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Old 10-30-2006, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default Burress proves one can grow up...

What an absolute surprise & breath of fresh air. Burress has matured, at least it seems so for now, into a WR that understands more than the selfish self-centered he was a year ago.

I'm more than impressed. Maybe he can start a self help group for some of these other talented immature crybabies around the league...

Burress trying not to show up Eli

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Resting at home in the offseason, Plaxico Burress popped in videotapes of his first season with the New York Giants and watched the show. It embarrassed him.

The problem wasn't his play. His 76 catches for 1,214 yards and seven touchdowns in 2005 were just a shade under his career season with the Pittsburgh Steelers three years earlier.

Burress was upset with his own antics every time Eli Manning failed to get him the ball, the arm-flapping, the head shaking and the general looks of disgust.

"I don't get frustrated any more with Eli," Burress said Monday, a day after the Giants (5-2) won their fourth straight game. "That's over and done with. I come to the sidelines now and say: 'Look at this, look at this.' I don't get frustrated any more.

"There are things I made an effort not to do," Burress added. "He is my quarterback. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I know he is trying to get the football to me the best he can."

On a cold and very windy afternoon at Giants Stadium on Sunday, the combination of Burress and Manning was about the only offense Tom Coughlin's team had against Tampa Bay. The pair combined seven times, highlighted by a 7-yard touchdown pass and a 25-yard completion that set up Brandon Jacobs' short TD run in the 17-3 win.

The touchdown catch was highlight reel material. Matched against halfback Tiki Barber's brother, Ronde, the 6-foot-5 Burress made a leaping one-handed, left-handed catch of Manning's throw into the left corner of the end zone.

"Plaxico has an amazing ability to do that," Tiki Barber said. "The ball is high, out of whack a little bit, and he gets his mitts on it and pulls them down."

Despite missing most of the Seattle game with a back injury, Burress is having another good season. He has a team-high 31 catches for 501 yards and five touchdowns. The seven-year veteran is averaging an impressive 16.5 yards a reception.

Burress is currently tied for 32nd in the league in catches and 12th in yards receiving.

"This is what I have been fighting for since I came into the NFL, to be the best receiver in the league," Burress said. "I kind of came into the season with a chip on my shoulder. I didn't make the Pro Bowl last year and I just wanted to go out this year and put a stamp on it, and make it evident I was one of the best receivers in football."

Burress said this is the first time in his career he has played more than a season with the same quarterback. In his five years with the Steelers, he had as many quarterbacks.

"We can see ourselves taking strides and getting better," Burress said of Manning. "That's the ultimate goal - to get to the point where we know where the ball is going and we know what is going to happen. We want to get to a point where we can play without thinking."

That's what seemed to happen on the two big plays on Sunday. On the touchdown, Manning put the ball only where Burress could catch it.

On the 25-yarder that set up Jacobs' score, Manning made a great pump fake so Burress could run past Ronde Barber.

The problem on the play was the wind. A gust in the treacherous northeast corner of Giants Stadium caught the ball and it took forever to reach a wide-open Burress.

"When he threw it, I just knew I had a touchdown," Burress said of his initial thoughts. "The ball was in the air, it felt like 10 seconds. I saw the safety coming and I felt I was going to get my head knocked off, then I saw Ronde and Derrick Brooks and felt I was going to get killed."

Burress caught the ball at the 3-yard line and was immediately tackled.

Manning and Barber both laughed at him after the play. Burress smiled, too, without any antics.

"I just try to work hard for him and go out and get open," Burress said of Manning. "I think it's a respect factor from the receiver to the quarterback. I support him."

That's a big change from last season.

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Old 10-31-2006, 04:17 AM   #2
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While we're complimenting players for showing maturity, allow me to an extend a thumbs-up along these same lines to Donovan McNabb: Through eight games this year, McNabb has rushed for an even 200 yards on 28 carries and has scored three touchdowns rushing, compared with 25 carries for 55 yards and one TD in all of 2005.

Seems as if he has outgrown this juvenile "I don't want to be thought of as a black quarterback" nonsense.
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