It’s the NFL’s Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio this Saturday night as the 2014 class will be enshrined with legends. Defensive end Michael Strahan will become the 29th player, coach or owner as part of the New York Giants organization to be inducted. During his career Strahan put up great numbers totaling 141.5 career sacks while still hold the NFL single season sack record of 22.5, a mark he set during the 2001 season.
With Strahan being inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend, it would be fitting that his New York Giants football team would be there as well. The Giants will participate in the prestigious Pro Football Hall of Fame game this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
The Giants will also be on-hand for Strahan’s induction ceremony and head coach Tom Coughlin will be front and center.
“We’re going there and we’ll travel through," noted Coughlin. "The hotel is about an hour away and we’ll send the team on their way and we’ll stay for the ceremony.”
Coughlin was Strahan’s head coach during the defensive end’s last four years of his career. Coughlin expressed the joy he felt coaching Strahan and seeing his player go to the Hall of Fame.
“It’s a wonderful feeling shared by our whole staff," noted Coughlin. "What a great feeling. Michael Strahan was a great football player. He had ability and was taught right from the beginning. He practiced hard, ran to the ball, was a great example for the younger guys in doing that, and excellent in the classroom. He was a dynamic leader and had one of those magnetic personalities where everyone was attracted to him. He was a superb player on the field in both the pass and the run.”
During his time coaching Strahan, the two sometimes didn’t see eye-to-eye with one another on certain things. The two, though, did manage to get along and help the Giants win Super Bowl XLII and mark the third Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
"I think it was because of the fact that Michael was so strong in the locker room," noted Coughlin. "I think also the way in which our organization handled that summer when he didn’t come right into camp and we still expressed the fact that – I know Michael and I had conversations in which I said, without a doubt, that we’d love to have him back but only if his heart was in the right place, and it was when he came back. Nobody was cheering harder in that last drive (of Super Bowl XLII) than Michael Strahan. Very, very proud of him, a very proud day for the New York Giants.”
Since Strahan’s retirement he continues to be a great influence for the New York Giants' team and lends a helping hand to many G-Men's defensive players.
“He struck up a relationship with Damontre [Moore]," noted Coughlin of Strahan mentoring the young defensive lineman. "He was always here for [Justin] Tuck and all the guys in that room. Last year in the fall, we had him over and he sat in with the defensive coaches, sat in there with the players. We haven’t been able to get him over here yet this year, but I’m sure we will. I’m sure we will.”
At the end of the day, the Giants and Coughlin cannot be happier to see Strahan be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
”To be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a wonderful thing and gives us another great Giant," noted Coughlin. "When we go out there and pass through the Hall of Fame, we can see the bust of another great Giant football player along with all the others.”