LT

Mitch gave us the heads up on LT being on WFAN. Long, great. LT.

Parcells is about confidence, a vision of how to do things, you buy into it.

Parcells had the flexibility to roll with LT

’86 Giants beat the ’90 Giants in a matchup.

We physically beat people up on the ’86 team. From the point of 4th and 17, no team was able to play with us after that point in the season, men vs boys. (xtian, I think LT just vindicated me)

1st SB win you are excited. 2nd Super Bowl run was like the Giants last year, not the best team in personnel, played better as a team. Sweet year. Loves Phil, but with Hostetler that might have been why we won, he came into the mix late in the season, QB hurts teams when he scrambles, brought a new dimension, picks up that crucial first down at that time of the season, people are tired. (ultimatenyg note: you have to encourage Manning to run at least once per game.. if a severely restricted Romo and an older McNabb can do it to burn you, Eli must burn defenses this way too)

Super Bowl XXV: LT joked about how Parcells didn’t scout out the hotel well, because there was a strip club across the street in Tampa.

On big games, we (the defense) never had to worry about being outcoached… Belichick was going to come up with something. He drew it up, concocted stuff, still amazes LT.

When Howard forces the fumble in SF to go to Super Bowl XXV, LT was in the right place at the right time to recover the fumble. He jokes, “I was in the wrong place my share of times too!” (For more of these stories, the bars, the drugs, the women.. a quick, fast and entertaining read- “LT: Over The Edge”)

Learned in his junior year of college that he could be great. Learned that football is not about making every play. There are 5-6-7X a game, you are in a position to make the play, that is what you do, to change the outcome of the game.

On getting drafted second, passed over by the Saints..living in New Orleans?!.. I would have been in rahab 10 years earlier! Lucky for me I didn’t get picked (by Bum Phillips)!!!

Parcells rode LT’s butt every day in first training camp. “Trade me, cut me, whatever you want to do, but get off my back.” That was the end, best of friends from that moment on. At the end of camp, Parcells called 6 veterans and LT into the (defensive coordinator’s) office for a meeting, LT was wondering what he was doing in there. Parcells says to the entire group- everyone here in this room is in awe of (the things) you (can do). He hasn’t played a single down in an NFL game yet! But Parcells was letting LT (and everyone else who was important) know that LT was going to be let loose on other teams. (My editorial remark here is this is one of the reasons why Shockey was wasted.. Shockey desperately needed a coach like Parcells who could LEAD HIM, put parameters around what was acceptable (touchdowns) and what not acceptable (demanding the ball, celebrating first downs, showing up your QB), someone who Shockey’s pea brain could respect and understand that this guy understands my skill, return the play with focus on getting done what needed to get done. I could hear the conversation right now… Parcells: don’t you give orders to MY quarterback, shut your mouth, stop worrying about him, I’ll make sure we get u the ball, you catch the ball, let me worry about him. We see the nightmare that was Ray Handley.. when LT was on that team he had Steve DeOssie change the Rod Rust bullbrown read and react in the huddle to allow for LT to make the plays. Point is that I will go to my grave knowing in my heart that a coach like Parcells would have done tremendous things for Shockey. It is hard to see that now, with him being the idiot crybaby, but LT without a disciplined system, playing in a loser organization, would have quite possibly been a Chuck Muncie crackhead who made some Pro Bowls but then wasted his talent from lack of direction.)

Gholsten: Great body, what is wrong? Can’t pick it up yet. When a guy is given a responsibility to do some type of coverage, he needs to know why he is doing that, how his role is going to help the defense on that play. Natural talent. Needs to recognize the (offensive) strengths. Once LT learned where the other defensive players were, when he knew where the other players were going to be, he could extend his range. Gholsten has ability. Get in film room, see what he sees, work on his concept of understanding what is going on. Everyone was learning the 3-4 at the same time when LT came in, Gholsten is going to be a helluva player. Compared this situation to DeMarcus Ware, how terrible Ware was (his rookie year).

LT wanted to know why he wasn’t getting the concession for all the 56 jerseys being sold and worn in the stadium.

Only one LT. LaDanian Tomlinson, LT calls him “BLT,” Baby LT.

3rd year, so hot, in Washington, needed an IV, his best single game performance probably.

Munoz, span of 3 years the linemen of Dallas.. so big, was trouble for him. James Wilder was one of the best RBs he played against, like Brandon Jacobs, not very fast, but by the time he got to the line, he was solid, by the time you get to the 4th quarter, you don’t want to hit that guy.

His rookie year, offenses played him straight up. Defensive player of the year. Didn’t play him straight up after that! SF and Washington had the ‘G block’ where the Guard would pull and pick him up. Slide of the TE. Chip block before going into route. Playing GB, trying to break Gastineau’s record, and they beat him up so bad, 9 sacks for the team, but nothing for LT because they were throwing everyone at him. Parcells pulled him out to save him from getting hurt! (Funny what the brain remembers, because yes, LT had 20.5 sacks on the verge of gtg the record, but the team only had TWO sacks in the game!)

LT was (warning, editorial remark) surprisingly smart about not wanting to give Detroit the bailout money. Understood that banktruptcy was not a death sentence, that things needed to get straightened out there as opposed to throwing more money at it.

Earl Campbell can’t walk, the NFL won’t help him. NFL player pension is a joke.

LT made 2.5M in his best year. By the time he was retiring, free agency started, Mike Fox (who wasn’t a starter) was getting 2.5M for Carolina!

LT plays a minimum of 18 holes of golf every day! (In the Simms interview (another good, long one, we’ll have some remarks tomorrow), Francesa says that LT plays 36 holes EVERY day, a scratch golfer, and now getting good enough to scratch in pro-am tournaments.) LT hustles the current NFL players in golf, LOL! Brian Kelly, Al Del Greco, John Elway, Phil Simms all good golfers. Charles Barkley is bad, so bad that even Charles laughs at himself.

Team that he hated the most, disliked SF, they tried to finesse it. PHL, DAL, WASH, those were the good games. 11 on 11, best team won. Francesa inferred that Shawn Merriman reminds LT of himself.

That ’89 lost season was the worst, the Flipper Anderson game. Everett s’d but against the Giants he lit us up. Second SB, no one saw it coming, that was what made it enjoyable… this was similar to Carl Banks saying how 2007 was just like 1990. The Giants players did not realize they could win the SF NFC Championship until Q4. DL did not start making its impact until Q3, and that was when the team started thinking that they has them on the run, they could do something here.

Giants OL of 2008.. this team reminds him of the ’86 team. This team’s doing a lot of good things, this is something (coming back from the prev year’s success) that not even WE could do in those days. Tuck, Kiwanuka- these guys are athletes. Not a LB team, Osi and Strahan gone, very impressed with depth, wonders aloud how he could have done if he had that line in front of him.

Hitting Walter Payton was like hitting a wall of bricks, solid. Great person. Sanders Top 5. LT’s Top 5 Running Backs of All Time: Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, OJ Simpson, Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Walter Payton. Yes, there are six here, but at different points in the conversation he would throw out Campbell, then he would have a hard time of picking 2 out of the last three on the list.

Neil Lomax was a tough SOB, he stood in there, took the punishment, stayed in until he delivered the ball. The NFC East had all the good QBs, White, Jaworski, Theisman, Lomax. Montana changed the whole game.

LT tells Strahan re the Giants sack record: (a) my first year they didn’t count the sacks (b) I had not one but TWO strike years in ’82 and ’87 not to collect those sacks AND (c) they didn’t rule stripped fumbles as sacks for the first ~ 3 years.

Ultimatenyg here: For those of you out there who are not old enough to have been able to see LT play, get some video. He was the single best NFL player I have ever seen, period. Not Giants best, not defensive best, THE best player I have seen ever. I have heard that Jim Brown was considered the best player of all time, and that may be true. But from 1969 to present, in my lifetime in the NFL, there was no one better. How many players CHANGED THE GAME? I’d argue one, LT. After coming back to the sideline after a successful defensive stand where LT changed his assignment in mid play with the typical great result, Parcells would ask in a confounded mixture of awe and dismay, “What did you do there? That wasn’t in the playbook.” .. LT would simply reply- “Well, then it should be!” LT rewrote the playbook. The best I have seen.

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