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Plax not close with Coughlin


EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 19: Wide receiver Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants relaxes for a moment against the San Francisco 49ers on October 19, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants beat the 49ers 29-17. (Photo by Evan Pinkus/Getty Images) Credit: GETTY IMAGES/Evan Pinkus

You read the headlie above and you say: Ok, tell me something I don't know.

But for really the first time, Plaxico Burress spoke about what it was like playing under Tom Coughlin for the Giants. And, in a long and in-depth interview with Stephen A. Smith of ESPN today (after a shorter and less detailed interview with the rest of us at the National Urban League), Burress suggested that Coughlin was maybe just as much to blame for his misbehaviors as a Giant as Burress was.

“My situation in New York, me and my coach had an ambivalent relationship to say the least," Burress said. "Some things that I didn't agree with, with the way he went about things. And the only way to show my way was to just rebel. Is that who I am? No."

"That was one of the biggest problems when I left Pittsburgh when I came here," Burress continued. "I had a relationship with Bill Cowher inside of football and outside of football. He always had an open-door policy to where you could come talk to him or tell him what was on your mind. When that was taken away from me, I kind of felt it was like: I'm the coach, you are the player. It doesn't matter what you have to say. You just do what I tell you to do."

"This is not college," he added. "This is professional sports. If you can't sit down and go talk to a man that you are busting your tail for, not even have the respect for anything that you have to say, like I said, the only thing I knew then was to rebel."

While he has not totally crossed the Giants off his list of possible landing spots as a free agent, Burress did not sound like someone eager to return to life under Coughlin.

"I just believe that sometimes I took things for granted," Burress said of his time with the Giants. "Now I am in a better place mentally and just happy. I don't really think I was in a happy place then. I was just in a place to where I didn't like to go to work during the week but I just love to play on Sundays. And a lot of that had to do with the relationship that (Coughlin and I) had. I just want to go somewhere that is refreshing and be happy to be there and it's my second coming."

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