Avant: I'd welcome Burress to red zone O

At least one Eagles wide receiver would welcome Plaxico Burress to Philadelphia.

“I want him to succeed in whatever he does,” Jason Avant said today after a work out in Marlton, N.J. “If that means Philadelphia, that would be great. We definitely can use him in the red zone, I can tell you that.”

Avant recalled seeing Burress burn the Eagles over the years.

“You can always use a guy that’s” as big as Burress, Avant said.


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Of course, those were in Burress’ younger days – he turns 34 in August and has been out of football now for two years. And we all know how the Eagles usually feel about players over 30. (Michael Vick, by contrast, turned 29 shortly after he left prison in 2009).

Avant, by his nature, would welcome just about anyone to the team. He’s not the type to publicly criticize others.

But even before he went to jail, Burress showed signs of slowing down. He had 35 catches for 454 yards and 4 touchdowns in 10 games in 2008. That translates to about 726 yards and six scores over 16 games. Nice, but not spectacular. Now factor in two years of rust and a shortened offseason training program.

There seems to be a notion among some fans that the Eagles are desperate for red zone help. That’s true on defense, where the Eagles were historically bad last season, but they ranked 14th in red zone offense last season – a touch above average – and third in scoring. Firepower isn’t the problem (pass protection, cornerback and pass rush on the other hand …).

Lastly, over at SI.com Don Banks writes that only four receivers older than Burress finished in the top 50 in receptions last season (T.O., Hines Ward, Derrick Mason and Tony Gonzalez). In wondering about Burress' conditioning coming out of jail, Banks writs that “even in the best of times, Burress was not known as a particularly hard worker.”

Add it all up, and it only adds to the notion written here and elsewhere that while the Eagles will probably do their due diligence on Burress, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for him to end up in Philly.