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New York Giants RB Brandon Jacobs was "hurt" when WR Plaxico Burress was released, hopes team will look to draft for replacement


by Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger Friday April 24, 2009, 3:41 PM

large_jacobs.jpgChris Faytok/The Star-LedgerTo avoid another early exit from the playoffs, RB Brandon Jacobs wants the Giants to pick up a big, rangy receiver like Plaxico Burress -- but he hopes the team does it through this weekend's draft. Before the Giants announced they had released wide receiver Plaxico Burress on April 3, he called teammate Brandon Jacobs to let him know his three-year tenure with the team was up.


"I'm like, 'What? You're kidding me,' " Jacobs recalled Friday afternoon at the EA Sports NFL Draft event in Manhattan, his first time addressing the media about Burress since his release. "I was kind of hurt. But it's a business, and I told him, 'Just go somewhere and do your thing.' "



When the Giants cut ties with the receiver, who is facing possible jail time after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a nightclub last November, The Star-Ledger reported it was because of Burress' own desire to leave the team, expressed in ways including a trade request through agent Drew Rosenhaus.


Jacobs, who had one of the closest relationships with Burress in the Giants locker room, declined to comment on his former teammate's intentions. But he did say Burress is embracing the chance to start fresh in another city.


"That's how I looked at it, that's how hes looking at it, too," Jacobs said. "It's not a bad thing that they released him, because he's looking at it in a positive way."


What Jacobs doesn't see as so positive is the void Burress' departure has left in the offense. While Jacobs said he has confidence in the development of the Giants' young receivers, particularly Steve Smith, he also said the team "has to get" a big, rangy guy who can draw double teams and win the battle for jump balls like Burress did.


And, Jacobs would prefer the Giants get that player via this weekend's draft, instead of trading for a veteran like Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards. Both are reportedly on the trading block, and Edwards has been endorsed by Giants quarterback Eli Manning and defensive end Justin Tuck.


"A lot of things come in with an older guy," Jacobs said. "I'd just rather get a younger guy and have him develop because there are a lot of good receivers out there, a lot of big rangy guys that have downfield speed."


"I love Braylon, I think Braylon is a great player, and I think Braylon would be a great addition to our team," Jacobs added later. "I'm just in favor of the younger guy. He's your guy coming in, he doesn't have a lot of miles on him ... he's eager to listen and learn. That's just what I'd rather have."


Among the crop of receivers in this year's draft, Jacobs particularly likes North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks, whom he saw live in the Rutgers-UNC game last fall. Nicks (6-1, 215 pounds) doesn't have Burress' size, but Jacobs believes he has the physicality and speed to play the same role. After Nicks, Jacobs is eyeing Rutgers receiver Kenny Britt.


Last season, the Giants' hopes for a repeat championship derailed after the loss of Burress, as the offense struggled to re-rack midseason. No matter what route the team goes to acquire another receiver -- or if the organization moves forward without adding a premier big target -- Jacobs said the key to success next fall will be quickly establishing the offense's identity and being able to stick to it all season.


"During training camp and the preseason, we just have to find the kind of team we want to be, we have to find our mentality and stick with it," Jacobs said. "We had our mentality from preseason up until we lost Plax, and we had to change up -- a midseason adjustment which didn't work out very well for us. So if we can get our identity like we did last year and stick with it, if everything goes well, I think we have a good chance to go to Miami."

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Why do I get the feeling the Giants are going to draft 3 WR this year?


Never happen If they do get Boldin the #1 pick could go to a LB then best player available through out the draft. But if they do trade say Moss,Hixon or Manningham along with the #2 we may package more picks to move up and grab DH-B then go LB then BPA to finish the draft

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