Plaxico dons Phillies hat upon release; Ranking Reid
UPDATED: Burress had a camera crew with him to detail his release and did not do any interviews with the media beyond his statement.
However, the New York Post's Steve Serby was able to get a question in about Burress' wearing a Phillies hat.
"Hey man, that's for ya'll (to decide)," Burress said.
* Plaxico Burress was released from prison today in Rome, N.Y., and was reunited with his family at the nearby Turning Stone Casino Resort.
In order to continue to fuel the speculation, we pass along that Burress exited prison wearing an old-school Phillies hat. That could be a clue that he is interested in Philadelphia for his football future, or the "P" stands for Plaxico, or he just likes that hat. (Remember when Clinton Portis donned a Phillies hat leading up to a game against the Eagles because he said he just wanted to wear red that day.)
According to reporters, Burress had a big bear hug for agent Drew Rosenhaus.
"I just want to thank God for bringing me through one of the most trying times in my life," he said to reporters outside the prison. "It's a beautiful day. It's a beautiful day to be reunited with my family. I want to go home and spend some quality time with them."
"I'd like to thank everybody for their prayers and words of encouragement," he said. "I'd like to thank all my fans all around the world for the thousands of letters, for their unwavering support. As far as football is concerned, if and when everything gets settled, when they get back on the field, I'll be ready."
He is expected to return to his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., later today.
Rosenhaus had described Burress as "one of the top free agents," and said that he definitely will be ready to play when football resumes. Keep in mind that Burress' apparent desire to play for the Eagles does not necessarily mean the Eagles have a desire to sign him.
Ralph Vacchiano, of the New York Daily News, handicapped potential destinations and installed the Eagles as a 3-1 favorite. He lists the Rams as the second choice at 7-1.
About the Eagles, he writes:
Why it would work: Burress apparently wants to play there and who better to help him through the perils of a return from prison than Eagles QB Michael Vick? The Burresses have a home in Northern New Jersey, only 90 miles away, and with Burress on board, the Eagles might be the NFC favorites.
Why it wouldn't: A "new start" in a notoriously tough media market, 90 miles from New York? He'll see the New York media there every day. Also, would he be happy as the third wheel behind WRs Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson? Would be a dangerous trio though.
* New ESPN.com NFC East blogger Dan Graziano ranks Andy Reid as the top coach in the NFC East.
While Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan have won Super Bowl rings, Graziano writes of Reid: "There's just no way to argue with Reid's consistent level of success. In 12 years as the Eagles' head coach, he's had nine winning seasons, eight double-digit-win seasons, seven first-place finishes, 10 playoff wins and a conference title. His teams contend or win every single year. He's retooled his offensive skill positions on the fly over the past three years without a hiccup. He's not afraid to make a decision no one else likes if he believes it to be the right one for the team. He has guts, conviction and my vote for the top spot."
He ranks Coughlin second and Shanahan third. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett does not have the body of work to be included in the discussion at this point, and is listed as fourth.
* Free agent cornerback Ellis Hobbs, whose two seasons with the Eagles ended in severe injuries, told the Boston Herald that he has not made up his made about retiring, despite reports to the contrary.
"All I'm doing is relaxing," Hobbs said. "Because of the lockout, it's just giving me extra time to work on other things. But none of the doctors have said I need to shut it down, I need to stop playing. I myself haven't even thought about that, or going that route. I've weighed both sides of it, and I'm pretty comfortable where I am right now."
Hobbs will be running a camp next month in Warwick, R.I., for kids 6-18 year old - the Ellis Hobbs Youth Football Camp and Life Skills. About 300 campers are expected.
"Growing up, I've worked at camps, I've been a part of them. But the thing we're doing, we're going to involve life skills as well," Hobbs told the Herald. "One thing I've learned over the years, not just football, but sports, coincide with life. You can apply the same type of knowledge and abilities you have in football to life. The same applications of not giving up, working hard, being on time, going the extra mile, all those things apply to regular life. "