Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Ravens should just say, "No to Plaxico"

Plaxico Burress is now out of prison after serving nearly 2 years for a handgun violation. He was the sacrificial lamb – the regrettable and involuntary poster child for New York City’s crack down on gun control.

In the process he lost millions of dollars and perhaps some love and respect from his family and friends. But the man has done his time and hopefully he’s emerged as a better person and can use what he’s learned to be a better friend, husband and role model for his kids.

But it’s doubtful that he’ll be a better receiver or one even as good as the player who was sent to the pokey in 2009.

During the course of his last 3 seasons covering 41 games, Burress averaged 4.1 catches per game for 60.2 yards and 0.63 TD’s (26 Total). TJ Houshmandzadeh during his 3 seasons and 47 games prior to coming to Baltimore averaged 6 catches for 62.9 yards and 0.4 TD’s (19 Total). Burress is 45 days older than Houshmandzadeh and turns 34 on August 12, 2011.

Similar numbers for sure…

Is there reason to believe that Burress will be any better than Houshmandzadeh as a Raven – as part of an offense that struggles to satisfy the appetites of ball hungry pass catchers?

Not really!

So why bother disrupting an offense by acquiring a receiver who:

1. Has been away from the game for over 2 seasons

2. Who slowed down when active and players don’t get faster with age

3. Will start slow given a learning curve that will be prolonged and diminish his effectiveness without the benefit of OTA’s, a playbook and possibly part or all of training camp

4. Will take valuable reps away from the team’s younger receivers and even reclamation project James Hardy who is only 25 years old

Moreover, it appears that Joe Flacco doesn’t want to go to work with another aging diva. During a recent interview with Mike Missanelli of Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic, he seemed to be throwing out the welcome mat for Plaxico – a welcome mat in Philadelphia.

“I think he’d be successful in Philadelphia, I really do,” Flacco said. “They usually have a pretty good offense and [Head Coach] Andy [Reid] likes to throw the ball around a lot, so he’d have his opportunities.”

Interesting choice of words from Joe the Quarterback, don’t you think?

I think Joe just said no to Plaxico too!

And perhaps a subtle dig at Cam Cameron for good measure.