The Plaxico Problem

Over the last two years, Giantscoach Tom Coughlin has waved goodbye to several talented players. Some went by his choice, some by theirs but many of them had issues with the coach before leaving the team. Will Plaxico Burress be the next player to leave Camp Coughlin?

It's starting to look that way. Two games into his return from a team suspension for missing practice without giving indication that he wouldn't be there, Burress punctuated an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by jawing with Coughlin on the sideline. Burress was upset about an offensive pass interferance call that went against him, admittedly a questionable flag, but his childish response was the latest sign that Plax puts his own needs before those of the team.

That's a familiar refrain around the Giants. Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockey and Michael Strahan were all accused of similar behavior at one time or another and you'll note that none of their departures has affected the team's on-field play all that much. There's going to be a breaking point, though, where the Giants can't afford to lose a player and keep rolling as if nothing has happened. Burress could be that guy.

The passing game hasn't had much zip in the two games since his return from suspension. You can handle the 49ers without a big game from Burress but the Steelers, Cowboys and others will provide more of a fight as the season goes forward. Coughlin seemed to realize how much Burress means to the team when he tried to brush off any questions about their argument after the contest but it seems like he'll have to deal with the wideout for the rest of the season. His success at that task may be directly related to the success of his football team.

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