Burress: 'Thank you' for single coverage in SB XLII

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Burress: 'Thank you' for single coverage in SB XLII

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn

FOXBORO Even with all the off-the-field drama that has consumed the last couple years of Plaxico Burress' life, he'll always be remembered around here for the catch.

Yeah, that catch, the one that catapulted the New York Giants to an improbable 17-14 Super Bowl XLII win over a New England Patriots that, prior to that loss, was arguably the greatest team in NFL history.

The Pats went into the Super Bowl undefeated, in search of joining the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only NFL teams to ever have a perfect season.

But Burress and the Giants had other plans.

It's been three-plus years since that game, but Burress, now with the New York Jets, remembers it vividly.

"It was a play that, we had run the same play twice," he recalled on Wednesday. "Eli Manning told me before I broke the huddle that if they gave me single coverage, he was going to throw it."

Uh, OK.

Fat chance of that happening, thought Burress.

"There's no way they're going to single-cover me at this time in the game," Burress thought to himself.

But they did. And the 6-foot-5 wideout made the Patriots dearly.

Burress attributes his success on the game-winning Super Bowl catch to watching video and breaking down the tendencies of Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs.

He noticed that inside the 10-yard line, Hobbs liked to stop his feet around the goal line.

"I just went up, made a move, never broke stride, just kept running," Burress said. "I had watched so much film on him that if I had a chance to run that route, I knew exactly how and when to run it.

Burress added, "He did exactly what it showed on tape. I knew when we lined up that I had a great shot to make the game-winning catch."

At that point, Burress' life could not have been any better. He had money - lots of it. He had the fame that comes with awakening the city that never sleeps, to what Super Bowl supremacy feels like.

But all that success and the adulation that came with it, ended on one eventful night in November of 2008. While hanging out at a Manhattan nightclub, Burress had a gun tucked into his sweatpants. The gun slipped from his waistband, and a shot was fired which hit him in the thigh.

Even though Burress was the only one hurt, he was still looking at potential jail time due to New York State's stringent gun laws.

He was eventually indicted on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment, charges that had a minimum 3 12 years of jail time if convicted.

Burress eventually reached a plea deal on lesser gun charges, but was still sentenced to two years in jail. He was released early for good behavior, in June.

Burress acknowledged that while in jail, he did reminisce at times about his game-winning catch in Super Bowl XLII.

"Coming into this business, it's something that you dream of; just being able to play in a Super Bowl but to win it in the fashion that I did," Burress said. "It's a part of who I am, playing in that Super Bowl, making that catch in the fashion that we did, driving down the field in two minutes. Making that play on that stage . . . It's a part of me, it's a part of history.

"To me, it was the greatest Super Bowl ever played. It was a moment that every kid dreams of having. To be able to go out and execute it and do it in the fashion that we did against the team that we were playing against, it says a lot."

And even now, Burress remains mystified at why the Patriots left him one-on-one with Hobbs, who being eight inches shorter than Burress, had no shot when Manning lobbed the pass into the corner of the end zone with less than a minute to play.

"They had single covered me maybe a handful of times that whole game," Burress said. "For them to give me that coverage with that on the line, I didn't think they would, but thank you."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Belichick on Tomlin's a-hole comment: 'As you know, I'm not on Snapface'

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Belichick on Tomlin's a-hole comment: 'As you know, I'm not on Snapface'

Bill Belichick, you'll be surprised to hear, said he was not tuning in to Antonio Brown's Facebook Live stream of the Steelers postgame locker room celebration Saturday night.

Asked about Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin calling the Patriots "a**holes" -- comments which were broadcast to the world via Brown's Facebook account -- Belichick sounded like someone who couldn't be bothered. 

It's a tone he has taken in the past when discussions turn to social media. 

"As you know I'm not on Snapface and all that so I don't really get those," Belichick told WEEI's Dale and Holley show with Michael Holley and Rich Keefe. "Not worried too much about what they put on InstantChat."

Tom Brady reacted to Brown using his phone in that manner during an interview earlier in the day on WEEI. He told the Kirk and Callahan show that, "That's against our team policy. I don't think that would go over well with our coach."

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

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The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability.