Notebook: Burress won’t criticize coaches
Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress refuses to criticize his coaches’ play-calling or personnel implementation. Unlike San Francisco 49ers loud-mouth receiver Terrell Owens, who publicly and shamelessly berated offensive coordinator Greg Knapp on Sunday, Burress said he doesn’t want to get involved in the coaches’ business.
“I let the coaches tell me what I need to do,” he said, “and I just go out and do what they ask of me. We’re the ones out there playing and our input should be a little bit more, but they make all the calls.”
Burress did admit, however, that he hoped to see more deep passes Sunday during the 30-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
“I would like to see the ball get thrown up and down the field a lot more,” he said. “We really didn’t turn it loose up and down the field. It was more of a short, dink-and-dunk game plan today.”
Burress is still averaging 16 yards per reception, down 1 yard from last season, and he is one of only six pass catchers in the AFC to reach that level. Plus, he is fourth in the conference with 351 receiving yards.
The problem has been Burress’ reputation. He is known as one of the top big-play receivers in the NFL, and is being treated as such by opposing defenses.
“Teams roll the coverage toward you,” he said. “My two routes have been the deep end route and the fade, and teams are watching film and trying to take it away.”
Plus, Burress was on the bench when the Steelers had first down at the 14 on Sunday. With Burress out of the game, the Steelers’ red-zone failures are magnified.
“Somehow, we have to find a way to get the ball to the right people in certain situations and let those guys make plays,” he said. “I don’t call the plays. I would like to be on the field more and get more balls thrown at me in the red zone, but teams are doubling me in the red zone.
“When guys single you up in the red zone, I would love to get the football, but it didn’t happen (against the Titans).
“I’m not the kind of guy who is going to cuss my coaches out or (will be seen) on TV throwing my helmet. I’m just going to do what they ask me to do. I’m not going to question what they do.
“No second-guessing. All you can do is believe in what they are telling you and go out and play.”
Steelers strong safety Mike Logan said offensive pass interference was “really obvious” Sunday, but officials neglected to call it.
“When you are going against someone who is pushing you off and you’re running so hard to make a play, it’s hard to stop and regroup and try to make a play,” he said. “But we can’t put the blame on the officials because that’s the way the game is being called now.”
BY THE NUMBERS
The Steelers’ defense has allowed at least 30 points in 10 of the past 21 games. … Tommy Maddox’s six interceptions this season have been returned for a total of 208 yards and two touchdowns. … The Steelers are first in the AFC in total offense, passing offense, total defense and passing defense, but they are tied for last in turnover differential (minus-3). … Maddox leads the NFL with 1,168 yards passing, but he is 16th in passer rating (81.4).
HE SAID IT
Burress called Pitt’s Larry Fitzgerald “the best receiver in college football, no question about it. And they take advantage of his ability.”