Burress' co-author offers insights

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If you aren't familiar with the name Jason Cole, he is the national NFL writer for Yahoo! Sports.

Oh, and he just so happens to be the co-author of 'Giant: The Road to the Super Bowl,' the book Plaxico Burress published after the Giants won the Super Bowl.

I reached out to Cole for some insights into the Burress situation, and he was gracious enough to spend some time with me.

Cole summed up his feelings about Burress this way.

"I like Plaxico and I think Plaxico in his soul is a good person and means well and wants to do well and knows how to handle the rigors of playing in New York," said Cole. "His one great fault is that he does not appreciate and does not give in to authority. In football that tends to get guys in trouble."

Cole said he is not surprised by the problems Burress had with the Giants this season, saying "it's kind of been his nature to do that."

Cole did, however, express surprise that Burress has put himself in a position where it seems likely he will never wear a New York Giants uniform again.

"I didn't think it was going to come to a point where he was no longer going to be a New York Giant," said Cole. "I thought there was always going to be some give and take. He rebels against authority."

Cole used the phrase 'piddly things' to describe most of the issues between Burress and the Giants prior to the shooting incident. He defended the wide receiver -- to an extent.

"This is not Pacman Jones. It aggravates me when fans lump him in with Pacman like that. That is not what Plaxico is," said Cole.

In Cole's view, Burress has now pushed the Giants into a corner and they have no choice but to move on without him.

"When you have all the stuff that happened and then you have this accident that is where the scales get tipped and it no longer becomes tolerable," said Cole. "I would liken this to a serious DUI where he has put other people and himself at risk. If the other stuff didn't happen Plaxico would probably still be a Giant, or have a future as a Giant."

When considering Burress' history with the Giants, Cole brought up something I had not thought about. He reminded me that it was the now-retired Ernie Accorsi who brought Burress to the Giants as a free agent.

"Accorsi was his biggest fan," said Cole. "With Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin things are not going to be as favorable for Plax."

We all know that even the mellower version of Coughlin is still a stickler for a variety of rules. He continues to demand certain things from his players. Cole, though, said that Reese is much like the head coach in that way.

"Reese likes a certain order as well," said Cole. "Does he (Burress) like to be told where to go or when to go? No, he does not.

He doesn't like the rules and he is willing to rebel against them."

Cole also said the Giants might be handling the situation differently if they weren't defending Super Bowl champs, weren't 11-1 and did not have a plethora of wide receivers waiting for an opportunity.

"A team is in much better position when they have really good depth," said Cole. "If they didn't have Hixon and Smith and all these guys the results would probably be a whole lot different."

Cole has seen all the numbers showing how the Giants are a better offense, and Manning a better quarterback, without Burress. He sees that the Giants don't need Burress the way they once did.

"He (Manning) is much sharper than ever before. He can make other receivers look better, he doesn't require receivers to make him look better," said Cole. "Plax was a great cover for Eli early on."

All of that said, Cole isn't buying that the Giants won't miss Burress come playoff time.

"Last January they needed Plax, and last January is not that long ago," said Cole.

Cole also added that the only hope Burress has of continuing his career as a Giant is if the season ends badly for New York, and Manning goes to bat for him.

"If Eli says 'I need him,' maybe they make up," said Cole. "If Eli says 'I'm beyond this' then it's different."

Wow! That's a ton of great insight from a guy who knows Burress as well as anyone covering the NFL today.

I hope to touch base with Jason again around playoff time. For now, what do you guys think?

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