This is the first GMEN Debate, a new series of articles that you can look forward to every week. In these debate posts I will pose a question that will hopefully spark great debate across Giants Nation. Today’s debate is who is the greatest Giants pass rusher, Lawrence Taylor or Michael Strahan?
Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants former player Lawrence Taylor (left) and former head coach Bill Parcells are honored at halftime of the game against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Both Taylor and Strahan are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The case for Taylor is that he changed the game. He was one of the best 3-4 outside linebackers of all time and he did it in an age when the NFL was predominately 4-3.
Taylor ranks 11th of all time with his 132.5 sacks from 1981-1993. Taylor reinvented what an outside linebacker could be in the modern age of the league. Denying his historical importance is impossible.
Aug 2, 2014; Canton, OH, USA; New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan kisses his bust during the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Strahan had a 15 year career in which he amassed 141.5 sacks. He is 5th on the all time sacks list. Strahan was the leader of the 2007 Giants team that beat the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The Giants great got to do what so few athletes can, ride off into the sunset with a ring to show what he had accomplished. Strahan had 6 years with double digit sacks including his 2001 campaign when he had 22.5 sacks.
I want to keep the debate purely about football and the results on the field. Both players will be remembered for their larger than life personalities. Strahan is possibly the most charismatic and likeable player the Giants have ever had which is why he does so well on TV.
Taylor has had his issues with both coach Bill Parcells and the law as this turns off some fans. Lets just keep the debate on the body of work they have put together in their careers, if we could.
I would say that Taylor was the most feared player of an entire generation. Taylor helped revolutionize defensive football, I give the nod to him. Both are living legends in my eyes though.