp questioned how Strahan got the record because Brett Favre appeared to give the Giants' pass-rusher the record-setting sack.

"This is a man who wants something given to him and they gave it to him," Sapp said, according to the Tribune. "So have it."

What do you make of Sapp's criticism of Strahan? Let us know.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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