Giants By The Numbers: 92 Is For ...

Michael Strahan during his retirement announcement. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Umm ... Gee ... Wasn't there a guy, used to play defensive end ... Had a funny gap between his front teeth ... Was pretty good at rushing the quarterback ... Heard he might do some TV work these days.

What was his name? ... Strahan? ... Yeah, Michael Strahan ... That's the guy.

Yes, all kidding aside Strahan is the obvious -- and only -- choice for No. 92.

Strahan, a 1993 second-round draft pick, is the best defensive end to the ever play for the Giants, with apologies to old-timers who might want to make an argument for Hall of Famer Andy Robustelli. Strahan is a lock to become the 30th Giant enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

To be honest, the Giants' defense still misses Strahan. Not only the incredible talent and the fact that he drew constant double-teams, but the presence and locker room leadership as well. The defense has simply not had the same swagger since Strahan took his Super Bowl trophy and rode off into the sunset, taking his gap-toothed smile and larger-than-life personality to television.

Let's look at the numbers that summarize Strahan's career.

  • He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro in 15 seasons.
  • Set the single-season sack record in 2001 with 22.5, even if Brett Favre did lay down for the final one.
  • Had six double-digit sack seasons in his career.
  • Finished with 141.5 career sacks, tops on the 'official' franchise list and fifth all-time.
Giants' fans remember, of course, that Strahan and coach Tom Coughlin clashed initially when Coughlin took over in 2004. The fact that the two made peace, and that Strahan became a locker room leader standing behind TC, was one of the key developments that helped the Giants win a Super Bowl. His 'Stomp You Out' Super Bowl victory celebration is forever etched in the memory banks of Giants' fans.

In Strahan's book, "Inside the Helmet: My Life as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior," published in 2007 prior to the Super Bowl run, Strahan discussed his relationship with Coughlin.
"I think in a lot of ways we both have changed," Strahan said. "From my end there was a point where I said, 'Well, I can either be a part of the problem or I can be a part of the solution. And I wanted to be a part of the solution.

"I'm surprised that I've come around to this point, without a doubt," Strahan said. "And I'm surprised that he's changed and come around as much as he has as well. I think we both kind of figured out we almost need each other. Or maybe we both needed some adjustment in order to survive."
In Lew Freedman's book 'New York Giants: The Complete Illustrated History,' Strahan talked about the variety of ways teams tried to block him.
"I've seen tackle-guard, tackle-tight end, tackle-back, tight end-back and worst of all, tackle-tight end-back," Strahan said.
Fact is, none of it worked incredibly well against No. 92.
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