The Sporting News provided great award news for the Jets and their followers by announcing today that it has selected WR Plaxico Burress as its comeback player of the year. You can find the TSN story on Plax’s award here.
The sports magazine selects its comeback player based on a vote of NFL players, coaches and executives. And as eye-opening as the award itself is the fact that Plax was the clear winner. The top four vote getters were:
1. Plaxico Burress, 164 votes
2. Alex Smith, San Francisco QB, 91 votes
3. Elvis Dumervil, Denver DE, 46 votes
4. Matthew Stafford, Detroit QB, 42 votes
Burress earned the award by resuscitating his career with 45 receptions for 612 yard and eight touchdowns, modest numbers by the standards he set with the Steelers and Giants yet solid in light of the 20 months he served in prison following his conviction on weapons charges.
Among Burress’ highlights for the Jets in the 2011 regular season was his three red zone touchdown grabs in the 27-21 victory over the Chargers, making him the 17th player and 14th WR in franchise history to come down with at least three TD catches in a game.
In fact, the 6’5″, 232-pound target and his connection with QB Mark Sanchez were arguably the main reasons the Jets were the league’s No. 1 red zone offense with their 65.5 percent touchdown drive percentage. Burress’ numbers inside the opponents’ 20 were all team-leading stats: 13 receptions, 121 yards, 12 first downs and all eight of his touchdowns.
The last Jets pass-catcher to have a similar red zone impact was Wayne Chrebet, who had 12 catches for 124 yards and nine TDs in the zone in 2002.
Congratulations to Plax on opening up his wingspan, sticking out his big Velcro mitts and coming down with this honor.
DeGuglielmo’s Connecting Flights
Dave DeGuglielmo officially joined the Jets’ reforming coaching staff when head coach Rex Ryan this afternoon announced that he is the Jets’ new offensive line coach. But Dave D has too many Jets connections to have stayed away from the team for much longer.
For starters, he coached up Miami’s OL pretty well for the past three seasons as the Dolphins took four of six from the Jets in their AFC East series.
For the four seasons prior, he came to work in the same Sunday office as the Jets as he coached the Giants’ O-line from ’04-08.
For the five seasons before that, he learned his OL coachcraft at South Carolina under Lou Holtz, who, as all Jets fans of a certain age know, coached the Green & White for 13/14ths of the 1976 season.
And DeGuglielmo first emerged in the trench trade when he was named All-New England first-team guard/center for Boston University. His OL coach for his final three seasons at BU was none other than new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. Of course, you could say the Sparano connection was the most important of all, but all things considered it looks like a great fit for coach and team.
Tags: Comeback Player of the Year, Dave DeGuglielmo, Mark Sanchez, Plaxico Burress, Rex Ryan, The Sporting News, Tony Sparano, Wayne Chrebet
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