It only took a few games of pedestrian offense and a quick playoff exit to have everyone affiliated with the Giants jump on the "Free Plaxico Burress!" bandwagon. Well everyone that is, except head coach Tom Coughlin.
The first week after Plaxico inexplicably shot himself in the thigh at a NYC nightclub, the most popular response was to throw on the popular Beyoncé video and let the 6'5 wide receiver know he's valuable, but he should never for a second get to thinking he's irreplaceable. Even the Mayor of the city was chiming in, leading the city in a chorus of "to the left, to the left. everything you own in a box to the left."
But after watching the $120 million dollar Manning sputter through the end of the season, and opposing defenses salivate over the luxury of single coverage against Giants receivers, most folks changed their tune.
Except Coughlin is still singing. As reported by ESPN, via an interview with WFAN's Mike Francesa, when asked about Plax coming back Coughlin responded, "We need to sit down and think about it and talk about that and see what the circumstance might be,"
Hmm, well that's not what General Manager Jerry Reese is saying, but the stern disciplinarian stance does make some sense. After all, between the whining about his contract, and the missed meetings, and the lack of respect for authority, most of the 2008 season saw Burress behaving like a baby; a talented child who can get away with murder, or at least reckless endangerment, because he's so precocious. And just like with cute children, those who don't have to actually deal with the insubordination are quicker to forgive and forget.
But Coughlin, strict parent-coach that he is, is not so easy to let him off the hook. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Even Beyoncé knows that.