Plaxico Burress returned to the football field in his first official action since his prison release and two year hiatus from the National Football League last night, and he certainly did not fail to impress. Sporting the green and white of the New York Jets for the first time, Burress hauled in three passes for 66 yards, including an athletic touchdown grab of 26 yards from Mark Sanchez that must have made Eli Manning cringe. The New York Giants quarterback definitely recalls what an advantage it was to have someone of Burress’ size at his disposal.
Sanchez will be the beneficiary of that 6’5” frame this season.
The last image football fans had of Burress – outside those of him in his orange jumpsuit – was of him catching the game winning touchdown from Manning on a perfect fade route to defeat the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Now, the fans of the other New York football team will hope that Burress can help their team achieve similar success against the Patriots and the rest of the league.
If last night was any indication, they are clearly off to an outstanding start.
Keep in mind that Burress has had but three practices to work with the Jets’ first team offense and Sanchez. For their timing to be that efficient already is a great sign for New York’s passing game.
It is a bad sign for the rest of the league who has gotten used to New York winning with their defense, but stalling in their offensive game. Burress could spell the end of the team’s offensive woes, and could elevate Sanchez into the next level at quarterback.
It is just one game. Perhaps fans should not get too excited about one preseason game against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals. But for Burress, he could not help but get excited. After all, it was his first game action since the Super Bowl.
But while Jets fans will tell you that they are now a shoe-in for the Lombardi Trophy, as long as they listen to head coach Rex Ryan, who has been saying this for three years now, fans of the Giants must be wondering why Manning didn’t work just a little harder to help persuade Burress to come back to the other New York team. Manning never even spoke with Burress during his visit, which is the complete opposite approach of what another former quarterback teammate and organization did while courting him to hopefully return to their franchise.
Ben Roethlisberger at least did everything he could to convince Burress to don the black and yellow again. While he was unable to help the Steelers land Burress, he can say that he did everything possible. Manning cannot, and it could turn out to be a huge loss for the Giants.
But for that other New York team, it was all smiles last night.