Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress criticizes Giants coach Tom Coughlin for not being a real positive coach and laments quarterback Eli Manning for not visiting him in jail, according to excerpts of a new magazine interview.
In an interview with Men's Journal -- excerpted to the New York Post -- Burress rips on his former coach and teammate in the wide-ranging interview.
Burress played for the New York Giants for four seasons before going to prison in 2008 after shooting himself in a crowded New York nightclub. Burress was disappointed in Coughlin's reaction to his shooting.
After my situation happened, I turned on the TV, and the first words out his mouth was 'sad and disappointing,' Burress told Men's Journal. I'm like, forget support - how about some concern? I did just have a bullet in my leg. And then I sat in his office, and he pushed back his chair and goes, 'I'm glad you didn't kill anybody!' Man, we're paid too much to be treated like kids. He doesn't realize that we're grown men and actually have kids of our own.
Burress ended up serving nearly two years -- a long sentence he blames on New York mayor Mike Bloomberg. He expected teammates to come visit him in prison, but his quarterback Eli Manning never came nor wrote to the wide out.
I was always his biggest supporter, even days he wasn't on, 'cause I could sense he didn't have thick skin, he said. Then I went away, and I thought he would come see me, but nothing, not a letter, in two years. I don't want to say it was a slap in the face, but I thought our relationship was better than that.
After his release from jail, Burress ended up signing with the Jets, though the media reported he met and was considering returning to the Giants. His comments on Coughlin and Manning show that was never a likely option, though.
He's not a real positive coach, Burress said about Coughlin. You look around the league, the Raheem Morrises and Rex Ryans - when their player makes a mistake, they take 'em to the side and say, 'We'll get 'em next time.' But Coughlin's on the sideline going crazy, man. I can't remember one time when he tried to talk a player through not having a day he was having.
Burress also was angry at the way his injuries were portrayed when he played for the Giants. During the team's Super Bowl run, Burress dealt with ankle and shoulder injuries that kept him out of practice. The wide receiver wishes the team backed him up more in the media about how bad his injuries were and why it kept him out of practice.
It was hurtful that they didn't have the courage [after the season] to admit they told me not to practice all year, Burress said. They let the media tear me apart, saying I was dogging practice, that I wasn't a team player, all this [stuff]. The players thought I was pissing on 'em, and Coach Coughlin hated it because he was out of the loop: The orders came from upstairs. And meanwhile, he's on the sideline cursing me out 'cause I got a ball punched out against Green Bay. I just stared at him like, 'Are you out of your [bleeping] mind? I got a separated shoulder and can't run!'