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Strahan is feeling just Super


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Michael Strahan hardly has had the most pleasant of offseasons, what with his seemingly endless divorce proceedings that keep finding new ways to get uglier and more ridiculous.

So when Big Blue's Pro Bowl defensive end was asked yesterday how he is feeling, mentally as well as physically, he decided to address only half the question.


"I'm good, I feel great, I'm ready to go, physically," he said. "I'm healthy."


And the mental part?


"Mentally? I'm phenomenal. Really. Phenomenal."


Strahan insists that he's able to keep his focus on preparing for the season, and if that's the honest truth, he has every reason to be upbeat. The Giants, the defending NFC East champions, have improved - on paper, at least - by shoring up problem areas on defense, including the free-agent signing of linebacker LaVar Arrington, whom Strahan called "a stud player."


Yesterday, as he prepared to play a round of golf on a warm July day, Strahan predicted that he and the Giants would still be playing football come February.


"I don't think anybody's going into this season thinking that this is not a Super Bowl year for us," Strahan said yesterday at the first annual Michael Strahan/Dreier LLP charity golf tournament at Century Country Club in Purchase. "We go into every year thinking that, but I definitely think right now we really have the talent to do it."


Of course, Strahan is quick to say that the Giants' fate depends less on him than on one of his golf buddies yesterday, Eli Manning.


"I've always said we're going to go as far as Eli will take us," he said.


Manning - who's had months to stew over his 113-yard, three-interception debacle of a playoff debut in a 23-0 loss to Carolina - knows better than to let Super Bowl predictions come from him. "You put (the playoff rout) behind you and just go out and learn from it and get better," the quarterback recited yesterday.


He'd better do so, too, because the NFC East champs, who start training camp in 16 days, are in perhaps the toughest division in football and won't be the favorite to repeat.


"You got T.O. (Terrell Owens) going to Dallas and all of a sudden they're going to win the division," Strahan said. "But we split with them last year, and we should have swept them. Washington's tough because of the way they played and finished last year, and Philly's always tough.


"You don't think about the problem, you think about the solution, and the solution is that we show up prepared, ready to play, and play our best. If we do that, I don't think there's any team out there that can beat us."


If Strahan turns out to be right, talk about a phenomenal feeling.




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