NFL

Michael Strahan Sounds Off on How He’d Fix the Giants in 2020: ‘Can’t Have a Bunch of Nice Guys and Win’

At this point, more people may consider Michael Strahan a TV host than a retired football player. But NFL fans know. The former Giants defensive end was one of the top threats to quarterbacks during his tenure, with 141.5 sacks to his name. The Super Bowl champion and seven-time Pro Bowler has earned the right to speak his mind about football.

Lately, Strahan has taken advantage of this quite a lot. The Giants are a faltering franchise at the moment, beaten only by the long-term haplessness of the Jets. Don’t let Strahan’s iconic smile fool you; he has some serious feedback about what’s wrong with the Giants.

What Michael Strahan likes about this year’s New York Giants

Former New York Giants player Michael Strahan at a 2016 event
Former New York Giants player Michael Strahan | Mike Pont/WireImage

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Strahan opened up about the state of his career in a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times. Even through text, it’s clear that he’s frustrated with the current iteration of his old team. Being the generous, affable person he is, he decided to say something nice first.

The main thing he loves? Three players in particular: QB Daniel Jones, who continues to show promise as he develops his natural athleticism into a functional starting QB approach. Running back Saquon Barkley, who will likely revitalize the Giants next season upon his return from a heartbreaking Week 1 ACL tear. And tight end Evan Engram, who increasingly looks like a trade target, according to NJ.com.

Strahan doesn’t hold back on what’s wrong with his old team

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Those three players were the bright side of things. Mostly, though, Strahan took the opportunity to vent to New York Times reporter David Marchese. The problems center on the defense, where Strahan sees no real upside at the moment.

“There are times I’m watching [the defense], and I’m going, Wow, this is pretty bad. We don’t have a playmaker, per se, on defense, and that’s been a little disheartening,” Strahan said. “Front-office wise, I don’t know what their plan is.”

He points his criticism toward there being personality issues in the locker room. But it’s not what most would assume. The Giants appear to target big, sometimes abrasive personalities for trades, like the explosive Odell Beckham Jr. He ended up with the Browns are one of this year’s success stories, while the Giants are a cautionary tale.

OBJ might cause some stress from time to time, but he’s also capable of driving his team to hard victories both on the gridiron and in the locker room. Strahan thinks you can’t win games with nothing but nice guys, and looking at the Browns’ 4-2 record so far, he may be right.

What does Strahan think about the Giants’ 1-5 record?

USA Today reports that Strahan is increasingly harsh toward the Giants. He does not like seeing his former team become, essentially, a punchline. Even with a win, the team still isn’t showing much promise. Daniel Jones, who Strahan called out as a bright spot, managed to turn over the ball for the 17th time. They eked out a win. But considering Jones has started only 18 times so far, according to SNY Sports, it’s a disturbing statistic to behold.

Strahan is open about how much he misses the excitement — and trash-talking — of playing in the NFL. It’s hard to imagine he’d feel satisfied playing on this team, however. Without sweeping changes, the Giants will remain in a position where one of their biggest advocates has trouble finding something nice to say about the organization.