NFL ALL-ACCESS: Terry explores Shockey value

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Most years, the only stars on the New York would be members of the defense. Think of the Super Bowl teams of 1986 and 1990, headed by Lawrence Taylor, Leonard Marshall and Company. Remember the 2000 team that reached the Super Bowl thanks to (the NFL's all-time single season sack leader) and others.

If ever a offensive player was a shock to your system, it would be their rookie tight end from the University of Miami, . Already he's a and soon he'll be named the NFL's Rookie of the Year. More importantly for fans, he seems to be the missing ingredient that has added serious flavor to a historically bland offense.

before the battle the in the NFC Wild-Card playoffs, Terry Bradshaw discussed the Shockey effect with the defensive leader of the G-Men, All-Pro . Even though the rookie Shockey held out at the beginning of training camp and brawled his way through the rest of it with his own teammates, Strahan knew he would be an impact player in the Big Apple.


Shockey not an ordinary rookie


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  • TERRY BRADSHAW: When did you know, or did you ever realize that was special? MICHAEL STRAHAN: At training camp, we got in a fight in the cafeteria. And when I saw that he didn¿t back down, I said, "Okay. You know, it¿s going to be all right."

    Then you usually think a first-round draft pick is going to come in and be a little soft and isn¿t going to want to work ... and he¿s the opposite of everything I expected. TERRY: There¿s only one player I've ever seen like that, but they all have the same mentality, and that would be when Jack Lambert came to Pittsburgh. He just flat told them, "I¿m not here to sing a song."

    He didn¿t sing. Nobody could make him sing. Two hundred and twenty pounds, six foot five, tough, mean, aggressive, started as a rookie and he was the catalyst for us going on and winning the Super Bowls and this kid (Shockey) seems to be ¿ STRAHAN: The same way. I mean tough, smart, never wants to finish in second place at anything, but also all of those things that you see on the field, he¿s jumping around. He¿s excited. That¿s genuine. He¿s just like a kid enjoying the game. Off the field, I think he¿s actually kind of shy. Easy to talk to, but I mean a really good guy; a fun guy to be around. And it¿s rare that you have people who have that combination. TERRY: I told him, I said, if you¿re so shy, you came to the wrong city and you certainly made one heck of an entrance! STRAHAN: That was kind of crazy, but he¿s handled all that well, for a guy with as much pressure that he has on himself, who can go out and be able to perform the way that he performed as a rookie, with all these other things going on. I mean, I have to take my hat off to him.

    I mean, he¿s still learning, and one thing I can say is his work ethic is incredible. He¿s competitive and he¿s incredible and he¿s a good guy, genuinely. TERRY: And if you had to go one on one with him? STRAHAN: I beat the snot out of him. TERRY: Did you? STRAHAN: I took him on all the time. TERRY: Did you take him on? STRAHAN: You know what? We have our little bouts you know, before the games. We get into each other a little bit, but if it were on coverage or anything like that ¿ I tried that one day in practice. I think he was seven yards deep before I turned around, because I¿d never seen anybody, big, that was gone, before I knew where he was going. I don¿t know what he did. He was past me in two seconds, but if it came to blocking him, yeah, I think I¿d give him a run for his money. TERRY: But you haven¿t had that chance? STRAHAN: No, I haven¿t had that chance and the way he¿s going, I don¿t know if I want to have that chance. TERRY: Is he a good blocker? STRAHAN: Yeah, a phenomenal blocker. He gets more, I guess you¿d say, pats on the back for his blocking skills than he does for his receiving skills and I think that¿s what really opened my eyes to him is "Wow, this guy¿s a better blocker or just as good of a blocker as he is a receiver." TERRY: Is it important that he was a missing part of this offense? Plug in that tight end, and this offense if flourishing.

    (Early in the year) The , once again, Michael, is struggling. This team drives me crazy. I don¿t know. It gets 6-6 and then your coach has to take over the play calling, people will fire your coach. But you owned the month of December. What is it about the ? STRAHAN: We like hardships. I don¿t know. Maybe we¿re trying to give ourselves heart attacks or something like that. I don¿t know. We always seem to struggle, then at some point like this light switch comes on and we realize that uh ¿ if we just play, just enjoy it, things go our way. And I think it would be bad to say or untrue to say that our offense was the same before Shockey got here and he really wasn¿t that much of a difference. Because the second he got here, all of a sudden we were much better and I think it¿s a direct correlation to him, because he¿s also made other players have some more fire and competitiveness in them — along the line, along the backfields, quarterbacks, whatever it may be. I think he¿s infectious to everybody. TERRY: It¿s not that old saying, of where a defense come off the field and says, come on. Now, you guys do something. You know how you always had that offense-defense thing. STRAHAN: I tell you what, if you¿re going on the field, he¿d come over to me (and yell), "Come on Strahan!" And he¿s a rookie telling me that! When he tells it to you, you can look at him and go, you know I¿m going to go out and give it what I¿ve got, because I know when he goes out there, he gives it to me. And I stand up and watch the whole game. I watch him. You know? I know he¿s going to get the ball half the time. I¿m just watching to see what he does and it¿s amazing that they know what he can do and they cover him and he still gets open. He still makes the catches, takes hits and gets up and then he gets up and he¿s just excited to play.

    Tagged: Raiders, Giants, Cardinals, Jerry Rice, Ike Hilliard

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