...Well I'll tell you one thing, I'd take him on the Jets in a heartbeat. I'm of this mindset:
If a player is an off-the-field "distraction" as the media loves to phrase it, and they become an on-the-field detriment to their team, then stay the hell away from them. That's pretty self-explanatory I'd think.
However, that's NOT the case with Plaxico Burress. This guy can play. Damn. Giants fans, you can't possibly tell me that your team was "fine" without him. The results are evidence enough, both for the team and Eli Manning specifically. The New York Giants were a less explosive, less talented, and thus a less successful team in the absence of Plax.
And yet, yesterday, former Giant-turned-NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck was talking about how unbearable it is to be one of Plax's teammates.
Pleaseeee. Give me a break, Tim. Who are you anyway? What did you accomplish in the NFL? How valuable were you to the Giants?
Obviously, Mr. Hasselbeck (the crappier of the brothers) was completely and utterly expendable. He was a dime-a-dozen backup quarterback. The only things that kept him around were his last name and ability to memorize offensive plays and teach them to younger quarterbacks. Yipde do.
On the bright side, current Giants are calling for a second chance. They want Plax back on their roster because they know what he brings to the table from a sheer football perspective: a legitimate, go-to playmaker. As I often say about receivers, the truly great ones are those that enhance the play of their quarterbacks, as opposed to those whose numbers balloon as a RESULT of the quarterbacks.
It's like which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does the quarterback make the receiver, or does the receiver make the quarterback?
Well, leaguewide, it's a little bit of both. But specific to Plaxico Burress, he MADE Eli Manning. As a bailout option that you can go up the ladder to when the pressure is on, Plax often turned nothing into something for Eli. This is not to take anything away from Eli -- who is excellent at preparing for the opposition and has pretty solid raw skills -- but we saw what he looked like without Plax: unsure, sloppy, and ultimately inconsistent. The Giants could be in for more of that this season, without Plax.
As I said in the opening, I'd love Plaxico on the Jets. I don't care about the obedience issues and the legal issues, I just want my team to win. I'm sick of losing. Just give me the talent and let's forget about all the public relations bull$hit.
I have my Burress Jets jersey on layaway. The only question is...
Does the Jets' organization have the balls to pull the trigger? If not, they may lose Plax to Tampa Bay.
Plax in green. Let's go!
(The Red Sox are the new Yankees. How did they make the transition? "JFro," aka John Frascella, is the author of "Theo-logy: How a Boy Wonder Led the Red Sox to the Promised Land." It's the first full-length book centered on Boston Red Sox's popular general manager Theo Epstein. Preview or purchase it online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble or Borders. It's currently stocked in Barnes and Noble stores throughout the U.S. Also, check out John on Twitter.)