Football is a game of individual match-ups and Burress provided the Giants with an advantage that was the envy of the league. With hands the size of satellite dishes complementing a 6’5” frame and sneaky speed, Burress was able to gain separation from defenders on a regular basis. 3rd down and red zone defenses were truly at a disadvantage and the comfort Plax gave Eli cannot be overstated. The physicality of Plaxico transcended to the entire unit making the Giants one of the more feared offenses in the league. Despite not practicing due to real or at times imagined injuries, Burress showed up every Sunday, providing migraines to opposing coordinators as they desperately tried to neutralize his effect on the game. Rarely were they successful.
I understand that the Giants were reluctant to re-engage his services; for
despite his obvious advantages, Burress is undoubtedly high maintenance. Manning was particularly transparent in his reluctance to let bygones be bygones by his ambivalence. And if you are trying to run a Boy Scout troop perhaps Burress is not an ideal candidate to reinstate. But professional football is not for the faint of heart and Plaxico’s “crimes” were not so severe as to make it impossible to forgive. He shot himself, hurting no one but himself and by proxy his team. Bad decision making? Perhaps, but certainly not unforgiveable.
The Giants have now shot themselves in the leg by ceding their control over Plaxico, not to mention some other questionable moves which I will expand upon in the future, to the NY Jets. The Jets have done a superior job in keeping their brand on the front and back pages. He will be a tremendous asset to the still developing Mark Sanchez. It will not be surprising to see Plaxico Burress on Sports Center, making highlights with circus catches over the heads of smaller defenders, leaving me longing for the halcyon days prior to November 28th, 2008.