Comfort factor will be paramount in Burress' NFL return

After playing for intense, controlling coaches such as Bill Cowher and Tom Coughlin, then spending two years in prison, Plaxico Burress has cast his lot with Rex Ryan, the gregarious coach of the New York Jets. Is Ryan the right man to make Burress a factor again, or should the receiver have returned to his old stomping grounds with the Steelers or Giants?

  • Jason La Canfora NFL Network
  • Burress a perfect fit for Ryan, Jets

Players love Rex and Rex loves outspoken players. I don't see any problems here whatsoever. Burress clearly wanted to stay near his home if possible, and after what he's been through, whatever he is comfortable with is paramount. That's what matters.

  <table align="right" width="315px"> 
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  </table> The [Jets](/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) have been big on taking on older guys on short-term deals -- see: LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor and Trevor Pryce -- and Rex's personality attracts players and big personalities. He can handle a veteran locker room, like the one he had in Baltimore, with no shortage of quirky guys or egos.  

He fits a definite need with the Jets -- a big-target receiver to get some jump balls for Mark Sanchez -- and he comes at the right price, $3 million. Burress has every motivation to stay out of trouble and try to parlay this one-year tryout into a bigger deal in 2012, and the Jets, with Super Bowl-or-bust aspirations, are always willing to take a relative gamble like this.

Seems like a perfect fit to me.

  • Steve Wyche
  • Onus is on Burress, not Jets, to return to form

If Burress needs a coach to get him going, make him comfortable or whatever, then things might not work out for him. Burress should be self-motivated to be great.

He'll be coached hard by his position coaches, but how good he wants to be comes back to him.

What Burress needs to avoid is getting caught up in the bluster, and remain focused and humble. There are enough strong personalities in that locker room to cover for him while he gets re-acclimated and does his job.

  • Bucky Brooks
  • Trust in Ryan is key for Burress

Ryan is the right coach for Burress to play under following his two-year hiatus from the league. The Jets' coach enjoys a great rapport with his players, and his willingness to communicate with them on a daily basis builds trust between player and coach. With a solid relationship established through consistent communication, Ryan can challenge his players to fulfill their potential. In managing Burress, his affable personality will allow him to push his star to be at his best on and off the field. Burress will not be inclined to balk at Ryan's demands because he knows his coach has his back and will be effusive in his praise if he meets his demands. At the end of the day, players want to play for coaches who show their love for their own guys and that will be the case for Burress in New York.

  • Dave Dameshek
  • Burress evokes memories of another 30-something athlete in NYC

Sorry for not taking a side, but I really don't think it matters if Burress lines up for a disciplinarian or a players' coach. Ironic though it sounds for a guy who just finished a 21-month stretch in the pokey, he's just not an inherently felonious sorta guy, at least according to his teammates over the years. A little flaky? Sure, but not a guy who made a habit of making trouble inside the locker room or out. In other words, he's more like a less-tweety, more productive Chad Ochocinco than he is Rae Carruth.

How will he actually perform? Tough to say, but history is on his side. Another 30-something New York athlete on a one-year contract did pretty well after coming back from a gunshot wound. Remember Roy Hobbs?

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