After two years away from the game of football, Plaxico Burress hauled in 45 catches for 645 yards and scored eight touchdowns for the New York Jets last season. However this offseason, Burress has received little to no interest from NFL teams and remains a free agent looking for his next opportunity. While Burress clearly suffered from two seasons away from the game, the 34-year-old receiver showed last year in the Big Apple that he is still a red zone threat because of his size and he still has the ability to do some damage in the passing game in the right situation. When that opportunity presents itself is really anyone’s guess but it looks like the once Super Bowl hero may have to wait for an injury to a wide receiver in a team’s training camp to get his shot, despite his constant begging.
how he feels, whether Carolina would be his preferred destination to play in 2012, why he thinks there has been no interest in him, if he will play with a chip on his shoulder in 2012 given how little interest he has received this offseason, if he thinks he will be better this year than he was last year and what he would say to the people that think he would disrupt the chemistry in a team’s locker room.
How he feels this offseason:
“I feel great. Last year I was really just trying to get my legs under me from the two-year layoff and I think people are going to be surprised by the shape I’m in. I got my spring back and I’m just waiting and I think everyone else will see for themselves.”
If Carolina is his preferred destination to play in 2012:
“No doubt about it. My brother lives right there in Charlotte, my cousin lives there in Charlotte and all my family is there in Columbia, South Carolina. It would just be a great situation all the way around and being close to everybody. Not just that but playing with Cam (Newton) who I think is one of the top five quarterbacks in all of football and as long as I can remember Steve Smith has been one of my favorites. I just think it’s a great situation.”
Why he thinks there hasn’t been a strong interest in him this offseason:
“It’s been there but it’s just getting to the right fit. I’ve been around and I understand the game from a mental standpoint, I’m very knowledgeable about the guys out there that are playing. I know what they do well and what they don’t do well and I just want to put myself in a position to go out and have success and to go out and make guys around me better. And obviously play with a quarterback who can really play the position. It’s about me picking my spots and seeing where I’m a good fit. You just look at a situation like Carolina and you can’t come across a better situation than that. Playing with Steve Smith, who is a guy that demands a double team, you look at a guy like Greg Olsen getting up and down the seams and you put a guy like me on the back side and teams have trouble saying ‘who are we going to cover? Who are we going to double?’ I’ve been playing this game for a long time and it comes down to matchups. You put guys in one-on-one situations and guys win. It’s a place that I would love to come play and we will see what happens.”
Whether he will play with a chip on his shoulder this season towards the Panthers if they don’t sign him:
“No it’s not just directed at one team. When you’re a competitor, when you’re a football player, me I challenge myself to prove to myself that I can still go out and play this game at a high level which I know I can. I went out and scored eight touchdowns last year. I’m going to be better than that this year. Teams haven’t seen me, what kind of shape I’m in, haven’t seen me workout and all I keep doing is going and going, I have my legs back and everybody is going to be in for a pleasant surprise when I hit the football field this year.”
If he thinks he can play better than he did last season:
“There’s no doubt about it. I did those things on the football field last year after being out of football for two years and I didn’t have a preseason, I twisted my ankle the first day of camp, played three quarters of football going into the season after being out for two years and there I am starting on Sunday night playing football with four catches and a touchdown so I feel great. I’m just looking for the opportunity to get back on the field and show that I can still do it and do it at a high level.”
What he would say to the people that believe he would disrupt team chemistry:
“When you’re talking about chemistry all I want to do is run up and down the field, catch footballs, score touchdowns, have fun and make an impact, go out and be consistent and help the guys around me. As far as people saying they don’t want me to come there because I’m going to mess things up then everyone is entitled to their opinion. They do what they do for a living and I do what I do for a living. You can ask any of the guys I’ve ever played with about being a guy in the locker room that everybody likes and treated everybody the same, that’s who I am. For the people saying those things, maybe they don’t know me and being their job and what they do, I don’t know them.”