Sapp Blasts Strahan; Lauds RiceJune 20th, 2013
Until recent years, Joe thought the four Hall of Fame worthy Bucs defenders who played in the glory years were Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and — not Ronde Barber, but — Simeon Rice.
Now Joe knew even back then that Rice getting in the Pro Football Hall of Fame was a long shot, but Joe thought that much of Rice’s playing ability.
It seems Sapp did, too.
In a colorful rant against his nemesis Michael Strahan (yet again), Sapp went after Strahan, basically claiming he is not Hall of Fame worthy and it should be Rice, not Strahan, who should be getttinh serious consideration for induction into Canton, reports eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.
“Nobody ever talks about Simeon,” said Sapp, who played three seasons with Rice in Tampa and saw the right defensive end average 14 sacks between 2001-03. “Simeon was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
Sapp also said Strahan’s 15-year career with the New York Giants didn’t take off until he was moved from right end to the left side.
“(Rice) didn’t rush the worst lineman,” said Sapp, who beat out Strahan for a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013. “You know the right tackle is the worst of the five [offensive linemen. 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.”
Joe thinks Sapp is onto something. Rice and Sapp made for an absolutely lethal duo rushing from the right side. To this day, Joe thought Rice should have been the MVP of the Bucs’ Super Bowl, though Joe understands why it was awarded to the good Dexter Jackson (Dwight Smith could have won that award, as well).
Why did Joe change his mind from Rice to Barber as the four possible Hall of Fame candidates from the Bucs? Because in recent years, Barber set records that will be very difficult for a cornerback to beat, establishing himself as one of the game’s elite.