In a week full of trash talk between the Giants and Jets, there's one player who isn't catching any heat from the opposing team: Plaxico Burress.
The former Super Bowl hero for the Giants who now wears a Jets jersey had heaps of praise thrown his way by his former teammates and offensive coordinator as they prepares to face him for the first time in a regular season game since he left the Giants organization.
"Plaxico, he really is a dangerous weapon," Giants running back and close friend Brandon Jacobs said. "It is hard to have talent like that, to make him as dangerous as he can be. He is in a situation where they got to make the playoffs. How he is going to come out and play, I have no idea. But I do know he wants this game just as bad as I do."
Burress played for the Giants from 2005-08, helping the team win a Super Bowl and two divisional titles in that span while also catching 33 touchdowns in that time. In 2008, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg at a nigh club, which ultimately led to his release from the team and later serving time in jail on a firearms charge. After being released from jail earlier this year, Burress chose the Jets over the Giants this past offseason.
Now, as the Giants prepare to face Burress for the first time since his release, they have been very complimentary of their former teammate. Burress had zero catches in the preseason tilt between the teams this season.
"I think it would be a great challenge because he's one of the better receivers in the league," said Corey Webster, another friend of Burress. "Numbers might not say that now but I know from seeing him play and working with him that he's one of the better receivers in the league, if not one of the best, so it will be a great challenge for us and we'll be up for it."
When describing what makes Burress tough to defend, Webster cited Burress' athleticism and his height, which allows him to go up and get the ball. At 6-5, Burress is a tall target in the red zone and it's a big reason why he has eight touchdowns on the season.
Having practiced against him in the past, Webster said there will be some give and take between the two of them, as they will each know some stuff about each other. Safety Kenny Phillips said that Burress still runs well although on tape it appears that he might not be as explosive as he previously was.
"He's hungrier, I think he's hungry," Phillips said. "He's trying to take advantage of the opportunity that he was given and so far I think he's doing that."
Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride particularly applauded Burress for being what he called "one of my greatest ambassadors," meaning that Burress was very helpful with younger receivers in meetings and film sessions. Gilbride said that he had a great relationship with Burress.
"I enjoyed Plax thoroughly as a person, he did some great things for us and we were able to take advantage of his skill sets and he made a lot of plays for us and really helped our team," Gilbride said.
That doesn't mean he'll be rooting for him on Saturday, though.
Said Gilbride: "As much as I want him to have success, I don't want him to have any on Saturday."