Plaxico Burress and the Jets
It doesn't ring as nicely as "Benny", but it can't be denied that Plaxico Burress is now with the Jets. TMZ aptly called his career a "long strange ride", and in Pittsburgh, the response was - well underwhelming.
The Steelers organization has had its fair share of controversies and scandals - Ben Roethlisberger, Jeff Reed, James Harrison, and now Hines Ward (maybe?). Reed was dropped at least in part due to the drama, and the other three are arguably safe from the axe only as long as they perform on the playing field - depends on which sports expert you ask. But, the Steelers haven't made a habit of taking on controversial players intentionally.
Enter Burress for all of five minutes. Yes, he was given some time on the training camp field to "discuss" the possibility of his return. Maybe Mike Tomlin gave him some serious consideration at the behest of the organization. However, it's not likely that if a bidding war had been initiated that Burress would have been considered beyond an initial offer. Serving time after shooting oneself in the leg can't be considered anything other than a traumatic experience, and that's a "been there, done that" for the Steelers. As fans, we watched painfully as Roethlisberger got back into the game after his motorcycle accident. I was one of the less charitable ones that regularly called for cutting him, and still say we need to draft a new quarterback.
While some people outside Pittsburgh may think the fact that Burress signed with the Jets the day after visiting the Steelers training camp is a big deal, it really isn't. Based on the Facebook page of one of our more vocal players on that site, the over 800 comments to LaMarr Woodley's question about the Burress and Santonio Holmes move to New York were resoundingly clear. New York can have them. The Steelers will simply have to beat them. But mixed in with the typical "Steelers will have fun beating them now" comments, there was a great deal said about William Gay being re-signed. The fans are concerned with the fact that an unpopular player has been retained. Burress going to the Jets is just another reason for fans to get into a frenzy over that game. This is a football town, our fans are extremely loyal, so where former players land in the NFL only gives an excuse to demand even more that our team beat them.Continued on the next page