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Reese Wants To Bring Back Plax?


“For weeks, no one wanted to say it. Not even Tom Coughlin after Sunday’s crushing playoff loss to the Eagles ended the Giants’ season in a manner they never expected.

But general manager Jerry Reese was blunt after the game when asked if the Giants’ offense missed beleaguered wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

“Obviously, it’s hard to replace that,” Reese said in a nearly-empty locker room. “The guy has a presence out there and when you lose that, teams play you differently. We made some adjustments, but today we had opportunities. We just didn’t make enough plays.”

The big question, then, is whether the Giants’ struggles without Burress have nudged the team toward bringing him back, provided he doesn’t get sent to prison for illegal gun possession.

Before Burress’ suspension, Eli Manning had completed 62 percent of his passes and had a passer rating of 91.3. In the five games after Burress’ season was ended by the team’s placing him on the non-football injury list, Manning completed only 54 percent of his passes and had a dreadful rating of 63.6.

“If everything goes all right, yeah,” Reese said when asked if Burress could return next season. “Absolutely.”

Reese kept saying there were plays to be made Sunday without Burress on the field. Of course, those plays are tougher to make when a 6-5, 232-pounder isn’t forcing a defense to devote several players to his side of the field.

“Your margin of error is way less when you don’t have a guy with that kind of presence out there,” Reese said, “so you have to capitalize on every opportunity you have and we were not able to make enough plays.”

Can the Giants’ offense survive without Burress? Maybe. But the scheme was designed and installed with him in mind, so it’s a tough switch for the coaching staff and players to make during the season.

“Obviously, the guy has a presence when he’s on the field. But do they have a Plax out there — the Eagles? I don’t think so,” Reese said. “They have good receivers, we have good receivers. They made the plays, we didn’t. They deserve all the credit.”

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