Productive Plax playing at high level

Following the Giants' second straight win to open the 2005 season – a 27-10 romp over the New Orleans Saints – an exhausted Plaxico Burress stepped in to his locker to get dressed.

"I'm tired man ... I am tired!" Burress smiled after his second career game for Big Blue.

He certainly had a right to be, although Burress had no one but himself to blame for his weary condition. For the second straight game, he was New York's leading receiver, this time with five catches for 64 yards. He also had an impressive 22-yard touchdown catch that was nullified due to an illegal formation penalty on Amani Toomer.

"I just want to go out and make the plays that I'm supposed to make," said Burress before pausing for a moment, "and maybe a few of the ones that I'm not supposed to make."

Through the first two weeks of the season, Burress has done just that with 10 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. He has established himself as a legitimate deep threat and No. 1 receiver, and in turn, helped the Giants' offense become a unit to be reckoned with.

And that's exactly what he was brought in here to do.

"Well (Plaxico's) been a big factor in both wins," New York head coach Tom Coughlin said. "He was a guy that we brought in for that purpose. It's a difficult thing to match up with Plax and that's been proven in the first two ballgames.

"And, we hope that continues."

If it does continue, Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress could become a very familiar phrase to Giants fans, and a very prestigious connection among NFL QB-wideout combos.

"He makes a difference," Manning said of his most popular target. "Obviously he's made some big-time plays. He's taller than most defensive backs. It's hard for teams to press him, because of his size. He's very physical.

"But, he's making a lot of big plays and opening things up for this offense."

However, big plays are nothing new for the 6-5, 206-pound receiver. During his first five seasons in the NFL, Burress had his share of impressive moments, while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

From 2001-2003, he strung together three consecutive 60-plus-catch seasons, none better than 2002 when he hauled in 78 passes for 1,325 yards and seven touchdowns. Despite a hamstring injury last season, Burress was still able to contribute almost 700 receiving yards and five TDs to Pittsburgh's offense.

He also caught a touchdown pass for the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. But, Burress has always been a nice post-season performer. Just three years earlier, he caught five passes for a team-high 67 yards in another AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

Being able to perform in football-crazed Pittsburgh, where the Steelers are like a religion, showed Burress' ability to perform in pressure-packed situations.

"I don't put pressure on myself," Burress said. "I think when you put pressure on yourself, you begin to lose focus. I've been playing football since I was seven years old. I just go out there and do what I have to do."

And lately, no one has been doing better on the Giants' offense than Burress. Still, the 28-year-old says he's not totally acclimated to the New York offense just yet.

"I wouldn't say I'm all the way comfortable," Burress said. "I've got my screw-ups, but at the same time, I'm learning and we're winning. I've just got to keep playing, keep paying attention to what the coach tells us in meetings and keep working hard."

It appears that there'll be no rest for the weary.

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