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Jacobs: Giants Would’ve Gone 15-1 With Plax


“Brandon Jacobs had never been to a Super Bowl before last season. It was an “unwritten rule,” he said that you don’t go until you’ve been there as a player.

This time, he’s here, making promotional appearances, including one this morning for Under Armour. It’s not like he’s okay with being here as a spectator; it’s just that he seems at peace with that, knowing there were circumstances beyond his control – and the control of 52 of his teammates – that derailed the Giants season.

Those circumstances, of course, popped up when Plaxico Burress shot himself.

“If we have Plax on our team, we go 15-1 and we win the Super Bowl. I’m not afraid to say that and I’ll say it to anybody on any team,” Jacobs said. “We had a different identity with him and we didn’t have enough time to change our identity to be effective at what we wanted to do – try to play a team differently. Teams – I’m not going to say stopped the run – but they did a little better each week because they had that eighth guy in the box.”

Jacobs suggested it was much too late in the season to adjust to life without Burress on the field. When asked if the Giants need to make a move next season to replace Burress if he’s not back, Jacobs replied, “I’m not going to say I think we should (because) then we would have our identity at the beginning of the season and not have to find a new identity late in the season. That’s kind of hard. If we know he’s not there, we set our identity to what we’re going to be all season long instead of trying to change it.”

Speaking of changing identities, Jacobs said that’s what Burress has already done. And he’s not the only one to have said that recently.

“Different guy,” Jacobs said. “He knows what happens to him. And he knows, No. 1, he’s lucky to be living today because of how close he came. He realizes that and he realizes the golden opportunity he has in front of him to be able to take care of his wife and his kid. I talk to Plax every other day. We text back and forth. He’s still Plax, he’s still the same person, but you can see he’s got a different swagger about himself. I think he’s changed and you won’t ever hear anything from Plaxico as far as any kind of trouble or trouble with the team. It’s all done. He’s finished and he’s ready to be a different person.”

This is an obvious question, then, but would he want Burress back?

“If I’m here,” Jacobs said, “I need 17 back on that roster.”

The “if” is in there because Jacobs will be a free agent on Feb. 27 if the Giants don’t re-sign him or designate him a franchise player. He said he’s not sure about the progress of talks between the team and his agent.

“I really want to be back and I think I’ll be fairly upset and angry if I’m not back,” he said. “That’s where I want to be and that’s the team I want to play on and be with.”

When asked about the franchise or the transition tag, Jacobs said he didn’t expect the Giants to use either. They haven’t done it lately, but they’ve franchised Jumbo Elliot and put the transition tag on Howard Cross, Carl Banks and Rodney Hampton.

“I would be angry and it would probably cause some problems,” Jacobs said, “but it’s nothing we couldn’t deal with.”

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