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5 Reasons Plaxico Burress Won’t Have As Great A Comeback As Michael Vick Did

Submitted by on February 15, 2011 – 1:09 pm3 Comments

Everyone loves a good comeback story. Look no further than what Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was able to do this season for proof of that. It’s one reason we’re excited to hear that former New York Giants wide receiver/Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress is on the comeback trail after spending the majority of the last three years locked behind bars for illegally possessing a firearm in New York City (and nearly taking off his own leg!) back in 2008.

His agent Drew Rosenhaus took to his Twitter account recently to reveal that Burress has been training hard five days a week for the last few months in the hopes that he’ll be back on an NFL roster after he gets released from prison in early June. However, we’re not 100 percent convinced that Burress is going to be able to do what Vick did after his prison stint on dogfighting charges. In fact, we’re damn-near doubting that he’s gonna be able to pull it off. Want to know why? Check out the five reasons we think Burress won’t be able to match what Vick did this season when he makes his long-awaited return.

1. Playing wide receiver in the NFL is way different than playing wide receiver in the NFL.

Wide receivers in the NFL needs to have a variety of tools. Being tall helps, and that’s something that no jail could take away from Burress. But as an NFL wide receiver, you also need to be quick, run good routes, have good hands and be able to leave whoever is covering you in your dust. Burress has definitely lost a step since he played last—both as a result of going to jail and gaining a couple of extra years on his age. In Vick’s case, he needed to change some of the things he did on the field before going to prison (better vision, more accurate throws, etc.) and he did them. Burress won’t be able to make the same kinds of adjustments in his game and won’t have the ability to transform himself as a player, simply because the wide receiver position doesn’t allow it.

2. Burress hasn’t shown that he’s a changed man both on—and off—the field yet.

One thing Michael Vick needed to do to improve on the field was to grow off of it. And love him or hate him, he definitely did it. We haven’t seen anything to indicate that Burress is going to have the same type of transformation. If he did, he could be a team leader and, at the very least, a positive mentor for younger players. But that effect is yet to be seen.

3. Vick had more motivation to make a successful comeback and really had something to prove to his detractors.

Aside from just growing up as a person and maturing, Vick’s comeback to the NFL was a challenge that he decided to meet head-on. There were plenty of detractors and haters that looked to hold him back and we can only imagine that that made him want to work that much harder to try and make a successful comeback. Burress  won’t have that same type of motivation when he returns to the NFL. It will certainly be a personal challenge but he won’t have as many people watching to see how he does and that could ultimately be a bad thing for him.

4. Burress doesn’t have the power or the control to guarantee that he’ll have a successful comeback in his first season.

Though it took him more than a season to crack the starting lineup, once Vick got a chance to be the Eagles’ starting QB, he took advantage of it. With the ball in his hands on every offensive possession, he had the chance to make-or-break his career. Burress is a wide receiver and won’t get the same chance. He needs to get signed by a team that will utilize him and he needs to come back strong enough to warrant a quarterback making numerous throws to him during the course of a game. So he could end up playing for a below-average team that can’t find ways to get him the ball. And while that might not be his fault, it’ll be perceived as him having lost a step in jail.

5. There’s no guarantee Burress will even end up on an NFL roster next season thanks to the NFL’s labor situation.

The funny thing about this whole comeback idea Burress has? It might not even get the opportunity to materialize. With the NFL facing the very real possibility of losing an entire season to a labor lockout, Burress might not get a shot to suit up for anyone. And if that happens, he’ll lose yet another year of football and be forced to consider hanging up his cleats for good. Clearly, the odds are stacked against him already—and this could be the one thing that sidelines him permanently. It’s just one of the reasons his comeback won’t stand up to the comeback Michael Vick enjoyed last season.

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