NEW YORK -- Plaxico Burress is critical of Giants coach Tom Coughlin, quarterback Eli Manning and fans for the way they reacted when he was sent to prison on a gun charge in the October issue of Men's Journal.
Burress said in an interview with the magazine a few weeks before he signed with the Jets in July that he wished Coughlin had shown some concern when he met with him after accidentally shooting himself in the leg in November 2008. He saw the Giants coach on television commenting on the situation "and the first words out his mouth was 'sad and disappointing.' "
"I'm like, forget support -- how about some concern?" Burress said. "I did just have a bullet in my leg. And then I sat in his office, and he pushed back his chair and goes, 'I'm glad you didn't kill anybody!' Man, we're paid too much to be treated like kids. He doesn't realize that we're grown men and actually have kids of our own."
He also told the magazine, which hits newsstands next week, that Coughlin is "not a real positive coach."
"You look around the league, the Raheem Morrises and Rex Ryans -- when their player makes a mistake, they take 'em to the side and say, 'We'll get 'em next time,'" Burress said. "But Coughlin's on the sideline going crazy, man. I can't remember one time when he tried to talk a player through not having a day he was having."
"I am really not all that concerned," he said. "I'm sure it was lots of grandiose statements. I don't know anything about that. I am really not interested in it, either."
Burress said he was disappointed Manning never visited him or tried to communicate with him while he served his 20-month prison sentence.
"I was always his biggest supporter, even days he wasn't on, 'cause I could sense he didn't have thick skin," Burress said. "Then I went away, and I thought he would come see me, but nothing, not a letter, in two years. I don't want to say it was a slap in the face, but I thought our relationship was better than that."
Burress met with Coughlin and the Giants' front office when he was a free agent -- after the interview with the magazine -- and has maintained it was a pleasant conversation that helped clear the air between them and provided some closure. Coughlin, though, said the meeting was for another reason, at least from his perspective.
"We were trying to decide whether and to what extent we were going to try to make an offer," Coughlin said. "It wasn't about closure. It was about business. It is about going forward, which this is about."
Coughlin added that he never got the sense in the meeting that Burress would not want to sign with the Giants despite their previous differences.
While the wide receiver didn't speak with Manning at that time, the two recently ran into each other at a movie theater and had what Burress said was a nice chat.
When asked about his comments in the magazine article, Burress said: "I was just being honest."
The article mentions how Burress was nearly robbed at his home in Totowa, N.J., a few days before the nightclub incident and how the murder of his friend and former Washington Redskins defensive back Sean Taylor helped shape his decision to carry a handgun -- and how he nearly left his gun in his car that night.
"I had a conscience about it -- but said, 'Nope, I'm takin' it with me,' " he said. "And that changed my life."
Burress talked about the way New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg treated him -- calling for the receiver to be punished to the fullest extent of the law -- "was totally wrong, stacked those charges so high, I had to go to jail."
While in prison, Burress said he was treated "like a ... axe murderer," and got many letters from people that were less than positive.
"I was a human pincushion," Burress said. "They were like, 'Yeah, we finally got you.' "
Burress said he now gets loads of positive letters from people, a complete change from what he was getting just a few months ago.
"It's like I'm more popular now for shooting myself than winning a Super Bowl!" he said. "Maybe they see a guy who made a mistake, but didn't hurt no one but himself. I mean, if you can't root for me, you must not own a mirror. All of us have made a big mistake, right?"
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press