He may have missed all of training camp and the teams four preseason games, but that has not stopped Michael Strahan from earning a big “C” on his uniform for the 2007 season. The defensive end was named as one of the captains of the 2007 Giants on Friday, along with QB Eli Manning, center Shaun O’Hara, LB Antonio Pierce, and punter Jeff Feagles. Strahan missed 38 days with the Giants this past summer when he was talking about walking away from the game, but right away upon his return earned back his teammates trust enough to earn the title of captain.
Strahan admitted on Friday that by being elected captain “it shows the guys respect you,” and that they have put any feelings about him not being at training camp behind them. “That training-camp thing meant nothing,” he said. “That was more of a figment of the imagination of the pens and papers than actually the players. Players don’t care about none of that. You come out here, you play. That’s what matters.”
Fellow defensive captain Antonio Pierce said that there is not many that would have been voted captain after missing as much time as Strahan did. “There ain’t too many at all,” Pierce said. “That’s just what he’s meant to the guys that are here. He’s a guy that for 14-15 years has been a productive player as well as a leader on the team. Everybody thought we were going to turn our backs on him. That shows you how tight this team is.”
Coach Tom Coughlin was also someone that did not appear to be all that shocked by the Giants players selection of Strahan as part defensive captain. “He’s been a solid individual in the locker room for the players,” Coughlin said. “He’s been a solid guy in the locker room for this coaching staff, and I think that was recognized by the players as well. There isn’t any question he’s a tremendous football player and a tremendous addition to that group and they admire him.”
Now we’ll see if Strahan can live up to the hype Sunday night when the Giants travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in the season opener. They are the underdogs in that game and for this season to win that game and the NFC East, and they can make a big statement with a win over the Cowboys tomorrow night in front of what should be a loud crowd in Big D.