Nov 25, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress (80) is unable to make a catch in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers: Can Plaxico Burress make an impact in 2013?


As the Pittsburgh Steelers look forward to training camp in a little over a month, one question on the offensive side of the ball still needs to be answered. Who will step up among the wide receivers and make plays in the passing game?

May 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress (80) participates in drills during organized team activities at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

That person could become veteran Plaxico Burress.

With the Steelers pretty thin at the receiver position heading into 2013, the Steelers will need some production from Burress, but another question to ask is: can Burress rejuvenate his career?

At 36 years of age that is debatable, but Burress is grateful for the opportunity:

“I’m blessed to be here,” Burress told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. “Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and the Rooneys gave me an opportunity to still play football. They have the confidence in me that I can still go out there and play and make an impact. I think that’s the most important thing, when the opportunity comes I go out and deliver.”

With Mike Wallace gone, Burress should have the opportunity to play more than he did a year ago when he was signed late in the year as an injury replacement guy.

However, what Burress’ role on the Steelers will be is something that is eventually all up to him.

Right now it looks like Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are penciled in as the starters with veterans Burress and Jericho Cotchery slotted in behind them. Then there is third-round pick Markus Wheaton, who despite not practicing yet due to finals at Oregon State, is expected to play a role this season.

The bottom line is that if Burress produces, he knows he will be on the field.

Even at 36, Burress could forge out a couple more years of NFL life by dominating the red zone. He’s 6-foot-5 and still has some quickness. If Burress is still able to show that he can win one-on-one battles, Burress could turn himself into a red zone specialist at the minimum.

That would be nice but the Steelers will need him to do so much more than that for the offense to have success in 2013. If Burress has a big season, everything else may just fall into place.

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