Blog Entry

Coach on Plaxico: he's 'close to average'

Posted on: June 16, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 12:31 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson

The headline on Matt Bowen's post says it all: "Do we need to slow down the talk on Plaxico?"

Yes, we probably do. Since Plaxico Burress was released from prison last week the discussion has been more about potential landing spots than concerns that, you know, he might not have much left in the tank.

That's not to say issues haven't been raised -- they have -- just that the conversation usually turns to the most recent jailhouse-to-penthouse success story: Michael Vick. There's no denying Vick's impact on the Eagles last season, and there were plenty of skeptics when the team signed him.

But Vick's the exception -- and exceptionally gifted.

Before Burress' stint upstate, he was known for being tall, not for his athleticism. Two years removed from an actual NFL game, Plax is still tall but he's probably lost a step, too. Bowen admits that "I like the idea of Plaxico Burress aligned as the X receiver in my offense on 3rd and medium (think 3-step passing game) and in the red zone where you can throw the slant and the fade on the goal line."

But after talking to NFL coaches and scouts, Bowen found that "[T]here isn’t an overwhelming amount of desire from what I am hearing to run out and bring this guy in once the lockout is lifted. If anything, more questions than answers on what Plax can provide to your roster in 2011."

And an NFC coach told Bowen that he thought Burress would be "close to average," adding that he was never a great route runner, just a product of the Giants' offensive system.

One of the great ironies is that people talk about Plax's red-zone potential, especially on goal-line fade routes and jump balls. The fact that he excelled at neither during his five-year career in Pittsburgh infuriated fans, and his drop of an end-zone touchdown pass in the AFC Championship game against the Patriots in January 2005 pretty much solidified that belief. Of course, Burress made the biggest catch in recent Giants history -- an end zone grab over Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs in the Super Bowl -- so maybe it's now part of his repertoire.

Either way, given the tepid response to Burress leads us to believe that Bowen's right: There won't be much of a market for him. Then again, maybe it's pre-free agency posturing by teams jockeying for position to sign Plax, though, honestly, we doubt it. It's more likely the case that coaches and general managers legitimately aren't that interested in a 34-year-old player who hasn't seen the field since 2008.

But as Bowen points out: We'll keep talking about it because it's June and we're in the middle of a labor dispute. There's not much else going on.

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Since: Jun 11, 2011
Posted on: June 20, 2011 7:42 pm

Coach on Plaxico: he's 'close to average'


Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: June 17, 2011 8:22 pm

Coach on Plaxico: he's 'close to average'

I agree with the article. I am a Giants Fan and in his prime he was a very good reciever but I can't imagine why anyone would be going crazy for this guy now, first he was already begining to loose a step before he shot himself, and he always had a little bit of an attitude problem. You saw how rusty Michael Vick was when he came out and he didn't have to recover from a gunshot wound while in prison it will take at least a year for him to be a productive reciever and then what you are getting is a 35 YO receiver, how many are really productive at that age. I hope Philly, Dallas or Washington goes after him although I can't imagine why they would.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: June 17, 2011 1:41 pm

Coach on Plaxico: he's 'close to average'

Please, how can you evaluate Plaxico Burress as average with the numbers the guy put up when he played with the Giants. There were certainly enough touchdowns and a 15.6 yards per catch average. I think that's probably way above average...if you believe Plax, he was always playing hurt, so who really knows for sure.  However, the stats don't lie.

The only real question is did he stay in shape and can he run and have enough stamina for the entire game. I'm sure someone will give him a shot, just like they did with Michael Vick and Donte Stallworth...someone will take a chance because there aren't that many great playmakers out there.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: June 17, 2011 1:20 pm

Coach on Plaxico: he's 'close to average'

I can understand there being concerns and some skepticism. It's natural behavior to throw in a little cynicism, calling him average. But I bet that coach wouldn't hesitate to give him a workout, and after the first day, he'd be offering burress an "above average" WR salary.
He may not be the best route runner, he may not be the fastest, but he was pretty much always open when he was a Giant and he has great hands. The Giants WRs had tipped passes left and right the past 2 years. Burress never had any problems catching those gliding throws from Manning. He'll be an asset on any team he goes to. 

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:25 pm

Coach on Plaxico: he's 'close to average'

He might not be a #1, but for a team that needs a big guy, I'm not sure what the worry is if you can get him for a fair price. As they said, athleticism wasn't always his thing and I believe it's probably easier to get back in shape than it is to get taller. Look at the Bears, speedy recievers and a good tight end. Problem is the reciever can only catch it when its an open, on target throw. And if nobody has noticed, Cutler isn't exactly always mr. accurate. I think they'd benefit from having a big guy that is a hard matchup for any CB (possibly needing doubles) to free up the quick guys from the stronger corners...It may not be long term but who knows...good price and I think it'd be a good deal.

Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: June 17, 2011 11:08 am

Coach on Plaxico: he's 'close to average'

safety catch. i believe its just called a safety.

Since: Jun 11, 2011
Posted on: June 17, 2011 10:35 am

Coach on Plaxico: he's 'close to average'

FYI Plax:  There's a little lever called a "safety-catch" on your firearms.

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