Burress Says He's Ready To Play

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Plaxico Burress is done with questions about his troublesome right ankle.
It's fine.
It feels so good for the first time in more than a year that the New York Giants receiver believes this could be a great year for him, and that's saying something heading into Thursday's NFL kickoff game against the Washington Redskins.
"Nobody is more excited than me," Burress said Sunday after going full tilt through his third straight practice. "I am back out there doing some of the things that I wasn't able to do in the past. I am just getting my feet back under me."
Burress played the entire 2007 season with a badly sprained right ankle, and it prevented him from practicing more than a handful of times and limited what he could do on the field. Cutting to his right was very limited in his game plan.
Despite that, Burress played in every game, caught a team-high 70 passes and a career-best 12 touchdowns. The nine-year veteran added 18 more catches in the postseason, including the game-winning 13-yard touchdown catch with 35 seconds left in the Super Bowl.
"Last year I played well and had some good games, but I couldn't do it on a consistent basis like I wanted to," Burress said. "Granted I wasn't able to go out and practice, but I never let my mind waver and used that as an excuse. I gave it what I had. I just expect to be consistent and great week in and week out -- that's what I want to be."
It's hard to guess how much the Giants will use Burress against the Redskins. He came to training camp bothered by a stability problem with his right ankle and missed almost all the practices while learning how to play in orthotics.
Burress has taken most of the snaps with Eli Manning and the first team in recent days, but coach Tom Coughlin indicated he may use Domenik Hixon some because the receiver had a good camp.
Burress acknowledges his stamina could be better. He was huffing and puffing walking off the field with fellow veteran Amani Toomer on Sunday, but he was laughing about it because he sees improvement since last year.
He has no limitations running his routes, and he is cutting, jumping and stopping without any problems. Burress also noted that he has put on seven pounds for this season, and that should help him from getting dinged as much.
Put it together and Burress thinks he can be a dominant receiver in the league.
"I try to do it every time I step on the football field," he said. "With me getting practice, I have already practiced more this year than last year, so I am just trying to get to the top of my game. I am trying to be an impact player week in and week out. I am trying to prove something to myself, and be the best that I can be for my team."
With Burress back, the Giants will field the same offense that started against New England in the Super Bowl. But going against the Redskins and new coach Jim Zorn, the Giants are a little uncertain about what Washington will throw at them defensively.
For Burress, it might involve more double coverages.
"I hate getting covered,' he said. "It's embarrassing to get covered. I just want to go out and be as a good as I can. I think the more explosive I can be, the more explosive our offense can be. It is going to be exciting."


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