Not buying Burress-Steelers speculation

August, 7, 2012
8/07/12
2:11
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With wide receiver Mike Wallace far away from Steelers training camp, there has been speculation that Plaxico Burress could and/or should return to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers probably like the talk of Burress coming back because they are in favor of anything that puts pressure on Wallace. But I'm not buying the prospects of this reunion.

Burress isn't Wallace. Actually, Burress isn't Burress from five years ago. He can help in the red zone, but he doesn't give Pittsburgh anything close to what Wallace can deliver. Burress can't separate from corners and can't distance himself from off-the-field baggage.

This talk makes it seem like the Steelers are desperate at receiver, which they aren't. Emmanuel Sanders is healthy and is showing great promise in training camp. Jerricho Cotchery averaged 16.8 yards per catch over the final five games, including a 31-yard touchdown grab in the playoffs. Put them with Antonio Brown and the Steelers can be productive in the passing game.

Bringing back Burress only takes away playing time from Sanders. That's not a smart move. This could be a moot point, too. Burress reportedly wants too much money (note to Burress: aging receivers aren't breaking the bank these days. Just ask Terrell Owens and Randy Moss).

Not having Wallace in camp hurts the Steelers. But the Steelers will do what they've always done: Stick with the guys who have been here.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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