Friday, May 07, 2004

Strike one
Whether Plaxico Burress is trying to make a point going into his contract year or even if he had the start date of minicamp mixed up (like the Titan's Albert Haynesworth), missing the first day of minicamp is not a good way to start the 2004 season.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review is reporting that Burress didn't show up for the first day of camp and Bill Cowher wasn't amused.
"We are disappointed in his decision," said a visibly perturbed Cowher. "We are ready to move on, with or without him."
Pittsburgh fans genuinely want to like Burress, and barring some catastrophe, this will only reinforce in the minds of many that Burress relies too much on talent and views working hard as a task for lesser athletes (I mean, look where working hard got Hines Ward)

Burress's contract is up at the end of the season and despite what Cowher may say publicly, he is a very important part of the future of this Steelers offense. I've mentioned before that despite all the talent Ward and Antwaan Randle El have, they are not the downfield threat that Burress is. And given that the 2005 season will probably be Ben Roethlisberger's first as the starter, he'll need to surround himself with as many weapons as possible.

I hope Burress got lost on the freeway or had a flat tire, because if he intentionally skipped minicamp, it sends the wrong signal to the players, coaches and the fans, and perhaps more importantly, it could have long-term implications on the Steelers success.