The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Suspension Was the Right Call

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There are two sides to every story, but Plaxico's case is not helped by two factors. First, Tom Coughlin, though still one of the most autocratic coaches in the NFL, has endeavored to tone it down enough for his players to breathe. This was a publicly acknowledged (and wildly successful) decision, and Coughlin's team is still reaping the rewards of that more measured approach. Second, Burress has had issues with communication and attendance before. He just signed a huge (and well-deserved) contract extension, but he may not yet realize that with that kind of money comes a call for leadership -- at the very least, by example.

It's hard enough to manage a team that just won a Super Bowl. Tougher to convince the players that they need to improve when they've hit the highest level, Tougher to convince some that resting on their laurels won't work. There's no doubt that Burress is a great player, and his efforts to fight through injury and help his team win it all last season should not be overlooked in this argument -- nor do I think the Giants are overlooking it. But whenever you allow the slightest slip in procedure, especially after great success, you're opening the door for some players to wonder what you're doing, and others to look for opportunities to take advantage of a looser grip.

Was the timing fortuitous? Certainly. The Giants suspended Burress for a bye, and against a Seahawks team that's beatable with or without him. Would they make the same call in a late-season fight for the division, and a two-game stretch against the Cowboys and Eagles? That scenario will play out in early December with those very back-to-back opponents. Under those conditions, I don't know that the same decision would be made -- perhaps a larger fine instead.

For now, the suspension was the right call.

By Doug Farrar  |  September 25, 2008; 9:58 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Burress Deserved It | Next: Plaxico Should Be a Man

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