The incident remains a sore point for Coughlin. But not due to Burress' criticism. During a taping of "CenterStage" for the YES Network, the no-nonsense coach appeared to blame the shooting for the Giants failing to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
According to the Star-Ledger, Coughlin said the shooting is the first thing that comes to mind when he recalls the 2008 season. The Giants were 11-1 at the time. They lost four of their last five, including the playoff opener to the Eagles.
Coughlin said he was sure the team would have repeated if not for the shooting. "We were the best team in the NFL at the time of the shooting," Coughlin said.
Of course, being the best team at any point in the regular season guarantees nothing. The Giants won Super Bowls following the 2007 and 2011 seasons when they qualified as the Nos. 5 and 4 seeds respectively.
Burress was an important player. A starter and a 6-5 red-zone target, he had 35 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns at the time of the shooting. In the 23-11 playoff loss, the Giants produced three field goals in five red-zone trips.