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Tag:Plaxico Burress
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:12 am
Edited on: February 29, 2012 10:20 am
 

Plax on Eagles: 'Nothing would make me happier'

Burress thinks playing in Philly would be 'special.' (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It wasn't all that long ago that we passed along a report indicating that Plaxico Burress "badly" wanted to play for the Eagles next year. Philly was the team that folks originally believed would sign Plax, but he ended up being lured into New York by Rex Ryan's siren song.

Burress hopped on 97.5 the Fanatic in Philly (via SportsRadioInterviews.com) on Wednesday, though, and reiterated his desire to play for Andy Reid.

"Hey man, nothing else would make me happier," Plaxico said. "Obviously coming to Philadelphia, instituting myself into the offense, it just adds a unique dynamic to what's already in place. You look at LeSean McCoy and what he did this year - he had probably the best year of any back, he and Maurice Jones-Drew. And everybody knows about what DeSean is capable of being one of the most explosive big play receivers in all of football. And Jeremy Maclin who is just getting better and better. And myself, I just see myself in that offense just being out there on the edge."

Burress would actually be a good fit with the Eagles from an offensive perspective: he caught eight touchdowns with the Jets, but that belied his overall production, as he was really more of a red-zone threat than anything. That's something Philly could use. And it doesn't hurt that Plax and Michael Vick are apparently boys and talk a lot -- Plax said that playing with Vick would be "special."

"I've talked to Mike several times," Burress said. "Not football, just normal business as human beings that we’re going through in life on a day to day basis. But I talked to him twice last week. For us to get together and be able to play together on a professional football team, especially coming from where we come from, and obviously going through the things we’ve gone through, I just think it would be a special deal.

"I really think he can bring a championship to Philadelphia, and I would love to be a part of that."

So all that remains is simply waiting until Burress is a free agent on March 13 and signing him, right? Well, maybe. It depends on how much money Plax wants. And it depends on whether or not the Eagles actually feel Burress would be a good fit with Philly. Remember, they signed plenty of big-name free agents last year, but it didn't matter a lick, as the team finished 8-8.

Unless Burress can actually provide some value for the Eagles, it's not necessarily a guarantee that he plays there.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 9:44 am
 

Report: Jets interested in Braylon reunion

Edwards gets down at his birthday bash in February 2011. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Braylon Edwards had a decent run in New York, statistically speaking. He caught 53 balls for 904 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010, when he was the Jets leading receiver. But they got rid of him anyway, bringing in Plaxico Burress and letting Braylon limp off into the San Francisco sunset on a one-year, $1 million deal.

The 49ers cut Edwards midway through the year, however. And the Jets are now interested in bringing Edwards back, according to a report from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Edwards would, ironically, replace Burress, who's not expected to return to the Jets in 2011.

Rex Ryan was always a fan of Edwards, but the same wasn't necessarily true for Jets teammates. Edwards off-field antics, including a DWI arrest after the 2010 season began, caused some teammates to call him "selfish" (sound familiar?).

I'd doubtful Edwards would look selfish if he re-signed with New York: the wideout wouldn't likely cost much in terms of guaranteed money, and the Jets could almost certainly get him on a one-year contract.

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 12:55 pm
 

Report: Bills, Stevie Johnson exchanging numbers

Johnson and Buffalo are reportedly talking contract. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

One of the guys we listed as a possible franchise-tag target last week was Bills receiver Stevie Johnson, who's coming off his second-straight season of 1,000-plus receiving yards. It just seems crazy that Buffalo would let their top passing weapon leave town for nothing.

And it sounds like they're not planning on it -- Rodney McKissic of The Buffalo News reports Thursday that the Bills and Johnson's agent, C.J. LaBoy, have begun preliminary discussions on contract negotiations.

McKissic writes that the two sides "have exchanged proposals and are expected to meet at next week's NFL Combine." LaBoy reportedly countered an offer from the Bills last week on Monday, which means there's probably a high- and low-end of a deal for Johnson established. (Presumably neither side is planning on negotiating against itself from the get-go.)

Johnson's contract negotiations should be interesting. He'd stand to make $9.4 million, all guaranteed, if he gets the franchise tag. And he could conceivably get real paid if he hits the open market and is one of the top wideouts available to teams.

Taking a look at wideout numbers over the past two years, via Pro-Football-Reference.com, Johnson's in pretty good company. He's one of just a few wideouts who caught more than 75 passes for more than 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns in each of the past two years, along with Marques Colston (also a potential free agent), Hakeem Nicks, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson and Roddy White.

Football Outsiders isn't quite as generous with their similarity score for Johnson (although, granted, it doesn't include 2011 yet). Put more layman-ly: Johnson's not regarded as an elite wide receiver quite yet.

Perhaps part of that is his penalty-inducing touchdown celebrations. (Although he told us that he was "done" doing those.) Then there's Johnson starting one game and catching 12 balls his first two years; Colston's a guy who was missed in the draft, but he emerged immediately.

Johnson won't get Santonio Holmes ($10 million per) money. And Buffalo probably won't pay him $8 million a year. But Johnson's production over the past two years warrants a deal that'll pay him something near that range that other wide receivers -- T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Sidney Rice anyone? -- have gotten recently.

Plus, as our own Pete Prisco noted on Thursday, there are a couple teams where Johnson would fit nicely if the Bills decided not to work out a deal.

That, plus the large number attached to the franchise tag, give Johnson some pretty nice leverage over the Bills in the coming weeks.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:29 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:46 pm
 

Report: Plaxico 'badly' wants to play for Eagles

Burress "badly" "wants" to play for Philly next year? That's the word on the street. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Prior to the 2011 season, it was widely believed that the Eagles would land Plaxico Burress in free agency. That's mainly because Philly housed the last convict-turned-NFL-player in Michael Vick, whether that presumptive logic was right or wrong.

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Plax, of course, ended up playing for the Jets, and caught 45 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. He'll be a free agent on March 13, though, and according to Howard Eskin of NBC 10 in Philadelphia, he "wants" to play for the Eagles this time around.

"Saw and talked to Plaxico Burress at Super Bowl and told me he wants to play for Eagles," Eskin tweeted on Wednesday. "Badly!"

We also saw Plaxico at the Super Bowl while dining at Mo's Steakhouse in Indianapolis, but we didn't get a chance to ask him any questions, because we were too busy cackling about the wide receiver giving a bro-hug to Jared Fogle of Subway. (We were too stunned to take a picture, but we have witnesses. This really happened.)

Eskin followed up on the tweet with NBC Philly's David Chang, although he wasn't quite as emphatic about it happening.

"I do believe the Eagles will take a hard look at signing Plaxico Burress," Eskin said.

Burress wasn't fantastic in 2011; though he tied for the 11th-most touchdowns in 2011, he certainly wasn't close to the 11th-best wide receiver in the league. He's not going to be a deep threat at his age, but he can be a dangerous red-zone weapon, which is something the Eagles could really use.

If DeSean Jackson isn't franchise-tagged and/or doesn't receive a deal, the Eagles will suddenly be a team in need of a wide receiver. That would likely ramp up the potential interest in a guy like Burress.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:37 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 8:19 pm
 

Suh, Vick, Plax highlight most-disliked athletes

Suh's moved past his Thanksgiving mistake, but the public hasn't forgotten yet. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Not breaking news: Michael Vick is an unpopular athlete when it comes to public polling. This has been true since Vick went to jail for dogfighting and it remains true to this day. But it's a bit surprising to see Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh climbing the charts (sliding the chutes?) of the most unpopular athletes in the world.

According to a survey done by Nielson and published by Forbes, Suh checks in as the fourth-least-liked athlete in the world, behind only Vick, Tiger Woods and Plaxico Burress.

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It's not entirely shocking that Suh would end up on this list. He's easily recognizable as the second-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and someone who has a pile of endorsements. He also stepped on an opponent on a nationally-televised Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers and drew a two-game suspension.

He's regarded in some corners as "dirty" and in many places as a "bad boy" of the NFL, regardless of whether or not that's accurate. According to Forbes, Suh's lack of popularity is a total 180-degree turn, as he was on the list of most popular athletes just four months ago.

"He went from being so popular to being a pariah in one season," says Stephen Master, VP of Sports for Nielson.

Fortunately for Suh, an incident-free 2012 will go a long way towards cleaning up his image. Guys like Plaxico and Vick, who served actual prison time, as well as Tiger, who suffered through a public infidelity scandal the likes of which we've never seen, have a much higher hill to climb if they want to regain their popularity among the general populace.

Dropping out of the top-10 most-hated list from the NFL this time around? Al Davis (passed away), Jerry Jones (must have become sympathetic with the Cowboys missing the playoffs?), Ben Roethlisberger (was never actually charged?) and Randy Moss (retired).

The lesson as always? Time heals all wounds. Some times it just takes longer for some people.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:00 am
 

Jacobs: Burress wanted to play for Giants

BurressBy Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s no secret the Jets team ended its 2011 season in turmoil with Santonio Holmes playing the role of anti-captain, linebacker Bart Scott flipping off reporters and seemingly everybody criticizing Mark Sanchez. And while coach Rex Ryan is intent on fixing his team’s problems, the Jets couldn’t escape the bright lights of Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day proceedings.

Though Plaxico Burress, surprisingly, was one of the least-controversial members of the Jets squad this season, Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said Tuesday that Burress didn’t even want to play for the Jets in 2011. In fact, Jacobs said, Burress wanted to return to his old team, the Giants.

"Oh, no question, I know he did,” Jacobs said in quotes recorded by ESPN New York. “I know he wanted to come to the Giants. We just didn't think it was going to be able to be done financially. But he may be (back) next year, who knows?"

After Burress was released from prison, he signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Jets, and he actually performed better than expected, catching 45 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns in his first action since 2008.

Burress actually visited with the Giants before he signed with the Jets, but they only offered him a guaranteed $1 million. The Jets’ $3 million was fully guaranteed.

But Jacobs also said Burress didn’t want to return to Ryan’s squad next year, because of all the well-documented turmoil that occurred there this season.

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"I don't see him back with the Jets next year at all," said Jacobs, who spoke with Burress on the phone recently. "I don't know what he's thinking, but I don't see that. They've got a lot of things going on over there, and I don't know if he wants to be part of that."

Jacobs also added this:

"How many receiving yards did he have last year? How many catches did he have? He's a starting wide receiver -- (45) catches. We got three guys, four guys on our team that have that. He's a much better wide receiver than (45) catches, I tell you that."

But before we start celebrating Burress’ eventual return to the Giants, let’s not forget what he told Men’s Journal before the season began about coach Tom Coughlin.

"After my situation happened, I turned on the TV, and the first words out his mouth was 'sad and disappointing,'" Burress said. "I'm like, forget support -- how about some concern? I did just have a bullet in my leg. And then I sat in his office, and he pushed back his chair and goes, 'I'm glad you didn’t kill anybody!' Man, we're paid too much to be treated like kids. He doesn't realize that we’re grown men and actually have kids of our own."

So, a reunion with Coughlin might be somewhat awkward, eh?

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:15 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 7:40 am
 

Jets RB suggests WRs called out Sanchez to media

Tomlinson, like new OC Sparano, supports Sanchez. (AP/US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Given LaDainian Tomlinson's remarks following the Jets' embarrassing Week 17 loss to the Dolphins, it's not altogether surprising that he would again suggest that the wide receivers were one of the reasons for the team's lack of cohesion this season.

First, a refresher: LdT's comments in Miami after Santonio Holmes was benched for insolence -- and worse -- quitting on his team.

"Let me just say that there were guys in the huddle that were unhappy with Tone’s demeanor," Tomlinson told reporters on January 1. “And when you have a group of guys who are fighting their butts off, and one guy who -- for whatever reason, his demeanor isn’t with ‘em -- you’ll have guys try to say something to him, just pretty much tell him how they feel. That’s what you got today.

"I’ll tell you what, it’s tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner. When you’re a captain, guys are looking at you, you’ve got to lead by example. You’ve got to play your tail off until the last play. And when that don’t happen, you have guys looking at you in a way that captains shouldn’t be looked at. You should always put yourself out there as a leader. "

Head coach Rex Ryan's solution: do away with team captains. He might also want to give some thought to doing away with Holmes (although at the Jets' end-of-season presser, both Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum sounded like Holmes would be back).

Tomlinson shed more light on the Jets' season of discontent during a Sunday appearance on ESPN's NFL Countdown. LdT didn't name names but as ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini points out, he didn't have to. It doesn't take Norman Einstein to piece together that Tomlinson seemed to indicate that Holmes and Plaxico Burress might be responsible for recent not-so-nice -- and anonymous comments about quarterback Mark Sanchez.

"I think some things that happened in the locker room between [Sanchez] and the receivers, I think that's where this is coming from -- some of the disconnects that happened throughout the year, maybe some of the arguments you guys heard about throughout the year," Tomlinson said. "So I think this is where it may be coming from."

Last week, unnamed sources in the Jets organization described Sanchez as "lazy" and "coddled". That came days after former Jets defensive lineman Kris Jenkins suggested that “[Calling out Holmes publicly like backup Greg McElroy did] would have been all part of the process of [Sanchez] growing a pair and standing up and being a man. But the thing is, he lost his because he got caught up in the wash that is New York, the spotlight, taking pictures in the magazines and doing all that stuff. That’s just what everybody has seen with Mark Sanchez, they got tired of it.”

Center Nick Mangold and owner Woody Johnson both came out in support of Sanchez, as did Tomlinson Sunday.

"Listen, there are a lot of things you can say about Mark Sanchez, but to call him lazy is a bit much," he said. "This is a guy that has worked very hard off the field ... in the film room, I've seen it ... the weight room, putting in extra time with the coaches early in the morning ... after practice, when everybody is gone, putting in time. So he's not lazy."

Whatever Sanchez does away from the field, the reality is this: he's underperformed in 2011. His third NFL season was a disappointment punctuated by the Jets missing the playoffs. The team has since parted ways with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer (he could end up as part of Jeff Fisher's new staff in St. Louis) and hired Tony Sparano.

During his introductory press conference Sparano proclaimed that "We’’ll be explosive. We’ll be able to get it down the field."

And during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show this week, Sparano was even more effusive.

“I’m really excited about being a part of the entire Jets organization here and getting a chance to work with Rex here and work for Rex," he said via SportsRadioInterview.com. … "As far as Mark goes I am very excited about getting a chance to work with Mark Sanchez. When you are in the other locker room he causes you so many problems in your preparation because of the way he can move and escape and extend plays and make all the throws. This guy has won a lot of games in the 4th quarter of games, so those type of things are the things that excite me.”

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Posted on: December 21, 2011 2:46 pm
 

Film Room: Jets vs. Giants Christmas eve preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit


This Christmas Eve battle carries significant playoff implications for both New York teams. With the hype already built in, we can get right to the breakdown.


1. Rex Ryan
The loquacious third-year head coach has already said his is the better team in this game and if that “better team” loses, the blame will be on him. That would make two weeks in a row.

Rarely do we call out a coaching staff in Film Room posts; it’s dicey given the depth of preparation and various subtle and unknown factors that go into a gameplan. But rarely do we see one staff thoroughly outwit another staff the way Andy Reid and his crew did against Ryan & Co. last week.

The Eagles offensive line and backs had no trouble stoning the Jets’ blitzes. That’s noteworthy given that Philly’s front five and LeSean McCoy have been inconsistent in blitz pickup this season. With Jim Leonhard injured, the Jets had to scale back their coverages. They may have scaled too far back; Michael Vick, a poor field reader, diagnosed the Jets’ secondary with ease.

Afterwards, there were reports that Eagles receivers were calling out the coverages prior to the snap. In most of those instances, the Eagles were aligned in spread formations, which widened the Jets defense. That gave Vick clearer looks and, as NFL Matchup Show executive producer Greg Cosell pointed out, it dictated some favorable blocking advantages for the Eagles run game. Instead of adjusting and being proactive, the Jets stagnated and became reactive.

2. Giants run game vs. Jets D
Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine are two of the best in the business. It’s unlikely they’ll be flat two games in a row. It helps that they’re facing a Giants offense that can’t run the ball. When the Giants do attempt to run (and they will), it won’t be from spread formations like the Eagles. They’re a power run team that girth over quickness up front and relies on fullbacks and tight ends on the edges and lead-blocks.

The Jets are tailored to stop this brand of rushing. Nose tackle Sione Pouha will command extra attention inside, leaving one-on-one mismatches for either Muhammad Wilkerson (a fast-rising rookie with a willowy frame and improved explosiveness) or Mike DeVito (a low-to-the-ground energy guy with an underrated burst).

That’s just in the trenches. At the second level, the Jets linebackers present even greater problems. About the only way to beat them is to make them guess wrong (solid, assertive veteran Bart Scott especially can misdiagnose and overreact at times). The Giants running backs, however, have not proven fleet enough this season to trust on draws, counters or other misdirection runs.
Ballard and Keller have been safety valves for their QBs this season. (Getty Images)

3. Tight Ends
In recent weeks, Jake Ballard has evolved from a lumbering but effective seam pass-catcher to something of a potent all-around receiver. He runs a wider variety of routes than anyone would have guessed and is more than a dumpoff option for Eli Manning. One reason for this could be because defenses have been more inclined to double the Giants receivers outside.

The Jets may not have to double given they can match Darrelle Revis on Hakeem Nicks. But that doesn’t mean Ballard won’t be a significant factor Sunday. The Jets linebackers are not particularly comfortable in coverage, and Manning may even like the matchup of Ballard on safety Eric Smith.

Because the Jets corners play so much man, they’re not going to be too responsive to play-action (the corners are outside and watching the receiver, not inside where they can see the quarterback and linemen carry out fakes). Thus, when Manning does fake a handoff, it’s likely Ballard’s defender is the one he’ll be trying to manipulate.

For the Jets, tight end Dustin Keller is critical because, as you’re about to read, he’s Mark Sanchez’s safety valve.

4. Jets passing game
The Giants are usually willing to cover tight ends with linebackers, especially if nickel ‘backer Jacquian Williams is on the field. It’s possible, though, that they’ll find a way to put a safety on Keller.

He’s often Sanchez’s go-to guy in passing situations. This is gold star for Keller, but more than that, it’s a black checkmark for Sanchez. Because he’s as jittery in the pocket and as unreliable in his progressions as he was his rookie year, the Jets’ passing attack is full of simplified one-read plays. A lot of those one-read plays – rollouts, short drag patterns, flairs to the flats, short hooks, etc. – naturally target a tight end. It helps that Sanchez, for all his short-comings, is superb throwing quickly between the numbers.

The Jets have not been able to consistently incorporate their wide receivers in the passing game this season. Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress have not gone over 50 yards receiving in the same game since Week 1. Four times they’ve both been held to 40 yards or less. Some of that is on them (Burress, in particular, has had trouble getting separation as of late), but most of that is on Sanchez and an offensive line that, thanks to right tackle Wayne Hunter, can’t always sustain protection for a seven-step drop.

Perhaps this is the week the receivers come to life. One of them – likely Holmes – will be blanketed by Corey Webster, but the other will get to face either Aaron Ross or Prince Amukumara, two players who have struggled, especially in man coverage.

5. Jets run game
If turnovers hadn’t put the Jets in such an early hole at Philadelphia, we probably would be talking not about Rex Ryan getting outcoached but about Shonn Greene running all over the Eagles D.

The Jets ground game has had some juice in recent weeks. Greene is finally playing downhill, and the line, anchored by indomitable center Nick Mangold, has done a good job hiding its weaknesses and highlighting its strengths (examples: simple pull-blocks for left guard Matt Slauson, running off and not behind finesse left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, tight ends lining up on the right so that Hunter can maximize his raw strength as a strict north/south blocker, etc.).

The Giants, with their iffy linebacking unit, are not a staunch run defense (though second-year end Jason Pierre-Paul is coming close to singlehandedly changing that).

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 8 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
 
 
 
 
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