Michael Strahan will have his No. 92 retired by the New York Giants at halftime of Sunday’s game against the Eagles, and both Big Blue and the MetLife faithful surely hope someone on the G-Men’s pass rush steps up to have a Strahan-like game against Jalen Hurts.
One possibility is Leonard Williams, who revealed earlier this week that he wanted to get Strahan’s number when he arrived on the other side of MetLife two seasons ago.
“I know he had number 92, because when I first got here, I wanted to get 92 and I couldn't get it,” Williams laughed. “I'm proud of 99 though.”
Williams wore 92 as a Jet, mostly because he wanted No. 94 but that was held by another former Giant – who held it for ransom.
“Snacks (Damon Harrison) had 94 and he wanted me to pay a crazy amount for it and I didn't want to do that, so I took 92,” Williams joked.
No one else will ever wear that number as a Giant, leaving whomever may have it for the Jets – currently defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga – as the lone No. 92 in New York.
To Williams, though, it’s going to take a lot for anyone in town to live up to that number in the future.
“He had the record 22-sack year, but he’s a legend on and off the field – and I think it’s what he’s done off the field that cements that,” Williams said. “This past offseason I was in Denver for a financial seminar where I'm trying to figure out what to do outside of football and with my money, and he was one of the speakers that was there – on his private jet, FaceTiming us.”
That commitment to helping others in his position grew Williams’ respect for Strahan in more ways than one.
“It was a little bit of motivation for everybody, you know? Like, we want to be on a private jet FaceTiming one day, so what can we do after football?” Williams smiled. “I think that's what people love about Michael Strahan, he's such a good people person. One of his biggest messages to us was just be yourself. Don't fake it. People are going to know if you're faking and just be yourself.”
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN