Plaxico Burress gearing up for Pittsburgh return
By TOM CANAVAN – 28 minutes ago
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — His sideline blowup with Giants coach Tom Coughlin seemingly behind him, Plaxico Burress turned his attention to a showdown to Pittsburgh — his first game against the Steelers since signing with New York more than three years ago.
"I think it's going to be fun," Burress said after team meetings Monday. "I built a lot of good relationships up there in the five years I played there."
The relationship that everyone wanted to focus on Monday was Burress' with Coughlin. The two have disagreed a lot during his tenure with the Giants, and it was never more obvious than during the 29-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Burress was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second quarter for mouthing off to an official about an offensive pass interference call.
As he walked off the field, Coughlin yelled at him. Burress yelled back with what seemed to be inappropriate language.
"It was football, things like that happen, you move on from it, go out and make plays," Burress said. "Nobody lost any sleep over it; get up in the morning and move on."
Burress said blowups happen between players and coaches all the time.
"Just because it's Plaxico Burress, it gets taken out of context, blown up bigger than what it really is," he said.
Coughlin tried sidestepping the issue Monday. He mentioned Burress three times, saying he would give him the benefit of the doubt on the interference call, while noting he let his emotions get the best of him on the penalty. The coach also joked about putting him on the field goal block unit; the 49ers scored on a blocked kick on Sunday.
For Burress and the Giants, the game against the Steelers starts a tough stretch that includes contests with Dallas and Philadelphia.
"Definitely a lot of good defensive teams that we will be playing in the next few weeks," Burress said. "It starts here. Pittsburgh is 5-1. We're 5-1. It's a tough game. I know those guys well. I know the defense. They are going to come from everywhere. We've got to try not to let their pressure and noise affect us and make some plays."
Pittsburgh chose Burress with the eighth pick overall coming out of Michigan State in 2000. He had 1,000 yards receiving in both 2002 and '03. A hamstring injury slowed him the following year and the Steelers let him walk after the season.
Burress called it business, knowing the Steelers were happy with Hines Ward.
The Giants signed Burress to a six-year, $25 million contract in 2005 and he rewarded them last year with the winning catch in the Super Bowl.
Coincidentally, the Steelers won the title in 2005, the year Burress left.
"They won a championship without me. I didn't have many hard feelings," Burress said. "It just kind of motivated myself to go get one."
Burress said he stays in contact with several former teammates and has built some strong relationships. He has fond memories of Pittsburgh.
"It really doesn't bother me how they receive me at all," Burress said. "I'm going in there trying to get a win. It's definitely going to be a tough game playing against that defense, some of the things they do. They're going to be fired up at home, so its going to be a good barometer for us to see where we're at."
Burress insists he won't be emotional this week.
"I'm going to approach the game like I approach it every week," he said. "Relaxed, try to let my God-given ability show and go out and make plays. It's not going to be different than any other games. I'm four years removed from that place. I won a championship last year. I'm just trying to prove things to myself."