For Plaxico Burress, Saturday night’s preseason game against his old teammates is just another game. And if you believe that, Bernie Madoff has some investment advice for you.
“There’s nothing extra, no added incentive, juice or whatever you call
it,” Burress said. “I’m more concerned about me going out, playing
better, getting better.”
Having made his Jets debut this past weekend, Burress is now turning his attention towards preseason game No. 3 and the Giants. Burress went from promising receiver to a bonafide star with the Giants during four seasons from 2005-2008, including winning the Super Bowl XLII in 2008. It was Burress, afterall, who caught the game’s final touchdown in the upset win over the then-undefeated New England.
He notoriously went from hero to zero in November of that year when he accidentally shot himself in a New York City nightclub. The wide receiver would serve two years in prison for the weapons charge.
Saturday night represents just the second football game for Burress since the shooting, but as much as he tries to paint this as purely about football, it’s anything but.
The flood of emotions will be heightened by the fact that Burress met with the Giants prior to signing with the Jets. In this meeting, which included general manager Jerry Reese, Burress remembers “laughs” and “some great memories.” But in his own words, the meeting with the Giants wasn’t as much about potentially signing a deal with his old team as he felt he “deserved a fresh start.”
“I went back more to get some closure on the situation. To have the opportunity to really sit down face-to-face for the first time,” Burress said. “To tell them how much I appreciated them bringing me in, allowing my game to flourish. Putting me in a situation where I could have success.”
And whether he admits to it or not, there will be plenty of juice in the stands for Burress — love him or hate him. After getting a warm reception from the Jets home crowd on Sunday night, it is anyone’s guess how Giants fans will react to Burress.
“I’m sure it will be exciting for him to come back out there,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “It’ll be interesting to see the fan’s reaction to him, things like that. That’ll be interesting.”
Burress harbors no ill-will towards his old employers, calling it “business” that he’s not back with the Giants, but even as he wears Jets’ green on Saturday night, there is still a blue streak running through this player.
“It’s going to be fun. I’m still in contact with a lot of those guys,” Burress said. “It will definitely be something special; we still have a great relationship outside of football.”
Follow Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for live updates from Jets camp and coverage of the team all season long.