Michael Strahan believes Kayvon Thibodeaux will be 'great player for the Giants'
Michael Strahan knows a thing or two about making it as a successful pass rusher for the New York Giants.
After being selected in the second round (No. 40 overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft out of Texas Southern, Strahan went on to collect 141.5 sacks, the sixth-most in NFL history, on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
The legendary pass rusher has notably taken outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux under his wing, mentoring the 22-year-old who is about to enter his second season in the NFL.
"This is a guy I know is going to be a great player for the Giants," Strahan told the New York Post at the Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Classic. "I know he has the worth ethic, he has the desire and as much as you say 'He's outgoing, he talks, he does this,' the guy really works at it, and that's what I respect about him. It's not like he's just saying it and going off raw talent and ability. He's saying it because he believes it. Because he puts in the work to make it happen."
In his first season with the Giants last year, Thibodeaux registered four sacks in 14 games and finished fourth in the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.
The young outside linebacker finished the season strong as three of his four sacks came in the final five games of the regular season.
The four sacks were four times more than Strahan picked up during his own rookie campaign. This has led to the Pro Football Hall of Famer believing that the young edge rusher is actually ahead of where he was in his own development going into Year 2.
"He came in as a better player than me," said Strahan. "He came in with a better understanding of the game of football than I did. Obviously, because he had a lot more sacks in his rookie year than I had in mine."
The relationship between Strahan and Thibodeaux began back when the latter was still at Oregon.
But the two have seemingly grown closer ever since Thibodeaux was selected by the Giants with the fifth overall pick in last year's draft. The 22-year-old has been absorbing as much information as possible from the Hall of Famer.
"I think he's actually a nice kid who looks at the past and doesn't see it as a bunch of old guys that played an antiquated game that isn't like it is now," Strahan said. "He looks at it and goes 'OK it was football then, it's football now and there's a lot of things to learn from the past.'
"So I think he's one of those guys that just looks at the whole landscape and says 'Hey, where can I learn, where can I get better, not just on the field but off the field?' I think that's the best kind of player to have on your team. I think he has a lot of value to the franchise."
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