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Jets Press Conference

Plaxico Burress Press Conference Transcript 7/31/11

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On Sunday the New York Jets latest free agent acquisition wide receiver Plaxico Burress addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

On declining the Giants offer but choosing to stay in New York City…

“I was just going with my heart, just putting myself in the best situation for me and being able to compete for a world championship and to become a part of a great organization with a great coach. These guys have a great team on deck and it was just something that I wanted to be a part of. I feel like they have something special over here and I just wanted to be a part of it and hopefully we can do some great things.”

On if not playing in two years and being almost 34-years old worries him…

“Not at all. The only thing I can say is that everybody will get a chance to see real soon and everybody can make their own assessment.”

On if he still thinks about his time in jail…

“Pretty much where I am right now, I’m in a great place. I really believe that everything happens for its own reasons and has its own reason. It’s definitely something that I wish that I could change but it’s over now and I put it behind me. It’s no longer a part of my future or what I have going on in the next chapter of my life. I’m just happy to be here where I am right now and I’m just looking forward to my future. I know there are some great things ahead of me and I know that I’m in the right place and I’m looking forward to it.”

On his meeting with the Giants…

“The meetings went very well. I talked to Tom Coughlin, Jerry Reese, John Mara. It was very productive. We got to talk and (share) some great memories and I feel the meetings went very well.”

On second chances in life…

“I’m just grateful. I’m just grateful for Mr. Woody Johnson and Mr. (Mike) Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan for having the confidence in me to be able to be a part of what they have going on over here. I’m excited for the opportunity and I’m going to give them everything I have because they put their trust in me to be able to come in and contribute and have an impact. I feel physically great, I feel (like I am) in great condition and I’m ready to get to the field and just put aside the talk.”

On if he was surprised the Jets reached out…

“They were really the first to support me with everything I was going through at that time. It just felt right for me to be able to come here with everything that I had going on a couple years ago, to have those guys support me the way that they did. Like I said, I just felt like I made the right decision.”

On if he sat down face-to-face with the Jets…

“I just looked at all of the pieces to the puzzle that were already in place. A great owner, Woody has been doing a great job of running this organization since I can remember and with Mr. Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan, putting myself into this equation with what they have intact. Being able to play beside Santonio Holmes and play with (LaDainian Tomlinson) and Mark Sanchez, I just feel that it’s a great opportunity for me. I just want to come here to help these guys win.”

On if there was any turning point in his decision to come to the Jets…

“No, not really. I was really just basing my decision off of how I felt and what situation I was going into. I was open-minded to everybody and to what I was going to see (from) the teams that wanted to see. I just remained open-minded (and) was just grateful to have the opportunity to go sit down with some of those people. When I had a chance to come here, it was just one of those decisions where it wasn’t a hard decision to make.”

On when the Jets first reached out to support him…

“It was back in 2009, I believe, during the spring. I was able to sit down with them and talk to them. It really meant a lot to me and my family, especially, with all the events that we had going on at that time (and) not really knowing the fate of my situation or what was going to transpire. Just for them to be there at that time, it just really said a lot about them and I was really humbled by it. To get the call, to be able to come back, to come here and come back and play for them, somebody that really supported me through the thick, and not just the thin, really means a lot to me. I just hope that I can just come in, play great and help them win a championship.”

On making his decision…

“There were a lot of decisions to be made, a lot of hard choices. I just said to myself (that) I can be going to a great situation. I’m pretty much already established in the New Jersey area. I still own a home here. My wife is working and all those different things came in to factor. I get to compete to win a world championship and I think that’s the most evident thing. I get to play for a great owner and a great coach.”

On if he was at the airport when he made his decision…

“Yes, I was.”

On playing with Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez…

“It’s going to be special. We’re both excited because we know that we can both go out and dominate games and make big plays. I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to play with a guy (Holmes) that explosive on the other side of me. I think we’re going to complement each other very well. I think our running game is really going to blossom because of that. Along the way, I really think Mark Sanchez has the chance to grow and be an elite quarterback. I just think it’s a great situation all the way around.”

On how long he thinks it will take him to learn the offense…

“I don’t think it’ll take that long. I’ve been around (the league) for a little while now. (I just need to) sit down with the coaches, sit down with the quarterback and just learn the formations and where I need to be at what time. I don’t think it’ll take me that long, though.”

On whether being the first option or a secondary option on offense will bother him…

“It doesn’t matter to me at all because I get to play alongside with them. We both have had success in this league and played in big games and different things of that nature. I’m just ready to come in and fulfill my role, whatever that is, whatever they ask me to do and I’ll just take it from there.”

On whether he has ever played with anybody as fast as Holmes…

“Like I said earlier, I’ve never played with a guy on the other side of me who was that explosive. It’s going to be fun. I think we’re going to drive some defensive coordinators crazy, about which way they want to roll their coverages in certain situations, in the red zone. So, it’s going to be interesting to see how teams will match up against us.”

On which teams had an interest in him…

“There were a few teams. San Francisco, Philadelphia, the Giants, Pittsburgh, St. Louis- maybe six or seven teams. It came down to me making the decision, going somewhere where I wanted to be, where I could go somewhere and have an impact, help the team to get to the next level and win a championship—and that was here.”

On whether the Bears or Vikings were ever involved…

“I never heard from them, personally. No.”

On whether there was a sense of closure after meeting with the Giants…

“It was good to see all of those guys. I hadn’t seen some of them since back in November. It just brought back some good memories. To be able to sit down with Jerry Reese and John Mara, and for the first time, really having a chance to talk to them, about basically everything that went on, the great memories that we had, and different things like that. And being able to sit down with Coach Coughlin, and it was good to talk to them. Like you said, I guess, so to speak, get some closure on everything that happened, and just turn the page.”

On whether he will stay involved with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Urban League…

“Without question. I think that that was one of the decisions I made, also, to come back to the area, to really get into the communities and do different things, just however I could help. I thought that was very important for me and my family, with the different things that I want to do with the Brady Campaign, with Mr. Paul Helmke and Mr. Marc Morial of the National Urban League, and we’re going to do some great things in the community up here, also.”

On whether he will make regular appearances into the community to help at-risk youth…

“Of course.”

On whether he had a conversation with Rex Ryan before he agreed to terms with the Jets…

“No, I didn’t, until that time. He had called me and left me a couple of messages. I didn’t need to talk to him to know what kind of situation I was getting into, what kind of coach he is, how much he loves this game and his players. I met Mr. Woody Johnson years back and had a chance to sit down with him back in (2009), and (with) Mr. Tannenbaum. I just came into a great situation. I’m just happy to be here.”

On if anyone at the Jets gave him a sales pitch before he decided…

“There was no sales pitch needed. Like I said, you just look at all the pieces that are in place and get a chance to compete for a championship every year, play for a great organization, great quarterback, Santonio Holmes, future Hall-of-Famer LaDanian Tomlinson. You just look at everything that they have in place and I just want to come here and be a part of something that I believe is special and just come out and win a lot of football games.”

On what kind of shape he is in…

“I feel like I am in great shape and I think a lot of people are going to be surprised with my conditioning and the things I have been doing to get myself back to where I want to be and I expect to be getting back to playing at a high level real soon. I feel like there’s a lot of hard work left before me, (and I) expect that for the rest of the year. But all of those things come together with the hard work and the different things we got going on over here.”

On how the last few years have impacted him…

“I don’t think it will affect me negatively at all at work. When someone has taken something away from you that you love so much, you need to learn that playing is definitely a privilege. I definitely miss being away from the game and guys and being able to compete every time with the best athletes in the world. It’s a great day for me and my family to be happy genuinely. It is emotional also because it has been some long days and some long nights and you dream about being able to get back to the ones you love and that time is coming. It’s time for me to focus on playing football and playing at a high level.”

On if he has learned anything about himself over the past two years…

“Just patience. Being patient about this, that and everything else. Everything comes full circle. Staying positive, remaining faithful, and everything happens for a reason. Lot of different emotions over that 21-month time. It’s a happy day and I am just so ready to have the opportunity to go out and do what I love and I am so grateful for (them) bringing me in and having the confidence to get me back to being the player that I once was.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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