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Sapp: Simeon Rice was better than Strahan

Warren Sapp

Warren Sapp (Credit: Showtime)

Former Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year, beating out former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan. Evidently, Sapp doesn't think much of Strahan, who owns the single-season sack record and is likely to be selected for the Hall of Fame very soon, perhaps as early as next February. 

Sapp told Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune on Wednesday that he thinks former Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice was a better pass rusher than Strahan. This despite the fact Strahan finished his career with a franchise record 141 1/2 sacks.

"Nobody ever talks about Simeon,'' said Sapp, who played three seasons with Rice in Tampa from 2001-03. "Simeon was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday.''

Sapp said Strahan benefited by playing left end because he went up against opposing right tackles who were not as adept as left tackles at pass blocking.

"(Rice) didn't rush the worst lineman,'' said Sapp. "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.

"They put him at right end and he couldn't do it, so they moved him to the weak guy," Sapp said. "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.''

Rice had 122 sacks in 12 seasons, but was considered a one-dimensional player who was a liability against the run. Strahan is fifth all-time among NFL sack leaders and set the single-season record of 22 1/2 in 2001. 

Sapp tweaked Strahan for his record-breaking sack, which came against Brett Favre in the season finale against the Packers. On the play, Favre appeared to go down just before Strahan got to the quarterback. 

"This is a man who wants something given to him and they gave it to him,'' Sapp said. "So have it.''

When Sapp made it to the Hall of Fame over Strahan last February, he called Strahan, who is co-host of the Kelly & Michael Show on ABC, a "media darling." 

Strahan shot back at Sapp on Twitter: "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.''

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