Plaxico Burress Not Missed!
After an impressive week one NY Giants victory over the Washington Redskins one thing was clear, Plaxico Burress was not missed.
I am not trying to be a hypocrite and act as if I didn't wish as a Giants fan that we had his talented services. After watching Eli manning spread the ball around to his young core of receivers I was not only impressed but felt at ease with this upcoming NFL season and it's potential. Mario Manningham scored a great touchdown where he displayed his big play ability and speed. The rest of the receiving core was solid as well lead by a young veteran in Steve Smith.
When I say that Plaxico will not be missed it pertains to several factors on and off the field. Again his talent is unquestioned. Burress is a very tall and strong wide out that creates all sorts of matchup problems for opponents. He also has the ability to catch any type of ball thrown near his wingspan. Sometimes Eli Manning throws flutter balls other times he will throw a nice spiral, no matter what is thrown Plax had the ability to go and get it high or low. Big Blue fans will always be thankful for his contributions especially during Super Bowl XLII.
With all that being said let us not forget all the baggage that came with this talented player. He was truly lazy not only during practice but sometimes on the field during a game. I watched Plax so many times take a play off when it was clearly not coming to him which would ofcourse tip off opposing players. He was always whining or complaining, not as bad as T.O. but still a distraction. The Giants rewarded Burress with a huge contract extension making him one of the highest payed wide receivers in the game and how does he show his appreciation? By not showing up to practice with an excuse that he had to drop his kid off somewhere. He began last season with much attitude and a sense of entitlement, which I guess came from becoming a mega star after his game winning catch in the Super Bowl. Even with all his talent his previous team the Steelers opted on letting him go to free agency instead of trying to retain his services. They knew what type of player he was and they were not willing to put up with it.
I was watching ESPN a few months back and Tim Hasselbeck a former Giant back up QB who played with Plax said he was a "disaster", his complete statement was:
"When you're looking at Plaxico Burress, there's no doubt that he can be a dominant receiver at times on Sundays," Hasselbeck said. "We've seen it. But with that being said, I played with the guy. I was in the locker room with him for two years. He's a disaster as a teammate. He's a disaster as a guy that you have to coach.
"And what do I mean by that? If you want to wait for a guy to show up to meetings, if you want to have to beg a guy to run full-speed in practice, if you want a guy that would disappear in games because he doesn't get the ball early -- then look, Plaxico Burress is your guy.
"But if you don't want those distractions, and you don't want to deal with the other headaches that come along with Plaxico Burress, then you better stay away from him."
Those are pretty strong words coming from a former teammate, just that quote alone should give us all some insight on what type of an overall distratcion he was for the team.
For people who say that he was being posecuted for being a celebrity, I say bologna. The minimum sentence in the state of New York is 3 years. He was carrying a loaded unlicensed handgun into a club. He shot himself in the leg but he could have very easily shot someone else and maybe even killed someone by mistake. I have zero sympathy for him, a pampered millionaire who had everything he could possibly want but that was not enough for him. I may be a little bitter due to the fact he probably cost us a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champs in 2008 but even if I put myself in a position of being open minded about the situation I still think he got what he deserved.
He did not want to do any jail time and his comments during the days after the shooting displayed his arrogance. He tried maneuvering his way into a no jail time sentence and wanted a slap on the wrist for his crime, at one point even stating that he would have his lawyer delay everything so that he could make a few millions before the proceedings. He actually thought he would play football and make money while he waited for the trial to start, but the NFL Commissioner was not playing to that tune. Roger Goodell quickly put out a statement informing all teams that Plaxico would be suspended a minimum of 8 weeks if not more if any team signed him.
All leverage was gone after that statement and reality seemed to have set in quickly as Burress took the deal offered by the prosecution on the very last day it would be available and on the table.
So now it is a new season, the drama from the past year is behind us and it is time to look forward. The NY Giants have a great team, the only question mark is the receiving core. It is too early to tell if they will become an elite group but yesterday they displayed the ability to move the chains and even to create a big play here and there. Big Blue has a very good team, strong offensive line, excellent running game, good quarterback and an awesome defense, with some small contributions from our wide outs we should be able to excel and go to the Super Bowl this year.
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