Tiki: Simeon Rice Was One-DimensionalJune 30th, 2013
The fire of words that Bucs great and soon-to-be Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp lit recently by claiming Simeon Rice has more street cred to get into Canton than former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan was rekindled when intern-loving Tiki Barber appeared with Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski on WHFS-FM 98.7 last week.
Barber was quoted calling Sapp “an idiot” for his remarks. And while Barber did not deny he said that about Sapp, he claims his words were “blown out of proportion” by the same fourth estate in which he is trying to make a living.
“Look, I have nothing disparaging to say about Warren Sapp,” Barber said. “But here’s what I have to say: He has had a vendetta against Michael Strahan and I don’t even know why he has had a vendetta against Michael Strahan. Maybe because he can because he is a first ballot Hall of Famer and Michael wasn’t. I understand what he was trying to do and get Simeon Rice some credit for what Simeon was as a player and he was a fantastic player rushing the quarterback from the defensive end, but don’t do it at the expense of ‘Stra,’ who is my boy. He’s always had my back.
“They are different players so the comparison never made sense. To put it simply, Strahan was a complete player. He played on the weak side, he played on the strong side, he had to stop the run. Simeon was more of a single-dimensional guy where he would come off the edge and he was better than anyone at it with his speed and his length and his ability to get low and underneath tackles to go after the quarterback but he was not a guy counted on to stop the run. That’s not knocking him as a player, that was a fact and the numbers will show you that in career tackles. So when you try to compare them, you can’t. There was no malice in foresight in calling Sapp ‘an idiot.’ It was blown out of proportion.”
Well, once you say certain words to a reporter on the record, there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Barber said what he said. If he needs to apologize, and Sapp demands one (doubtful), that’s between those two.
While Barber has a good point that Strahan was a more complete player, exactly who the hell looks at tackles on running backs when choosing a defensive end for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Did anyone mention how many tackles Reggie White had or Deacon Jones or Bruce Smith? Hell, no! Defensive ends bound for Canton are largely if not solely judged on how many times they put quarterbacks on the ground.
And in that regard, Joe believes Rice was Strahan’s equal if not superior.