More On Plaxico As A Possible Eagle

Posted: June 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 22 Comments »

I’m starting to think there is more to this story than just idle speculation.  Adam Caplan from wrote that he thinks the Eagles could very well be interested in signing Burress once free agency begins.  Caplan is one of many NFL insiders, but he’s one that Eagles fans should pay definite attention to.  Caplan spends a lot of time in Philly and is close to several members of the Eagles organization.

Caplan references talking to personnel executives.  He doesn’t say anything about talking to Eagles sources, but Caplan is too smart to come out and say anything like that.  It is possible he’s talked to Andy Reid, Howie Roseman, Louis Reddick, or someone else and that is what is driving his speculation.  It’s also possible that he’s just taking a blind stab.

If it were Adam Schefter or Chris Mortensen I’d dismiss the Burress talk as idle offseason banter.  The fact Caplan is weighing in changes the way I look at it.  Even if he didn’t get a scoop from the Eagles, Caplan knows how they think and operate.  He’s only going to write about something like this if he thinks it is based in some sort of reality.

Now we have some comments from Brandon Jacobs that throw fuel on the fire.

“I would hate to see him go to where I think he is going to go, that is from talking to him,” Jacobs said of the Eagles when asked if he was talking about Philadelphia. “It is pretty tough to deal with all those different combinations. Plax is a Virginia guy, Vick is a Virginia guy. They went through sort of the same things and they got a lot of dynamic players down there. It wouldn’t be a bad thing, he thinks, to go down there. He wants to win.”

Jacobs is one of Burress’ best friends and has remained in constant contact with the wide receiver, who accidentally shot himself in the thigh in November 2008. Burress pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He’s eligible for time off for good behavior, so his prison time will end Monday after serving 21 months of his two-year sentence.

Jacobs said he is “so sure” of Burress’ thinking “because I talk to him once a week.”

Interesting to think that Plaxico wants to come here, if Jacobs is right.  That shows you the power of  Michael Vick and his rehab story.  Players see the Eagles as a good team and positive environment.  It also helps that both Plax and Vick are from the same area of Virginia.  Plax being on board with this move is important.  I’d only be interested in him if he wants to come here and try to fit in.  I don’t want some deal where his agent has talked him into this being a good spot and he’s coming here with the mindset of doing a year of NFL rehab.  I want someone who wants to be here.  Plax is a luxury, not a necessity.  Only add him if you think the move can work.

Something interesting occurred to me tonight.  None of this means much if Vick doesn’t know how to use a big WR.  The good news is that Vick had success during his time in Atlanta with a big WR, former Eagle Brian Finneran (6’5, 210).   Brian put up good numbers in both 2002 (56-838-6) and 2005 (50-611-2).   Vick was hurt in 2003 and the Falcons didn’t have a strong offense.  2004 just seems to have been an off year for Finneran.  The TD totals aren’t all that impressive during their time together, but Vick was a mediocre passer back in those days.

Plaxico caught 26 TDs in his last 41 games as a Giant.  Plenty of those came in the Red Zone, and more than a few came against us.  Just ask Sheldon Brown.  I’m sure he still wakes up in a cold sweat at times when having flashback nightmares.

Plaxico wouldn’t be an answer to our Red Zone struggles, but he could be a big help.  Think about this…what is our base pass play in the Red Zone?  It doesn’t involve DeSean Jackson.  There isn’t one play where Jeremy Maclin consistently gets open.  Brent Celek?  Jason Avant?  Riley Cooper?

With Plaxico the fade pass would become a play that defenses would absolutely have to gameplan for.  That would dictate coverages and matchups, which would allow Reid to design counters play off it.  If he was able to haul in 4 Red Zone TDs, that could mean the difference in winning and losing at least one game if not a couple.  Who knows what happens in the WAS, TEN, and CHI games if we’re able to score TDs instead of settling for FGs.

I’m still not completely sold that the Eagles will make a strong push for Burress, but I do now think it is at least a realistic possibility.  As I mentioned the other day, going after Burress would be a sign that Reid is making a strong push for the Super Bowl this year.  You don’t add a player like Plax unless you think he can put you over the top.

* * * * *

We talked the other day about which Eagles receiver this would impact.  Riley Cooper would likely lose a lot of his playing time on offense.  If active, he could still play on STs.  One positive note for Cooper would be the ability to learn from Plax.  Think about it…there is no big receiver right now for Cooper to learn from.  DJax and J-Mac can’t teach him anything about how to play big.  Jason Avant plays bigger than he is, but I’m still not sure he can have significant impact on Coop.  Plax could.  He’s been one of the best big WRs in recent memory.

Cooper has the size, speed and ability to be a good role player (at least).  He needs to hone his skills and learn the subtleties of being a big receiver.  Plax could give him some excellent on-the-job training in 2011.

22 Comments on “More On Plaxico As A Possible Eagle”

  1. 1 Mr_Boomy said at 3:21 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    In case we add Plax, do we need to have our third RB as a returner as well? Since the fifth WR spot now belongs to Chad Hall and he’s a returner.
    Adding Plax means cutting Hall and we’ll need someone else who’s capable of returning kickoff/punt.

    Someone like Reno Mahe?

  2. 2 Mr_Boomy said at 3:23 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    Adding Plax and Reggie Bush sounds like EMB’s dream~

  3. 3 Cliff said at 7:30 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    The Vick angle changes things for me. If Plax is coming here because he *wants* to be with Vick, then I think it has a real shot at working out.

    On the other hand, Plax is a southside guy. Vick is a peninsula guy. We don’t like those southsiders much.

  4. 4 tball said at 8:54 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    If the new CBA includes a roster expansion this could be a heist even with his age, and subsequent shapeliness. He has Fitz-like body and hand control.

    If not, squeezing legit ST personnel (especially return men/5th WR) on account of this type of luxury incites the horrors of G.Lew and the GB opener of yesteryear.

  5. 5 ATG said at 9:04 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    “Burress pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.”

    Really? That is a real thing? What was attempted about it? Was he attempting to possess it, but was unable to get a handle on it before going out of legal bounds, so to speak? Or was he attempting to do so criminally, as opposed to embarrassingly?

    Also, the most encouraging part of all of this that I heard was Jacobs saying “He wants to win.” as his reason for wanting to come here.

  6. 6 Eaglesfanatalarge said at 9:44 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    Eagles QBs seem to consistently struggle with the fade pass. McNabb famously couldn’t (or wouldn’t) throw it. I don’t recall seeing kolb throwing it. And I also don’t think Vick threw it with success last year. The picked off pass against GB that ended the Eagle’s brief playoff appearance was a botched fade pass. Any thoughts on whether the problems with the fade are an Eagles offensive system or QB coaching issue? If it is, I think it neutralizes the biggest benefit of using Plax in the red zone, and negates most of his value as an Eagles pickup.

    If the Eagles do pick him up, I think they sign him to a short term deal, with the hopes of flipping his contract for draft picks in a year or two. I believe this was the original plan with Vick, and although the Vick experiment didn’t quite work out as first planned, it seems to have worked out regardless.

  7. 7 coldtaxi said at 9:44 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    The Eagles have 3 base pass plays in the red zone, of course:

    1) QB sprints out right, Z runs a yard short of the end zone, stops, turns around, and stares blankly at the QB, TE runs for the corner of the end zone while blanketed by a LB and a safety, and everyone on the left side of the field takes a nap

    2) Tunnel screen to Desean that looks like it’ll be a walk-in TD until Jason Peters/Todd Herremans mysteriously whiffs on a block or a blocking WR takes too long to engage a defender or Desean cuts the wrong way, leading to a 1 yard gain

    3) I form motion to split backs, shovel pass

  8. 8 Dan said at 10:26 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    How hard is it to throw to a big WR?

    “Hey Mike. See that big dude, the tallest guy on the field? Throw it so high that only he can catch it. “

  9. 9 ATLEagle said at 10:30 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    I do not want this.

    I dont know how Plaxico’s teammates felt about him, but I do remember reading a lot about how he was considered an ass in all the restaurants/bars/clubs he went to. He was known for not paying and not tipping, and inviting himself into the employee sections. How you treat people that you dont have to be nice to says a lot about you, and from the admittedly little that I know about this guy, he is a bad person. The fact that his crime was beyond stupid is icing on the cake.

    Vick is the opposite of this. He may have done stupid things, but he was always liked by everyone around him, and that continued on as an Eagle. Even his bankruptcy has been done far more honestly than it had to be as he is trying to pay back much of his debts.

    Having a team rehab a convict really depends a lot on the state of mind of the person, not just the program. We have coaches that can teach sunshine to play big.

  10. 10 McG said at 10:58 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    Today’s big thought… when will Plax show up to catch passes from Vick at the unofficial training camp?

  11. 11 Kyle said at 11:07 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    If Plax were to teach the young player to play big WR, would it make more sense to bring him in as a coach, instead of the 4th/5th WR? He probably is in poor shape to play and be productive right away. He won’t be playing ST and his roster spot and game-time roster spot are luxury the team can’t afford. Give the young guys the PT and gain game experience is more valuable IMO.

  12. 12 McG said at 11:14 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    So far everyone who is against Plax coming to Philly has seemingly ignored the fact that wide receiver is a dangerous position to play in football. What is the likelihood that both Maclin and Jackson play all 16 games? Sure he may take time to get up to speed, but he makes a nice ace in the hole if one of our other aces is down.

  13. 13 slandog said at 11:41 AM on June 3rd, 2011:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…..Sign Plax if it’s an incentive based contract and if he wants to be here. I agree with you again Tommy, I think the biggest thing he could do by just being on the field is open it up for the other WR’s and he will help Cooper in learning the position of a big WR.

  14. 14 Tommy Lawlor said at 1:23 PM on June 3rd, 2011:

    One thing to keep in mind is that the Eagles can keep as many as 7 WRs if they want. They did that a couple of years ago for a few weeks. I’m thinking 6 is what we’ll have.

    If they go with 6, you’d have:

    + Plax (not that he’d be #6 obviously)

    The question then becomes who you activate. This is where Hall and Coop could shuttle in and out each week depending on the opponent and if we have any injuries.

    Coop is the better STer. Hall is more versatile and has RS experience.

  15. 15 Stephen said at 1:40 PM on June 3rd, 2011:

    Ugh, if we add another couple turds to this team its gonna make it hard to watch sometimes. Vick was my least favorite player in the NFL when he was a falcon, Burress was always a knuckleheaded punk, Haynesworth clearly has a couple screws loose… Whats Leonard Little up to these days?

  16. 16 Toby said at 2:32 PM on June 3rd, 2011:

    I believe there is room and need for Plax on the team, I just never thought there was enough need to compete with other teams. If Plax wants to come here, that changes things.

    Reid has been trying for years to find a big wide receiver who will work out. The closest he got was Hank Baskett. Although Avant and Maclin “go after” the ball well on occassion, neither one is a reliable target for the “throw it up and let him get it” play.

    IMO Plax would be used the way we use to use Pinkston on select plays. Not only as a red zone threat but as a deep threat who beats the corner by getting in position and going after a ball that is under thrown (probably by design). Eli used him that way all the time, and Sheldon Brown pretty much had no answer.

    And in the red zone, maybe we would use the fade pass more often if we had the right receiver. We’ve tried it a couple times last year. Still, I don’t recall Plaxico’s TDs coming off fade passes so much as “desperation heaves” from the 30-40 yard line.

    The small speedy guy becomes less effective with less space, because he has to literally beat his guy by a few steps to stand a chance. The tall threat can be running alongside the corner and be a threat, Pinkston did it all the time and he didn’t have nearly Plax’s talent.

  17. 17 Morton said at 2:33 PM on June 3rd, 2011:

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) we won’t even have to consider this issue any time soon:

    Looks like there is a good chance there will be no football this year, boys.

    Time to become die-hard Baseball/Hockey/Basketball fans. Or maybe they’ll create a National Curling League?

  18. 18 mcud said at 2:35 PM on June 3rd, 2011:

    I still think Randy Moss makes more sense, as a guy who is just as good in the RZ, but can also contribute between the 20s, at either the X or the Z.

    If we’re going to add a turd, my vote is for Haynesworth.

    Whatever happens, I would like some veterans added this offseason. I’m not sure it helps us get the Super Bowl if we get any younger. Andy, Wash, and Mudd aren’t going to be here forever. I believe adding a few vets might make the difference here…

    How far have we come where guys like Albert, Randy, Plaxico, Reggie, and Nnamdi are actually (arguably) realistic targets?

  19. 19 ATG said at 4:21 PM on June 3rd, 2011:

    Don’t jump off any bridges at Eeyore’s – – er, I mean Morton’s comment; the lawyer was taken out of context.

    UPDATE: NFL spokesman Greg Aiello explains via e-mail that Clement was answering a specific question regarding the duration of the antitrust exemption after expiration of a collective bargaining agreement, and that Clement’s response was that the exemption lasts for a year.

  20. 20 Tommy Lawlor said at 10:41 PM on June 3rd, 2011:

    You know how NFL Films likes to come up with a slogan for each season…1991 Eagles: The Heart of a Champion. The slogan for this year can be 2011: Turdfest.

    I’m in for Plax and Big Al. I’m trying to find out if Leonard Little is available. I’ve got a petition to have O.J. released from prison. Does anyone know if Pol Pot can return punts? Idi Amin could be a #4 Safety for us in the right system.

  21. 21 Sean said at 9:10 AM on June 4th, 2011:

    Tommy what about bringing in Duval Kamara as an UDFA to give a look in camp? At the worst he gives us a bigger body at reciever for TC(if there is one) With good coaching he may blossom after his drop off at Notre Dame.

  22. 22 triplej said at 7:02 PM on June 6th, 2011:

    Sounds like a great story for Burriss to come to the Eagles. He has done his time and ready to move on. However, we should not forget that he was a terrible team player missing meetings on a regular basis and insubordinate to the coaches.
    Vick had his problems and did his time but he never was known as being disuptive and insubordinate.
    Sounds good but Reid needs to watch this potential free agent.