Free Bagel wrote:I don't know about this year, but last season Plax had more than his fair share of balls come his way, most of which ended up on the ground in the endzone after deflecting off the palms of his hands.
A high percentage of the passes to Burress are long range bombs. Not a very good situation to be put into when you're not even receiving the majority of the passes on offense. I'm not denying that Burress drops some balls on occasion. I'm not arguing that he is an elite all around WR. I'm just saying that if you put him into the right situation, Plax could easily put up top10 or even top5 numbers year in and year out. A very comparable WR in a totally different situation than Burress is Chad Johnson IMO.
Hines Ward is the man with the short to intermediate range passes in Pittsburgh. Add to that the fact that the Steeler's are historically a run first, tough defensive team, doesn't really bode well for a WR that primarily runs deep routes and sees a lot of coverage. Plaxico has the ability to put up a huge yards per catch average in that system, but only pedestrian overall stats unless the offense is really rolling. Compare his best year 2002 to 2004.
2002- 16games/78 rec(4.88per)/1325(82.8per)/<b>17.0avg</b>/7 TD(.44per)
2004- 11games/35 rec(3.18per)/698(63.5per/<b>19.9avg</b>/5 TD(.45per)
Burress actually improved on his play from his career year despite playing on a bum ankle for half the season! Except he was thrown the ball a career low amount of times. How many times were people aweing over Plaxico becoming the #1 option in Pitt with Roethlisburger at the helm? It seemed like that got derailed when Plax got injured in the 2nd half of the season, but the real story is that Plax was NEVER the #1 option on that team. His stats were so ridiculously good as a #2 WR that many people overlooked the fact that he was barely catching the ball more than 3 or 4 times a game.
2002 was a best case scenario for Plaxico as the #1b WR and look what kind of production he put up. Plax's fall off in 2003 can be attributed more to Pittsburgh's lack of a running game and overall offensive success more than anything else. Look at the loss of production Hines Ward had with virtually the same amount of passes as the year before and a higher yards per average on his catches.
2002 Hines Ward: 168 targets/112 rec/<b>11.9avg</b> (112/1329/12)
2003 Hines Ward: 162 targets/95 rec/<b>12.2avg</b> (95/1163/10)
Now look at how big of a hit Plax's targets took and his subsequential "fall from grace" in the fantasy world.
2002 Plaxico Burress: 156 targets/78 rec/<b>17.0avg</b> (78/1325/7)
2003 Plaxico Burress: 135 targets/60 rec/<b>14.3avg</b> (60/860/4)
How much of Plaxico's production is due to his talent versus situation? I'm of the opinion that Plax has enough talent to be a top10 WR in fantasy if he is put in the #1 WR role on a somewhat decent team. Simply put, Hines Ward is always going to be a barrier in the path to Plaxico's statistical success. Ward will ALWAYS get his in Pittsburgh while Plax plays second fiddle and catches the long balls. That is the reason Plax wants to move on, he wants a Chad Johnson/Hines Ward type opportunity. Give the man 150-170 targets and see what he can do. Throw the man the rock and give him a chance to prove himself.
There's plenty of other teams out there willing to give Plaxico his shot and I think it's time he moved on. Burress takes shots all the time for talking a big game and not putting up. I for one side with Plaxico..... Pittsburgh is not a friendly place for a talented WR not named Hines Ward.