Sunday, August 28, 2011

3 comments I'll Take "Initial Overreactions by Ian O' Connor" for $500, Alex

One of the things that irritates me the most about the preseason are the overreactions by many to what happens in the preseason. Sure, there are things that happen in the preseason that mean something, but then other things that happen don't mean anything at all. Ian O' Connor thinks the New York Giants may have made a mistake in not re-signing Plaxico Burress and allowing him to go to their Division riva---I mean confere---umm...New York city rival, the New York Jets. In the process of overreacting, Ian is also able to effectively pinpoint exactly whose fault it is that Burress didn't come back to the Giants. Clearly it is Eli Manning who is at fault. O' Connor decides, based on Burress' 3 catch 66 yard performance against the powerhouse team of the Cincinnati Bengals, the Giants made a colossal free agent mistake.

Somewhere Eli Manning was watching and wondering if he should have hit the recruiting trail after all. The star he refused to court, Plaxico Burress, was playing in the New Meadowlands Stadium like he played in the Old Meadowlands Stadium,

No one will say Plaxico Burress doesn't have a good chance of coming back and having a strong season, but what does it tell Manning's current group of young receivers if Manning wants Burress back on the team and publicly says he thinks the Giants should top the $3 million guaranteed the Jets offered Burress? That's a fairly strong vote of non-confidence. Regardless, I also doubt Manning was watching this game. He probably had better things to do than watch a preseason game between two AFC teams.

and suggesting for the first time that Eli and friends made a colossal free-agent mistake.

Dammit Eli! As the General Manager of the Giants you should worked harder to sign Plaxico Burress. Didn't you see his diving catch in an exhibition game a couple nights ago? It was a similar route that Burress ran in the Super Bowl three years ago, which immediately caused ESPN's New York-based writers to start foaming at the mouth and putting their ballot in for Burress on the All-Pro team.

"I've never had a target like him," Mark Sanchez said.

To be fair, Burress is replacing Braylon Edwards. So Sanchez hasn't ever had a tall receiver who has managed to catch a pass thrown his way 60% of the time. This shouldn't be a huge threshold to top.

Burress was good for three receptions and 66 yards in a steady rain Sunday night, notarizing his return to the NFL with a 26-yard touchdown catch on a Sanchez lob ripped straight from the Eli Manning playbook.

This was a great catch but O’ Connor needs some perspective. This was a great catch in a preseason game against (potentially) the second-worst team in the NFL, while being defended by Fred Bennett, who is either 3rd or 4th on the Bengals depth chart right now. It’s not like he burned Nnamdi Asomugha or anything like that. Perspective. That’s all we need before talking about how the Giants will rue the day they did not sign Plaxico Burress to a contract after he went free from prison.

Burress shared all of three practices with Sanchez after injuring his ankle, and yet he picked up his quarterback's signal at the line.

I think it was even more simple than this…

(Mark Sanchez hand signals there is an attractive 17 year old girl in the stands he plans to sleep with after the game)

(Plaxico Burress hand signals Sanchez better be careful about that. He doesn’t want to end up in jail. Plaxico knows this from experience.)

(Mark Sanchez hand signals he’s probably right. Then Sanchez hand signals he sees Plaxico being guarded by what looks like a high school kid…then sees it is Fred Bennett. Hand signals Plaxico to go deep)

(Plaxico Burress misreads the hand signal and throws a gang sign back at Sanchez, reminding himself to show off the new shanking technique on Sanchez that he learned in prison. Then tired of hand signaling, he hand signals he will just run in a straight line and Sanchez should throw the ball to him because he is being defended by Fred Bennett)

(Mark Sanchez tries to throw the ball straight and deep. His throw is off and he ends up throwing a fade. After the touchdown he and Plaxico agree to say they had this planned all along. Plaxico is so excited he forgets about shanking Sanchez. Ian O’ Connor wets himself)

Burress used his long arms to push Bennett and create the space he needed to summon the memory of his Super Bowl-winning catch.

He summoned the memory of his Super Bowl catch if the Super Bowl catch was made against a 4th string cornerback in an exhibition game in the rain against the second-worst team in the NFL.

It required a crash-landing in a steady rain, with Burress forced to throw his head straight back over his shoulders to track the descent of the pass.

It was a great catch. It was a great catch in an exhibition game against many of the Bengals backups…and the Bengals backups are another team’s backups to the backups. It was a good catch, but in the long run it doesn’t mean a heck of a lot.

The greatest catch I have ever seen during an NFL game was made by Walter Young. Who? Exactly. It was made in the back of the end zone in an exhibition game. Walter Young went on to do……………………something I am sure.

On a side note: I would normally say the greatest catch I have ever seen in person was Steve Smith catching a touchdown pass against Dallas in the 2003 NFC Divisional Round because I was at that game, but I didn’t actually see that catch because I was buying beer for all of my friends because “halftime is like 30 minutes long in a playoff game.” Quick note to those who believe this: It’s not true. I’m still not over this.

We know why he's not still there, playing with the lead tenants of this building. On a November night on the town in 2008, Burress made the mistake of packing an unlicensed and loaded gun, rather than a licensed and unloaded gun. He accidentally shot himself in the leg, ultimately costing himself his freedom and costing the Giants a chance to win a second consecutive title.

I guess this injury cost the Giants a chance to win a second consecutive title. They were a pretty good team up until Plaxico left. This is a somewhat presumptive statement though.

The franchise and franchise quarterback haven't been the same since.

Manning had the best year of his career in 2009 without Burress on the roster. So this isn’t entirely true that Manning hasn't been the same since Burress left.

The Giants went 10-6 in 2010, which is the same record they had in 2007 with Burress when they won the Super Bowl. They just happened to not make the playoffs in 2010 while they did in 2007. So it is not like they have fallen off the map.

And yet Manning refused to campaign for Plax The Sequel the way Ben Roethlisberger did in Pittsburgh. Eli said he didn't want to deliver a vote of no confidence to his current receivers, and didn't want to call for Burress' hiring when other Giants free agents remained unsigned,

Which is actually somewhat logical for Manning to believe. It is simply a matter of preference. Burress may have improved the Giants receivers, but Manning didn’t want to advocate for Burress because he wanted his young receivers to know he trusted them to get the job done. I’m not sure three catches in an exhibition game will prove this is a bad idea. Giving confidence to the young receivers could very well help the Giants more in the long run than having Burress signed to a one-year deal.

but surely there was more to it than that.

Even if it would help Ian O’ Connor get a good story out of this, there’s probably not a whole lot more to it than that.

Manning has his pride; he showed it when he didn't aw-shucks his way through those questions about elite quarterbacks and Tom Brady's rarefied air. Eli wouldn't mind winning big without Burress, if only to dispel the notion that he can't.

I find it difficult to believe there are people who think Eli Manning is driven to win a Super Bowl title without Plaxico Burress. Really? You think that drives him? Why isn’t he motivated to win one without Michael Strahan or Derrick Ward? I bet Manning just wants to win a Super Bowl to shove it in David Tyree's face he can do it without him.

This is silly to think Eli Manning doesn't want Plaxico on the Giants team in order to show he can win a Super Bowl without him. Eli Manning wants to win a Super Bowl again. To indicate he wants to win one without Plaxico Burress, and that’s why he didn’t campaign for him to join the team, is just not true.

After playing so fast and loose with Tom Coughlin's rules, Burress called it a "privilege" to be employed in the NFL and promised to run routes with a smile on his face. Prison will do that to you.

Playing under Tom Couglin probably better prepared Burress for prison.

After his first winning performance as a Jet, the receiver promised, "It's just the tip of the iceberg."

On the first play of the Jets' first series, Sanchez decided to break the ice.

These two sentences just made baby Jesus cry. Good job Ian O’ Connor! You’ve written so poorly you are making children cry now.

He ran a play-action fake and looked downfield to his right, where Burress was finishing a curl route. Sanchez fired it into Burress' breadbasket for a 20-yard gain, and then the receiver rose from the field to do a slow strut in celebration of himself.

I don’t know why the Giants didn’t want a receiver who would catch one touchdown pass in an exhibition game and then immediately do a celebration of himself.

But nothing could touch the touchdown, which Burress punctuated with a couple of bows to the crowd.

Think there is a little bit of an overreaction to the touchdown in an exhibition game. We all love a comeback story and Burress made a great catch. Let’s not throw egg on the Giants' face quite yet and see how the rest of the year plays out.

(How about the other teams that didn’t sign Burress? It isn’t like these teams didn’t know what kind of player Burress used to be. Why do they get off easy? Because they aren’t teams from New York and that is O’ Connor’s coverage area for ESPN? If Burress plays well it isn't only the Giants who possibly made a mistake by not signing Burress)

"There's not animosity toward them," Burress maintained. "They haven't done anything to me."

Except give Plax a chance to make them regret saving three million bucks.

Which is really what three catches, one of them spectacular, can do in a preseason game apparently. Isn't this overreacting just a little?

Based on one preseason game it looks like he would have been a nice addition. The Giants, and I think someone needs to tell Ian O’ Connor that Eli Manning is not the General Manager of the Giants, wanted to let guys like Victor Cruz and Ramses Barden get significant playing time this year rather than sign Burress to a one-year deal. It may be a bad move, but one preseason game doesn’t give the answer one way or another. No matter how much O’ Connor wants it to so he can turn the Burress comeback story into a larger story than it has already become.


Majid Ali said...

Please help me by reading my appeal on my profile

rich said...

ultimately costing himself his freedom and costing the Giants a chance to win a second consecutive title.

That would be a big ole no. The Giants were good that year, but their defense wasn't really playing that well the last couple of games (it's really a "what season doesn't that happen?" game).

Thinking the Giants could have stopped the Cardinals' offense in the NFC Championship game would have been hard enough, but beating Pittsburgh as well?

They were 12-4, but to say that Burress cost them a second championship is pure horseshit. They just weren't the best team that year.

The franchise and franchise quarterback haven't been the same since.

They won ten fucking games last year! They would have made the playoffs (in all likelihood) if Matt Dodge doesn't go full retard against the Eagles and punt to Jackson.

Last year, Steve Smith was hurt, Hixon was hurt, Burress was gone and Jacobs started playing like Ron Dayne.

Mainly, Eli had to throw to Mario Manningham (who isn't a very consistent receiver) and a rookie. Oh ya, he managed 4000 yards, 30+ TDs and a completion percentage comfortably north of 60%.

I think Eli is just fine.

And to say the "franchise isn't the same" is just retarded. The reason the Giants started losing after Burress shot himself and the reason they didn't make the playoffs last year? Their defense, not their offense.

Eli said he didn't want to deliver a vote of no confidence to his current receivers, and didn't want to call for Burress' hiring when other Giants free agents remained unsigned

Yes, like the WR who caught 100 passes his last full season and the starting WR who was a capable threat in the passing game and a fantastic blocker.

Except give Plax a chance to make them regret saving three million bucks.

I'm sorry, but what? The Giants made an offer, it's not like they didn't try to sign him.

Also, have we forgotten about the whole "took an unlicensed gun into a nightclub in the waistband of his pants and then discharged it" aspect?

If anyone walked into their office and accidently shot themselves in the leg, how many of them would have their employer begging him to come back?

Burress had a penchant for doing stupid shit off the field. That's not really debatable and the shooting himself was just the penultimate act of "are you really that stupid?"

To say that Big Ben and Mark Sanchez, who don't exactly have the best decision making skills (one borderline retarded and the other a third year player, both of whom have been accused of sexual assault) clamored for Burress meant that Eli had a hidden agenda is stupid.

Maybe he just didn't want a complete fuckup around him?

The last two things I'll say on the issue:

1. The catch was against a backup CB... so a backup CB on a pathetic team in the preseason? Incredible.

2. Most Giants fans realize this year is really a crapshoot. Even back then, the LBing corps wasn't exactly confidence inspiring and the O-Line lacks the depth that made it such a strength for them the past few years.

The fact that Reese gave out some really bad contracts (Canty, Boley, Jacobs, etc.) really put the team in a bad place this off-season. So the question is: what effect would Burress have had on this year? Would the WR group be better? Sure, but how do you develop guys like Cruz and Manningham if they're not being given a chance to play?

I'd rather play Nicks, Manningham and Cruz, see how that works and see what improvements can be made next year when the cap situation isn't as bad as it was this year.

Bengoodfella said...

Tell you what Majid. You pay my mortgage, I will pay your tuition fees. Oh, spammers!

Rich, but if Plaxico didn't cost the Giants a second straight title then O'Connor wouldn't have a good point to make. So he has to pretend it did cost them the title.

We really can't trust too much what O'Connor says a/b why the Giants teams didn't succeed because it is clear he thinks Plaxico was the key to the Giants failures over the last 2 years. I remember the Giants having a bunch of injuries to their linebackers a couple years ago.

The Giants have made it obvious and clear they want to build their team with a young receiving corp for Manning. They made him an offer and he didn't accept it. How would it look if Eli went overboard trying to get Plaxico back on board? It would look like he didn't trust his current receivers.

I think a lot of Giants fans feel the same way that you do. I think the Giants have a good crop of young guys and the fact Plaxico looked great in one preseason game is really irrelevant as to what the Giants are trying to do. I guess we will learn more about what a huge mistake the Giants made tonight.