Desire rekindled, Strahan practices for first time since holdout

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by dallasfaniac, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Michael Strahan dropped thoughts of retirement and returned to the New York Giants for a 15th NFL season because his desire to play football and his love of the game were rekindled.

    He also, not incidentally, still wants a Super Bowl ring.

    "You know you just want to come back," a bearded Strahan said Tuesday after rejoining the team and practicing. "I felt I wanted to play football, plain and simple. I wanted to enjoy it. I wanted to come here and enjoy myself, play football, enjoy my teammates and the fans and just do it -- do it one more time."

    Strahan, who accumulated fines in excess of $500,000 during his holdout, left open the possibility he will play beyond the 2007 season, which begins for the Giants on Sunday night in Dallas.

    Neither Strahan nor coach Tom Coughlin was certain the 35-year-old would play in Dallas. The Giants have a two-game roster exemption in case he isn't ready.

    "He appears to be in good shape," Coughlin said. "Of course he hasn't had any contact. But we have to work our way through all of that."

    The seven-time Pro Bowler said he had every intention of reporting to training camp at the University at Albany in late July when his desire to play suddenly waned.

    "As you train and get ready leading up into the season, sometimes you wait for that feeling to come, and for me that feeling didn't come when camp was there," Strahan said in a 10-minute news conference in Giants Stadium.

    "So instead of going there and being halfhearted into something and possibly getting hurt and not wanting to be there and leaving after initially showing up, I decided I have to do what is right for me."

    So he took the next 39 days to ponder if he wanted to return. He admitted it wasn't an easy decision.

    His father, Gene, might have made it tougher by telling his son that he had accomplished everything there is to do in football.

    Strahan is the NFL's active sacks leader with 132½ and the holder of the single-season record for sacks, 22½.

    "Basically, he said to me: 'Son you did enough," Strahan said. "It's hard to go against that."

    What swayed Strahan were a couple of other things on the West Coast: Giants fans who saw him pleaded with him to play, and Giants co-owner Steve Tisch paid a visit and told him it was not the way he should want to leave the game.

    Talks with Warren Sapp and Marshall Faulk also helped. Both have been on Super Bowl winners.

    When Strahan asked Faulk how he felt about retirement, the response was interesting.

    "Great!" Strahan recalled him saying. "You have a ring, don't you?"

    Teammates were pleased to see Strahan in the locker room again. None seemed overly concerned that he missed all of training camp while they sweated through two-a-day workouts.

    Most laughed at his facial hair. Linebacker Antonio Pierce dubbed him "The Fugitive."

    "Stray looked good," said defensive end Justin Tuck, who played left end in his absence and continued to work with the first team Tuesday. "A lot of guys definitely thought he was on the beach, drinking margaritas and looking at pretty women.

    "He definitely knows what it takes to play in this league."

    Although Strahan has failed to finish two of the last three seasons because of injuries, tackle Barry Cofield wasn't worried about him getting hurt again.

    "If it wasn't a guy used to getting pounded by 330-pound guys, he would probably be at risk," Cofield said. "For someone like Stray, who has been through so much, he'll know how to protect himself out there."

    Strahan said he wasn't worried how his teammates would receive him because he had stayed in contact with many of them throughout his holdout, which he referred to as a 'break' in his career.

    "I know I appreciate the game," he said. "I love the game and I love everything that comes with it. And I know when I have that appreciation that I want to be out here."

    Strahan left the locker room and walked to the practice field around 11:30 a.m. with receivers Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress. He joked with fellow defensive end Osi Umenyiora on the field and then stretched with a group of five players that included tight end Jeremy Shockey. For the most part, he laughed a lot.

    "This is where I want to be and why I am back," he said.

    REDVOLUTION Return to Dominance

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    I am not wishing any injury on this guy.

    I am curious.... I was listening to Mike and the Maddog here in NY on The Fan and Mike said that OLD players OFTEN get injured when they skip camp and start the season.
  3. Jimz31

    Jimz31 The Sarcastic One

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    All I ever hear when Strahan talks is "Balh, blah, blah....".
  4. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    It's cause of the gap, his tongue gets stuck in it.
  5. Big Country

    Big Country Rolling Thunder

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    His desire to play has been rekindled...

    Certainly not his desire for training camp...

  6. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

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    Amazing - training camp over and his desire is "rekindled."

  7. Bleu Star

    Bleu Star Bye Felicia!

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    He's got mad child support to pay so he better get his butt back on the field. he'll still be playing at age 45 ala Evander Holyfield. Evander will be paying child support in multiples until they put him six feet under.

    REDVOLUTION Return to Dominance

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    Evander Holyfield money and Strahan money are two different animals.

    The REAL DEAL has about $100 million saved for a rainy day. BIG GAP has about 5-6 million. He got sacked by his prenuptial agreement. She would up getting much more than the agreement.
  9. Vertigo_17

    Vertigo_17 Well-Known Member

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    yep, people want to talk about TO dividing the locker room, but what kind of message does this send? skip TC, ask for more $, and then waltz in(fines were dismissed) just in time to start the season.

  10. eduncan22

    eduncan22 Benched

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    I can't believe this guy wants to play again.
  11. TunaFan33

    TunaFan33 Benched

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    I can't believe he just sits out of TC, the team does absolutely nothing about it, and then just let him waltz back in like nothing happened?

    But if TO is late to practice for just a *few seconds*, ESPN will blow it out 24/7?
  12. Coakleys Dad

    Coakleys Dad The Re-Birth has begun.

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    This guy is lazy, didnt want to go to mini camp or play in the preseason.....
    Just another saga in the unraveling of the giants..
    I wonder how many games it will take them to implode this season..
  13. Bleu Star

    Bleu Star Bye Felicia!

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    The implosion begins on the night of Sunday, September 9th. ;)
  14. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Strahan clearly wants his paychecks and wanted nothing of training camp.

    His ex wife took him to the cleaners.

    This can't be good in Giants lockeroom and Coughlin is a reverse motivator to start.

    REDVOLUTION Return to Dominance

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    doesnt he owe them about a half a million in fines?

    did they let him off ?
  16. FuzzyLumpkins

    FuzzyLumpkins The Boognish

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    Really with Strahan pulling this type of behaviour and Tiki bashing Eli weekly its only a matter of time before Shockey starts saying something stupid and you have a coach that is a lame duck. If they start on a losing strea they could be really bad this year. It has the makings of an implosion of the top order especially with the NY media.

    I dont hate the Gmen like the Eagles or the stinks but they do play in our division so i cant say i mind.
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

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    Coughlin is finished in NY after this year. NY is in for one BAD season. They're starting off on the wrong foot and it will just get worser after the a$$whoopin' they take this weekend.
  18. DallasEast

    DallasEast Cowboys 24/7/365 Staff Member

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    If the league hadn't written off his $500K in fines, Strahan would certainly have been a disgruntled interviewee for this article instead of this 'happy, go lucky, Hakuna Matata' fellow seen here. He ain't fooling nobody--except maybe Giants fans...

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