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Burress: 'It can't get any worse'

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, left, talks

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, left, talks to wide receiver Plaxico Burress during training camp at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (Aug. 4, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

Plaxico Burress is convinced his connection with Mark Sanchez will improve soon.

"One thing's for sure," the Jets wide receiver said this afternoon, "it can't get any worse."

Burress, who has only 14 receptions for 218 yards and two touchdowns, didn't have the ball thrown his way Monday night until there were 5:17 left in the third quarter. He was targeted four times and had one reception for 14 yards along with a pair of drops.

Burress and Sanchez clearly aren't in that comfort zone with each other, leading to Burress' low numbers. 

"He’s got a really good attitude," Sanchez said. "I don’t know what he was like before here, but he’s been awesome. That’s got to be hard. I missed the deep ball to him. I snuck in a slant route, we were a little off on a play-action route … that’s got to be tough on him. He works in practice, he wants to get it right, he talks to me about, ‘This is what I really like. If I had my way, I hope these calls are in.’ Good. We get the right looks, the ball’s coming."

Still, Burress took more of the responsibility for his lack of production so far.

"You just keep working," he said. "All I can control is the things I can really control, and that's catching the football. I had a drop the other night and I had two last week, so I've got to control the things that I can control. I can't control how many times the ball is going to come my way. I've got to be in the right spot to catch the ball when it comes to me.

"I've always been highly critical of myself. I take full responsibility and accountability for everything that's going on and things that I can control, and I'm going to continue to do that and work hard. Like I said, when the ball comes my way, I'm going to try make the best of the opportunities I get."

Burress has watched film of his drops to see if there's something he's doing wrong tecnique-wise. He's been able to find a common denominator in every single one of them: he's playing too fast and isn't keeping his eyes squarely on the ball until he completes the catch.

"Sometimes you are so confident doing what you do, that you get a little lazy as far as looking the ball in and then focusing on it all the way to your hands and tuck it," Burress said. "I kind of see myself just seeing the ball and ready to go, ready to go and make a play. I’ve got to get back to the foundation of watching the ball hit my hands and then running.

"I’ve got to slow it down a little bit. It’s not moving as fast as maybe I think it is, just slow it down a little bit, look the ball in and focus on what I need to do and just make the plays."

Once he starts making those plays, Burress believes the Jets' offense -- which is ranked 29th and averaged just 297 yards per game -- will finally kick itself into high gear.  

"The more and more we get comfortable," Burress said, "when we start playing pitch-and-catch and I’m doing my thing out there, this offense is just going to go through the roof. It’s only a matter of time."

That's why Burress is sure he'll have a dominating-type performance soon.

"It’s going to come man," he said. "It’s going to be a sweet feeling. It’s nothing but some work that needs to be put in. I didn’t get here to this level without hard work. So it’s definitely not going to stop now. Me and quarterback, we’ve got some work to do.

"If you are a competitor, you’ve got to love the opportunity to go out and work hard and get better. Being that we are where we are at right now, we are not where we want to be as far as passing the football, but it’s so much room for improvement and this offense can be so much better."

"It all starts with me," he added. "I’ve always been that kind of guy and I’m going to work tirelessly to get back to how I know I can play this game."

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