The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

Who Else Will Be Affected?

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I won't go so far as to say that the Giants are a better team without Plaxico Burress than they are with him.

The guy is a good player. And we saw Sunday that, even while the Giants beat the Redskins fairly easily, there were some situations in which they could have used Burress. They had some troubles converting their opportunities on offense when they got near the Redskins' goal line, and that's where Eli Manning likes to utilize his big receiver and throw the ball to Burress.

But clearly, the Giants can win without Burress. They are now very deep at receiver, and they can lean on their running game and defense to win games as well.

In addition, Coach Tom Coughlin and the front office undoubtedly would be relieved to be rid of the headaches that Burress creates with his behavior. Even before this incident, Burress had been suspended for a game by the team this season and benched for more than a quarter by Coughlin in another game. He'd been fined $45,000 by the NFL for three incidents in yet another game.

The biggest problem for the Giants may have been that Burress's decision to take a gun with him to a New York nightclub Friday night, when he reportedly shot himself in the leg accidentally, created potential problems for a teammate as well. Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce reportedly was with Burress, and police sources alleged to the New York Daily News that Pierce tried to hide the gun after the shooting. The latest report, by NBC on Sunday night, is that it now appears Pierce will not be charged with obstruction. But even if he's not, that was a near-miss for the Giants and that, more than anything, should be their fear moving forward: that Burress makes a mistake that affects others on the team.

Losing Pierce would have created a far bigger problem for the defending champions than losing Burress did Sunday at FedEx Field.

By Mark Maske  |  December 1, 2008; 1:20 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Look, I sure Plaxico Burress had more class. As one former player put it, "I once went to a place where they wand you for weapon before you could enter. I said to myself, 'if they have to wand you for weapons, I don't want to be here and went somewhere else.'"

Still I don't see Plax being the same kind of disturbing influence TO is, yet the Cowboys have stuck with TO -- and now it looks like in the playoffs they just might stick the Giants with him too. We better have an answer on offense. . . . . . . I want Plaxico back for the playoffs.

Posted by: Coldcomfort | December 2, 2008 1:02 AM

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