Plaxico Burress was the Jets’ player who took part in a conference call with Patriots reporters today, and of course his winning touchdown catch for the Giants against New England in Super Bowl XLII was a part of that conversation.
Burress, who has 10 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns in his first season back in the NFL after spending 22 months in prison on weapons charges after infamously shooting himself in the leg in a Manhattan nightclub, called the reception the best moment of his career.
“Coming into this business, it’s something that you dream of. Playing the wide receiver position, being able to play in the Super Bowl but to win it in the fashion that I did, it’s something that you dream of as a child,” he said. “To do it against a team that was probably the best in history offensively, what they had accomplished. How big that game was, it’s just something that will always be a part of me. It was a defining moment of a lot of guys in our careers and it was beautiful moment.”
Asked if he’s been reflecting on the play this week as he prepares to play New England in the regular season for the first time since that game in February 2008, Burress said, “It’s just a part of who I am, playing in that Super Bowl and making that catch, in the fashion that we did, driving down the field in two minutes, making that play on that stage. It’s just a part of me. It’s a part of history.
“To me it was the greatest Super Bowl ever played. Like I said, it was a moment that every kid dreams of having. To be able to do go out and execute it and do it in the fashion that we did it against the team we were playing against, it just says a lot.”
The 6-foot-5-inch receiver, who did not practice today because of an elbow problem that developed overnight (he told reporters at the team’s facility he doesn’t expect it to keep him out of the game on Sunday) also had total recall of the play.
“Yeah, it was a play that, we had run the same play twice. Eli [Manning] told me before I broke the huddle that if they gave me single coverage, he was going to throw it. I’m just thinking to myself, there’s no way they’re going to single cover me at this time in the game. They actually went Cover 0, with no safety help. I had been watching so much film, watching film on Ellis Hobbs, inside from the 10-yard line to the goal line and noticing that he likes to stop his feet right around the goal line. I just went up, just made a move, never broke stride, just kept running.
“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. It actually came down to the film, running that exact route, as I had seen him do, 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.
“They had single covered me maybe a handful of times that whole game. Coming off the NFC Championship Game and the game that we had Week 16 in Giants Stadium, they were really focusing on taking me out of the football game. For them to give me that coverage with that on the line, I didn’t think they would, but thank you.”