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The Plaxico Burress Signing Hasn't Quite Worked Out

Burress hasn't become a regular target in the offense

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011  |  Updated 11:50 AM EDT
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The Dolphins' decision to continually throw the ball in Darrelle Revis' direction on Monday night obviously didn't work out for them -- see the interception return for a touchdown -- but it did bear some fruit.

Matt Moore hooked up with Brandon Marshall on a couple of back shoulder throws that took advantage of Marshall's size to move the ball down the field in big chunks.

The Dolphins would ultimately shoot themselves in the foot, but the passes to Marshall lingered in the back of the mind whenever the Jets were on offense.

Why weren't the Jets making those kinds of throws to Plaxico Burress when they had the ball? That kind of play should be a staple in any offense that features a big receiver like Plax, just as it was when Burress played for the other team that calls the Meadowlands home.

But it hasn't been and Burress has just 14 catches through six games, one of many stats that tells you just how bad the Jets offense seems to be and a stat that tells you how disappointing Burress' production has been for the $3 million that the Jets are paying him.

The Post took note of that on their back cover Wednesday morning, as part of a pretty good overall day for the cover headline staff on both sides.

Rex Ryan called it a question of developing chemistry with Mark Sanchez on Tuesday. Sanchez and Burress clearly aren't clicking, but there's a lot more at work than just a bad match on eHarmony.

There have been times when the Jets are clearly trying to get the ball to Burress and Sanchez winds up checking down because Plax isn't able to get open quick enough.

The greatest unknown about Burress' return from prison was just how the layoff had affected his athleticism and the first six games have raised serious questions about how much burst there is in the tank.

When Burress does get open, he's had issues holding onto the ball and that isn't the kind of thing that makes you likely to get a lot of looks as the season progresses. All in all, it isn't really a recipe for the kind of success the Jets were trumpeting when they signed Burress this summer.

Everything would be worse if Burress were making a big deal out of his lack of looks and catches, but, for now, he's been a good soldier.

Despite having the facial expressions of a guy who wants to explode, he has taken responsibility for dropped passes and been a better blocker than some members of the offensive line.

That's small potatoes compared to the lack of production in the passing game, but it is, at least, a sign that he's willing to work. That willingness could pay off in more catches down the road or it could just make Burress the first $3 million blocking receiver in the history of the NFL.

One outcome is certainly better than the other and for the Jets to build off of Monday's win, it better be the first one.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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