Burress thinks he can help Steelers
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Plaxico Burress hasn't watched the Steelers play a lot this season, but that doesn't mean he isn't familiar with many of his new teammates.
That familiarity is a big reason he has no doubt he will find a role in the offense.
"It feels great to be back here," Burress said Wednesday in his first meeting with the media after signing Tuesday.
He is in his second stint with the Steelers. He was their first-round pick in the 2000 draft and played his first five NFL seasons with team. He then spent four with the New York Giants, did a nearly two-year stretch in prison for an incident with an unregistered firearm in a New York night club and spent last season with the New York Jets. He was then released and remained out of football until this week.
He said he doesn't know why no other team had picked him up and doesn't care. He is happy to be back and hopes to help the team wins as soon as Sunday.
"There is a comfort level here," he said. "A lot of the guys are still here when I was here [before]. I was just walking around seeing all the old faces. I am happy to be back playing football, but, more than anything, there is a comfort level.
"Whatever role they give me, I'm OK with. Like I told coach [Mike] Tomlin, I am going to come in and try to perform to the best of my ability."
Even though Burress, who has 550 career catches for 8,457 yards and 63 touchdowns, is a former Steeler, he hasn't played in Todd Haley's offense. So, it is unclear how much he can contribute right away.
His height -- 6 feet 5 -- gives the Steelers something they don't have on the outside, which should help in the red zone. Quarterback Charlie Batch, though, said it would be foolish to put limitations on Burress.
"He is going to be excited. I may have to calm him down because he gets to put the Steelers uniform on [again] for the first time," Batch said of Burress. "There will be a lot of emotions with him because this brings him back full circle to a place I know he didn't want to leave the first time ... "
Burress said he has stayed in shape and believes he is physically capable of playing Sunday and expects to have a chance to if he can grasp the offense.
"It's not too difficult to learn a new playbook," Burress said. "We will see what happens. The coaches, as far as their trust level with me, they're putting me out there knowing that I know the terminology since it was similar to when Ken Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator."
Burress can't outrun questions about some of his past decisions, but he said that is all behind him now.
"There is nothing I can do to change the events that have occurred to me," he said. "I am just going to keep moving forward. I'm here. I feel good. I am just blessed to have the opportunity to be with these guys and play football."
First Published November 22, 2012 12:00 am