As you might imagine, Justin Tuck is still getting used to seeing Plaxico Burress playing for the Jets. As you also might imagine, Eli Manning refused to give in to any potential storylines and insisted that it won’t be strange at all to face the player he threw a Super Bowl-winning touchdown pass to now playing for a heated crosstown rival.
“It’s pretty weird,” Tuck said. “Just watching the highlights is pretty weird. But going up against him, we’re all competitors. I’m sure he’s going to try to make a splash and we’re going to try to make sure he doesn’t. It’ll be fun.”
At the beginning of training camp Tuck said he had heard from people who were training with Burress in Miami that he looked to be in better shape than he had been towards the end of his days with the Giants. So Tuck said he is not surprised at all that Burress has had a successful first preseason game with the Jets.
“His first outing was making the best of a situation,” Tuck said. “He deserves every attribute, every good thing that’s coming his way right now.”
Tuck did not watch the Jets game on Saturday night, but he did catch the highlights. There was something about the touchdown pass to Burress that had some déjà vu for him.
“It looked familiar,” he said with a grin. “Maybe Sanchez went back and watched some of the games he played with Eli. But he looked good out there, he really did.”
As for Manning, he downplayed the awkwardness of going up against Burress.
“I don’t think it’ll be weird,” Manning said. “You play in this league long enough and you’re going to play against some teammates. Obviously he was a great teammate with the Giants, we had a great run together, but things happen and obviously he’s with the Jets now and playing well. I’m happy for him and I’m looking forward to getting to see him.”
Manning did not court Burress to come to the Giants, either publicly or privately. When Burress visited the Giants’ facility early in the preseason, Manning did not come out of his meeting to greet him as many other former teammates did. Manning said he did call Burress after he was released from prison and that he had thought about visiting Burress in jail but things never worked out.
“It’s been a long time,” Manning said, “so I’m looking forward to seeing him before the game or after the game on Saturday.”