How did Michael Strahan not make the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot? (I don't think people realize how good he was against the run).**
This is really a question for the voters on the Hall of Fame selection committee. But I agree that Strahan was worthy of election to the Hall in his first year of eligibility and I was surprised when he was not selected as part of the Class of 2013. Strahan was one of the best pass-rushing defensive ends in history and, as you point out, he was a complete end who was also a terrific run-stopper. Again, I don't know why he didn't get in this year, but I am confident Strahan will be a Hall of Famer in 2014. And that might be a better year for him to enter, anyway. The new Hall of Fame class is always introduced on the field during the Super Bowl coin toss. Super Bowl XLVIII will be played in MetLife Stadium, the Giants' home. It would be fitting for Strahan to hear another loud ovation on his team's home field.
Michael: Will Perry Fewell turn defense around this season? If not is he gone? He needs to ensure players have his passion or move them out, including team leaders like Justin Tuck. I hate seeing postgame interviews, where they say, "We didn't play well," or "we didn't communicate, we can fix this next week." I want to see anger when games are given away like the Pittsburgh game last year!
There is plenty of anger, disappointment and frustration exhibited by the defensive players when that unit plays below expectations. No one is running from the fact that the defense played below its capabilities last season. Everyone from Perry Fewell to the players has taken ownership in the defensive and is committed to improving in 2013. Will they turn it around? They will if effort and desire mean anything. But like so many questions, we don't begin to learn the answers until the Giants begin playing games.Have there been any changes at middle linebacker? We still look weak on the inside.
I think we look stronger than we did last season, because we have more depth. Mark Herzlich lined up with the starters throughout the spring and will presumably open training camp as the No. 1 middle linebacker. Dan Connor, who was signed as a free agent on March 16, has 27 career starts, including eight last season with Dallas. No disrespect to Chase Blackburn, but the Herzlich/Connor tandem is younger and more athletic than last year's middle linebacker.Michael: Question: Will Mathias Kiwanuka be more of a defensive lineman this year? Do you think he can get double digit sacks?Dear Richard:Kiwanuka will not only be more of a defensive lineman in 2013, he will play the line exclusively. Barring an unexpected development, his days at linebacker are finished. So will he get double-digits sacks? Let's be optimistic and say yes, particularly if Jason Pierre-Paul is absent or limited early in the season because of his recent back surgery.
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION FOR GIANTS INSIDER MICHAEL EISEN