Plaxico Burress: 'I can still play'

Updated: June 9, 2013, 6:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Plaxico Burress hopes to make the most of the opportunity given to him by the Pittsburgh Steelers and is confident he can still be a dangerous receiver, especially in the red zone.

Burress, who turns 36 in August, told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he feels "blessed" that the Steelers re-signed him this offseason.

[+] EnlargePlaxico Burress
AP Photo/Keith SrakocicPlaxico Burress says he's confident he can still make an impact in the NFL.

"[General manager] Kevin Colbert, [coach] Mike Tomlin and the Rooneys gave me an opportunity to still play football. They have the confidence in me that I can still go out there and play and make an impact. I think that's the most important thing, when the opportunity comes I go out and deliver," he told the newspaper.

Burress returned to the Steelers late last season and had three receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown in four games.

His role likely will increase this season now that Mike Wallace left the Steelers to sign with the Miami Dolphins. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are the likely starters. Burress will compete with fellow veteran Jerricho Cotchery and rookie Markus Wheaton for playing time behind them.

"I know I can still play, I know I can dominate in the red zone," Burress told the newspaper, noting that he "drew double coverage in the red zone without hardly playing, I think teams will have to respect that."

Burress spent most of last season watching the NFL go on without him after the New York Jets declined to re-sign him following a productive -- and quiet -- return to the league in 2011, when he had 45 receptions for 612 yards and eight touchdowns.

The 6-foot-5 Burress spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Steelers, who selected him with the eighth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft.

He moved on to the New York Giants in 2005 and caught the winning touchdown pass in the 2008 Super Bowl. His career derailed after he accidentally shot himself in a New York nightclub, leading to a gun charge that resulted in a 20-month prison sentence.

"I lost two years but the main thing about it, I persevered through it when a lot of people thought I was finished. Here I am three years removed from that and I'm still playing football. I wake up every day, I come in here with a fresh attitude, man, ready to work, ready to play football," he told the newspaper.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.