With receiver Plaxico Burress due in court next Tuesday, Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday that he had not thought about whether he would want Burress back if he is not sent to prison on a weapons charge.
General Manager Jerry Reese has said that if Burress is not incarcerated — and agrees to a list of conditions by the team — he will welcome him back, but Coughlin said he did not have enough information about Burress’s future to make a decision.
“You have to have thought it out,” Coughlin said at the National Football Conference coaches’ breakfast Wednesday. “I’m very concerned about Plaxico and his family and what’s going to happen here. It’s been a terrible experience. You hope for his family he’s able to come out of this and put his life back in order.”
Burress, who earned Coughlin’s admiration when he played through pain during the Super Bowl run in 2007, still enjoys support from his teammates. Coughlin said Burress had been in contact — via text message — with members of the Giants’ staff. Coughlin has not spoken to him recently and does not know if Burress’s thigh is fully healed from a bullet wound.
But Coughlin conceded that the Giants’ offense sputtered terribly during the late-season slide after Burress was suspended.
“There’s no doubt a player of that ability level is going to be missed,” Coughlin said. “It was very upsetting. Especially when you have a great sense of team. The phrases we use — I really believe they buy into that stuff — ‘Don’t let the other guys down.’ Here is a situation where guys were let down.”
- New York Times