Michael Strahan’s presence at practice boosts morale

Since Michael Strahan retired from football and the New York Giants, he has held the team near to his heart. Strahan doesn’t shy away from picking the Giants most Sundays when he is on with FOX NFL Sunday crew.

Strahan, who was a part of the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII team before hanging up the cleats, returned to East Rutherford this week and checked back in on his old stomping grounds.

When Strahan is in the house, it’s common for him to link up with former teammate Jesse Armstead, who is on the Giants’ coaching staff. However, there’s no doubt Big Blue would like some of Strahan’s passion and dedication to rub off on current team.

Leonard Williams had double-digit sacks two years ago and was second on the team with 6.5 sacks last season, behind rookie Azeez Ojulari. He’d like to return to form in 2022 and Strahan’s visit helped provide some added motivation.

“I wouldn’t say surprised. This is his stomping grounds,” Williams said of Strahan showing up. “It was awesome to see him out here. Even though it was day one of mini-camp practice, stuff like that, we’re not even competing yet. I think guys just seeing him boosts morale and energy around the guys.”

Strahan did address the group during practice as well.

“Yeah, right after stretching, he broke the huddle, talked to the guys a little bit,” Williams added. “I talked to him a little bit walking into the fieldhouse because he said he remembers he came to a Jets practice one time when I was there. And then two off-seasons ago, he spoke at a financial seminar I was at so we met again. He’s a good guy to get some advice and wisdom from.”

The Giants are building a pretty nice young core on the defensive line between Ojulari, Dexter Lawrence, Williams and they may add stud via the draft — perhaps with the No. 5th overall or 7th overall picks.

Like Strahan, Williams is the veteran on the defensive line and could take a lesson or two from Stray as far as leadership goes. With two of the Giants’ captains departing via free agency, it’s possible Williams could be in line for a captain’s spot this season.

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