Here at The Coaching Tree, everything is based on connections. In this case, we looked at all of the coaches currently on NFL staffs that have worked on a team where Plaxico Burress played. Here are the top ten destinations for Burress based on our findings:
1. St. Louis Rams - Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo was the New York Giants' defensive coordinator in 2007 and '08, so he's well aware of what he would be getting with Plaxico Burress. Also, new Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was a graduate assistant at Michigan State in 1999 and 2000, working with Burress his last season in college. The Rams have a few promising young receivers, but Plaxico is a big, reliable target that Sam Bradford and the Rams offense still lacks.
2. Cleveland Browns - The Browns' new head coach Pat Shurmur was an assistant at Michigan State when Plaxico Burress came in 1997. QB coach Mark Whipple joined the S
teelers staff as QB coach in 2004, Burress' last year in Pittsburgh. Also, defensive assistant Chuck Bullough was a graduate assistant at MSU when Plaxico joined the squad in '97. The Browns could really use a solid veteran receiver, and Burress could fit in along with Mohamed Massaquoi as big targets for Colt McCoy.
3. Miami Dolphins - New Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as well as OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo and LB coach Bill Sheridan have all coached a Plaxico Burress team. Daboll was a graduate assistant at Michigan State in 1998 and '99, Burress' last two years in college. DeGuglielmo was an assistant with the Giants during Plax's four years in NY, and Bill Sheridan was on staff both at Michigan State and with the Giants. The only question I have is how well the personalities of Plaxico and Brandon Marshall will be able to mesh on the same team. That being said, a Burress-Marshall-Davone Bess trio could be great for Chad Henne.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers - There are five coaches still on staff that were in Pittsburgh during Burress' stint with the Steelers, including offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was the WR coach in 2004. He would seem to fit in as the possession receiver alongside the reliable Hines Ward and up and coming, big play threat Mike Wallace.
5. Denver Broncos - QB coach Adam Gase was a student assistant coach at Michigan State from 1996-99, where he worked with the WRs (including Burress).
6. Cincinnati Bengals - This choice is mainly due to the Bengals' reputation for giving players second chances. Also, DL coach Jay Hayes was on the Steelers staff Plax's first two years in Pittsburgh.
7. Tennessee Titans - Chris Palmer is the new offensive coordinator for the Titans' new staff. He was the QB coach for the Giants during Burress' last two years in New York, including the 2007 Super Bowl season. With Randy Moss likely on his way out, the Titans could use another WR opposite Kenny Britt.
8. Arizona Cardinals - There are seven coaches on the Cardinals staff who were with the Steelers when Plaxico was with the team from 2000-2004. One possible drawback is that Burress is very similar to Larry Fitgerald, and the two don't seem as complementary to each other.
9. Atlanta Falcons - Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and new QB coach Bob Bratkowski both worked with Burress in Pittsburgh. Bratkowski was his position coach his rookie year with the Steelers. It looks good, but the Falcons likely don't want to deal him post-Vick. Also, with Roddy White and Julio Jones at WR, he really isn't needed in ATL.
10. New York Giants - While it seems like a good fit, with nine coaches still on staff who worked with Burress, this is a case where it is probably better to give Plaxico a fresh start elsewhere similar to Michael Vick and the Falcons.