Plaxico Burress sure didn't look like someone who hadn't been in a competitive game since 2008, not the way he toasted the Bengals at New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday night.
The veteran wideout reeled in three catches for 66 yards -- each and every of them going for more than 20 yards -- and had a nifty 26-yard second-quarter touchdown that capped a 10-play, 99-yard drive. He showed off his great leaping ability and just how effective he can be with that 6-5 frame, giving quarterback Mark Sanchez a huge target and leaving the Jets salivating about the possibilities.
Burress said it was "an out-of-body experience, a surreal feeling," and something that he had been anticipating for a while.
"It’s a day that myself and my family were waiting for, that the day would inevitably come," Burress said. "It just felt good to get back to what I love to do so much and that’s run around on the football field, score touchdowns and compete at the highest level of competition. Playing in this league, it’s definitely a privilege to play, and I just wanted to go out and give what I have."
He sure left an impression on his teammates and coaching staff, especially with that lovely 26-yard over-the-shoulder touchdown grab that propelled the Jets to a 17-7 halftime bulge.
"It was an amazing catch," fellow wideout Santonio Holmes said. "He was able to track the ball with the rain dropping in his face, just feeling the ball. Everybody wants to know, 'Is he ready to come back?' And I think that catch really proved that once a ball player, always a ball player."
Said Rex Ryan: "Really, he was outstanding. Really during the weeks [of training camp], you guys have been out there, we all see it. The DBs are like, 'Wow, this guy is something.' [He's] a great route tunner and obviously he has that mismatch every time he goes up."
If you ask Burress, it's something Jets fans -- and opposing defensive backs, for that matter -- better get used to.
"It’s just the tip of the iceberg, just getting started," Burress said. "For me and Mark to go out there and make some of the plays that we have, I’ve only been practicing for three days. There’s a lot of room for improvement. We left a few plays out there that we should’ve hit. The sky’s the limit. It’s a lot of work ahead of us and as you can see, we’ve gotten off to a great start with the little time that we have had.
"I just expect for him and the wide receivers to just keep getting better."