What They're Saying About Iron Mike

With Michael Strahan officially announcing his retirement at Giants Stadium Tuesday morning, everyone who's anyone around the NFL weighed in on Strahan's surefire Hall-of-Fame career. Here are some of the better quotes...

Giants Chairman and Co-Owner Steve Tisch:

Every other offense in the NFL got a gift today. The Giants can say thanks for a job well done to a player who personifies our franchise. Michael Strahan has been the heart and soul of the New York Giants. He was Big Blue his entire 15-year NFL career. His big smile was the face of our team. Michael's passion for the game was contagious and fierce. His leadership was as towering in the locker room as on the field. His talent was exceeded only by his effort. His stats speak for themselves. But as much as we'll miss all those sacks next year, what we will miss more is a man who is a great friend and teammate, who exemplifies the best in our sport. We wish him happiness in whatever he chooses to do next and are so happy that he gets to do it with a Super Bowl ring on his finger and the Hall of Fame in his future.

Giants Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo:

I'll always be totally indebted to Michael for what he did last season, the leadership he brought. As a first-year coordinator I was able to lean on him in times when we needed it. He was always there and he always responded positively. He is a tremendous leader, a high-character, high-integrity person. I could always pull him aside and say, ‘Mike, I need you to do this for me today,' and he would always reply, ‘No problem.' I remember in practice in Arizona before the Super Bowl, I wanted to emphasize that all the players needed to look over to me for the signal and I remember tapping Mike and saying the next play have all the guys look over, help me out on that, and when that next play came, he had all 11 guys paying attention to me.

I wish him nothing but the best in his retirement. I will sorely miss him, not only on the field, but off the field and all the interaction that we had. I will forever be grateful for having worked with a future Hall of Famer. That's pretty special, because you don't often get to do that in this league.

Michael is a left end, which means he goes against the best offensive lineman on every team. Yet, he was able to excel. He had a unique ability to study offensive linemen, quarterbacks and even running backs and get little tips on players that helped him tremendously, and he'd share those with the other defensive linemen. He was the consummate pro. I was always impressed at the tremendous strength he had for a guy who wasn't 290 pounds. He had tremendous leverage and the strength he had from the waist down made him a great player. You go back and look at the film from last year, there were times when it might not have stood out to the untrained eye what he was doing for us. But he affected most every play, because of who he is and what he brings to the team. Michael is a legendary defensive end in this league at a time when there's an emphasis on offensive tackles playing over there. I would be hard-pressed to find any right now that are better. To go into the playoffs and play games 17, 18, 19 and 20 on the season and still be on the rise is extraordinary. I'll never forget that.

Giants Defensive Line Coach Mike Waufle:

I thought Michael Strahan was one of the most complete players in the National Football League as far as defensive line play was concerned. He was excellent against the run and he was an excellent pass rusher. Michael was also an emotional leader for our team who helped guide us to a world championship. You couldn't ask for a more storybook ending to a beautiful career as a New York Giant, to go out as a world champion and be at the top of your game and play as well as he did in his 15th year.

We had a special relationship, a very personal relationship, so it's like losing a family member. To be able to have him around every day was a pleasure. We were the old guys in the room, so we used to feed off of each other and hang out together. He's going to be dearly missed. But we wish him well and he'll do great with whatever he decides to do.

Former Giants General Manager Ernie Accorsi:

I've been with six Hall of Famers in my career. Michael will be the seventh. I never saw a great pass rusher play the run as well as he did, and I would have to say he's the greatest defensive player I have ever been associated with. And what a perfect way to end his career, to play a great game in the ultimate victory.

Carolina Panthers Head Coach and Former Giants Defensive Coordinator John Fox:

I had the pleasure of seeing Michael Strahan evolve from a young pro into a great defensive lineman. That development was the result of dedicated hard work combined with his natural physical gifts. Being a special player was important to Michael and he was a consummate professional who set an example for his teammates every day as well as being a leader on Sundays. He earned every honor he achieved and will be remembered as one of the great defensive linemen in the history of the National Football League. It was a privilege to be associated with him.

Former Giant and Teammate Jessie Armstead:

Mike always said he wanted to go out on top and after last year, know one can question that. It is a good day for Mike, but it is a sad day for the fans and the Giants organization. He was one of the best.

Former Giants Defensive Line Coach Denny Marcin:

I tell people to this day about Strahan. In the seven years that I had him, the one thing you knew is that you could always count on him. I think in seven years he only missed two practices. He was always willing to work with the younger players, he stayed afterwards for extra work. He was a true professional.

Former Giants Head Coach Dan Reeves:

Of course Michael Strahan is one of the finest players I have coached defensively. The thing that I will always remember is how unselfish Michael was when we asked him to move from the right end to the left end position. His statement to me was, ‘Coach, if you think that is best for our football team, I will glad to do it.' That to me was what kind of unselfish player Michael Strahan was, and that was what made him the great player he was for 15 years. I am sorry to see him go, because I love to watch him play. He brings a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to the game and we are going to miss Michael Strahan.


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