Warren Sapp just isn’t a fan of Michael Strahan. The NFL Network analyst and Hall of Fame defensive tackle sounded off during a Wednesday interview, claiming that Strahan wasn’t nearly as talented a pass rusher as Simeon Rice, his former Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammate.
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Tribune, Sapp claimed that Rice, who lined up alongside Sapp for three seasons in Tampa Bay, deserves to be considered above Strahan in terms of the NFL’s most-prolific pass rushers. Rice, who played defensive end, averaged 14 sacks during those three seasons.
"Nobody ever talks about Simeon,'' Sapp told the Tribune. ”Simeon was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday.''
Sapp’s criticism of Strahan didn’t stop there. During the interview, the 40-year-old claimed that Strahan only began to record impressive sack totals after moving from right defensive end to the left side. NFL teams normally place their most talented offensive lineman at the left tackle, in order to protect their quarterback’s “blind side.” Conversely, NFL defenses typically assign their best pass rusher to match up against the left offensive tackle.
"(Rice) didn't rush the worst lineman,'' Sapp, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013, told the Tribune. "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.”
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Despite Sapp’s criticism, Strahan is a virtual lock to end up in the Hall of Fame. His 141.5 career sacks ranks fifth in NFL history. His 22.5 sacks during the 2001 season is an NFL record.
This isn’t the first time that Strahan and Sapp have engaged in a public feud. When Strahan broke Mark Gastineau’s single-season record by sacking Brett Favre under questionable circumstances, Sapp took to the media to voice his displeasure.
The NFL legends also feuded this February, when Sapp, in the aftermath of his Hall of Fame induction, called Strahan a “media darling.” Strahan responded on Twitter, saying, "You never cease to amaze me! Enjoy your moment. You don't need to take a shot at me to justify yourself to other people.''