A closer look at Plaxico's debut

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
3:22
PM ET
Predictably, the Jets kept it basic with Plaxico Burress in his first game with the team, his first football game in nearly three years. He wasn't used in motion and he was deployed mostly on the backside of the formation. He appeared in 30 of 32 plays in the first half, missing two plays when the Jets went to their short-yardage personnel when back up at their goal line.

Here's a breakdown of where Burress lined up:

Left side: 18 times.
Right side: 11 times.
Right slot: 1 time.

Interestingly, Santonio Holmes was used in the slot in some three-receiver packages, with Burress and rookie Jeremy Kerley on the outside. Holmes usually isn't a slot receiver, but the exposure to that position will create more flexibility once Derrick Mason (knee) returns.

Speaking by phone during CBS' telecast of the game, former Steelers coach-turned-CBS studio analyst Bill Cowher, who coached Burress in Pittsburgh, offered his take on Plaxico and the Jets.

"Obviously, he's a matchup nightmare," Cowher told Ian Eagle and Greg Buttle. "You put him on the backside of a trips set, a three-by-one set, the safety is going to have to respect him. What that does is it opens it up for another deep threat in Santonio Holmes.Then, you have a guy who can work the middle as well as anyone in Derrick Mason. They have a very good group of receivers.

"They all complement each other, but certainly if (Burress) can stay healthy ... he can stay out there ... he's going to demand the corner needing help over the top, and that's going to open it up for the other receivers. They've got a really good group of skill players now. If they can keep the running game going, and keep it balanced with Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson, this has got a chance to be a very explosive offense."

After the game, Burress was asked about facing his previous team, the Giants, in the annual pre-season game, coming up on Saturday. The Giants, of course, expressed interest in re-signing Burress before the Jets stole him with a one-year, $3 million guaranteed contract.

"There's no animosity toward them at all," he said. "They haven't done anything to me ... It's another football game. I get to go up against some of the guys I was going up against in practice for years. I know those guys very well and they know me. It's going to be a good football game."

ODDS AND ENDS: RG Vlad Ducasse, who started for the injured Brandon Moore (hip), committed two false-start penalties, but he actually showed some improvement after his disastrous opener. Moore should be back in the lineup this week ... A total of 12 quarterbacks were taken in the last draft, including four in the first round. Guess which one has the highest passer rating in the preseason? It's the guy picked 12th -- Greg McElroy of the Jets (89.5) ... DL Ropati Pitoitua, healthy after missing last season with a torn Achilles' tendon, continued to impress ... Interesting to see Darrelle Revis on the PAT block team ... RB LaDainian Tomlinson, TE Jeff Cumberland, WR Jeremy Kerley and WR Patrick Turner had drops.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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