Since leaving prison and joining the Jets, Plaxico Burress has come off as nothing less than humble in his dealings with the media.
There's been very little talk about anything other than being happy to have a chance to get back on the field so he can help the Jets win games. Even that talk has been well short of the usual levels of bravado we are used to hearing from the Jets.
It seemed like a playbook taken right from Michael Vick, not a bad idea given how well Vick's return to the NFL has gone. Keep your head down, do your job and don't worry about settling scores that can't really be settled now that you've done your time.
That was the playbook, but Plax has decided to call an audible. In an interview with Men's Journal, Burress went in a different direction and did his very best to throw mud on those he felt wronged him before and after he went to jail.
Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning get the most attention and Burress has so little nice to say about them that you wonder why he bothered giving the Giants a chance to look magnanimous by meeting with them this summer. In particular, it is pretty clear he wouldn't ever play for Coughlin again.
On Coughlin: "He’s not a real positive coach. ... I can’t remember one time when he tried to talk a player through not having a day he was having."
On Manning: "I was always his biggest supporter, even days he wasn’t on, ’cause I could sense he didn’t have thick skin. Then I went away, and I thought he would come see me, but nothing, not a letter, in two years. I don’t want to say it was a slap in the face, but I thought our relationship was better than that."
Coughlin, again: "After my situation happened, I turned on the TV, and the first words out his mouth was ‘sad and disappointing.’ I’m like, forget support — how about some concern?"
On the Giants organization: "It was hurtful that they didn’t have the courage to admit they told me not to practice all year. They let the media tear me apart, saying I was dogging practice, that I wasn’t a team player, all this [stuff]."
To fans who treated him like a "human pincushion": "What are you doing now? You still mad at your job? You still angry about your life? ’Cause I’m back living my life and enjoying my family while you’re still doing the same thing."
It seems that the Giants can go ahead and cancel that Christmas card, huh?
The words are pretty harsh, although it is nothing we haven't heard about Coughlin before and certainly doesn't paint a much different picture of him than you probably had in your mind before reading anything Burress had to say. That's less true of Manning, mostly because the Giants quarterback has done everything in his power to offer the public as little a view as possible into what goes on behind the curtain.
Ultimately none of this really matters outside of making for an entertaining read. There was no bridge back to the Giants so there wasn't anything to burn by sharing his negative thoughts about key members of the organization and the organization itself.
That said, hopefully there won't be much more of this to follow. Plax's best bet is focusing on the future from here on out and continually rehashing old memories won't do anything to help him create newer, better ones now that he's about to officially relaunch his NFL career.