John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Former Giants great DE Michael Strahan will be one of seven new members inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame tonight. Strahan, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection who played all of his 15 NFL seasons with Big Blue, was voted in earlier this year in his second year of eligibility.
Strahan began his career with the Giants as a second-round draft pick in 1993, Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms’ last season, and ended it with a Super Bowl championship in 2008.
Joining Michael in the Hall tonight will be Oakland’s legendary punter, Ray Guy, who set the league standard at his position and his considered the greatest to have ever played; and DE Claude Humphery, another worthy veteran who waited decades to hear his name called.
Others in the Class of 2014: Bucs’ LB Derrick Brooks, an eleven-time Pro Bowler; OT Walter Jones, who anchored the Seattle Seahawks’ line for more than a decade; former Cardinals and Rams CB Aeneas Williams, an eight-time Pro Bowler and former Bills’ WR Andre Reed, who was on the other end of many a Jim Kelly TD pass.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on the NFL Network and ESPN beginning at 7pm Eastern.
Brooks and Jones will each have their sons deliver their induction speeches. Humphery’s daughter and Williams’ father will give theirs. Guy will be inducted by his former coach, Hall of Famer John Madden. Reed will have his former HOF coach, Marv Levy, deliver his.
Michael will be inducted by his close friend and colleague, FOX Sports super-reporter Jay Glazer.
In a recent interview, Strahan was asked what it’s like to join other Giant greats such as Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson and late owner Wellington Mara in the Hall of Fame:
“I mean, it’s, I guess, overwhelming to be honest with you because obviously Mr. Mara was there when I was drafted and would come to practice every day and the face of the NFL more – and also of the Giants and one of the original pioneers of the game. So it just has such a rich history and on top of that, Harry Carson being a great friend of mine, as well as LT being a great friend and one guy I looked up to when I came in.
Just so much history on the side of the Giants and the fact that you can see we all spent our career all in one place which just goes to show that it’s a family. And I’m just honored because it’s nothing that I had in my brain, nothing I imagined when I start out that I’d be joining these guys in the Hall of Fame and, you know, I’m honored to be doing so.”
Here are 22 facts about Michael Strahan, courtesy of the Giants’ Public Relations Dept:
1. Played his entire 15-year career with the Giants from 1993-2007.
2. One of three players in the 89-year history of the Giants to play 15 years with the team. The others are Hall of Famer Mel Hein (1931-45) and Phil Simms 3(1979-93).
3. Played in a Giants-record 216 regular- season games (205 starts) and is one of 19 players in franchise history to play at least 10 postseason games (all starts). He moved into the starting lineup in his second NFL season in 1994 after missing seven games as a rookie due to a foot injury. Strahan played in every game for eight consecutive seasons (1996-2003) before tearing his pectoral muscle in 2004.
4. He played in all 16 regular-season 4games 11 times in his 15-year career.
5. Was the 2001 NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year.
6. Was selected to seven Pro Bowls. Only four Giants were selected to more Pro Bowls and all are Hall of Famers: linebackers Lawrence Taylor (10) and Harry Carson (9), offensive tackle Rosie Brown (9) and cornerback Emlen Tunnell (8).
7. Five-time NFC Defensive Player of the Week and the Defensive Player of 8 the Month in October 2001.
8. Defensive captain of the 2007 Giants team that won Super Bowl XLII.
9. Had 141.5 career regular season sacks, which is the Giants’ franchise record and the fifth-highest total in NFL history. The former Giants record-holder was Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who had 132.5 sacks. Taylor had 9.5 sacks as a rookie in 1981, the year before sacks became an official statistic.
10. When he retired following the 2007 season, Strahan’s 141.5 sacks placed him first
among active players.
11. Holds the NFL single-season record with 22.5 sacks in 2001. The previous record of 22 sacks was set by Mark Gastineau of the Jets in 1984. In setting the record, Strahan became the sixth player to record at least 20 sacks in a season since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. He was the 1st player with at least 20 sacks in a season since the late Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas accomplished the feat for Kansas City in 1990 and the 1st with 21 since Hall of Famer Chris Doleman did it in 1989. The previous Giants record was held by Taylor, who had 20.5 sacks in 1986.
12. Led the NFL in 2003 with 18.5 sacks, the 2nd-highest total of his career. He is the only Giants player to twice lead the league in sacks. The only other time a Giant topped the NFL’s sack list was 1986, when Taylor had 20.5 sacks. The only other players who have led the NFL in sacks at least twice are Mark Gastineau (1983-84), Hall of Famer Reggie White (1987-88), Kevin Greene (1994 and 1996) and Jared Allen (2007 and 2011).
13. Also holds the Giants’ postseason record with 9.5 sacks. Leonard Marshall is second with 7.0.
14. Had at least a half-sack against 64 different quarterbacks in the regular season, with Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb being his most frequent victim (12.5)…His 21.5 sacks vs. the Eagles are the most against any opponent. Dallas is next at 18.0, followed by Washington at 17.0.
15. Career totals include 868 tackles (655 solo), 141.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 38 passes defensed, 23 forced fumbles and 15 fumble recoveries. He scored 3 touchdowns, 2 on interception returns and 1 on a fumble return.
16. According to STATSPASS, Strahan had 84.5 career stuffs, defined as tackles of running backs behind the line of scrimmage, for 189 yards in losses.
17. In his 15 seasons, the Giants’ defense was ranked among the NFL’s top 15 eight times and in the top 10 four times.
18. In those same 15 seasons, the Giants’ defense against the run was ranked among the NFL’s top 15 nine times and in the top 10 five times, peaking at No. 2 in 2000.
19. In postseason play, Strahan had 52 tackles (34 solo), 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.
20. Made a big contribution in the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII victory vs. New England, finishing with 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack, 2 QB hurries, 4 QB hits and a pass defensed. He sacked Tom Brady for a 6-yard loss in the third quarter, tackled RB Laurence Maroney for a 2-yard loss in the second quarter and batted away a Brady pass intended for Kevin Faulk in the third quarter.
21. That postseason, Strahan had 10 tackles (5 solo) in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Dallas and 4 tackles (2 solo) in the NFC Championship Game at Green Bay.
22. During the 2000 season, started all 19 regular-season and postseason games and led the Giants to the NFC championship and a berth in Super Bowl XXXV. Had a team-high 4.5 sacks in the postseason, including 2.0 in a divisional playoff victory over Philadelphia.