Sunday, August 21, 2011

Plaxico Burress makes NFL return

Former Spartan Plaxico Burress made his debut for the New York Jets tonight, his first NFL game since Nov. 23, 2008 after serving 20 months in prison for a gun charge after accidentally shooting himself.

Burress had three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown and, according to ESPN analysts, looked solid after fighting off some early rust.

From the AP:

"He played great," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "If we get the coverage a certain way, good luck to you. He is a big target and when he is covered, he is open."
But this night belonged to Burress, whose last game was Nov. 23, 2008, at Arizona while with the Giants. Sure it was only a preseason game, but it was huge for Burress, who just a few months ago was cleaning toilets, mopping floors and serving meals in prison.

He was cheered as he ran out of the tunnel with the offense in pregame introductions, and got a nice hand when he zipped across the field and Sanchez immediately got him involved with a 20-yard completion.

They were cheers Burress could only dream about for nearly three years. He worked out often while in prison and then practiced in Florida with several NFL players during the lockout after he was released. After a slow start with the Jets because of not being able to practice fully with the sore ankle, Burress got in a few days of full practices this week and felt good.

Now, he needs to build a rapport with Sanchez, who threw Burress' way seven times.

"It is a work in progress," Burress said. "You see we missed on a couple. It's going to come. This is what the preseason is for. I can see us really elevating our play."

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