We got a good look at why the Steelers signed wide receiver Plaxico Burress Wednesday in his limited action.
Burress spent most of practice watching and learning. But he made an impressive catch on one of the few patterns he did run, leaping above practice squad corner Josh Victorian to snatch a ball thrown by Charlie Batch out of the air.
Speaking to Burress before practice, I saw a much more mature person than he was in his first stay in Pittsburgh.
Obviously, what he has gone through has changed him somewhat. He was always a guy who was well-liked by teammates.
But there was sometimes a perception that he wasn't playing up to his potential when he was in Pittsburgh the first time around. That perception wasn't always correct. Burress had some excellent years with the Steelers, and followed that up with some excellent years with the Giants.
And then there is this: Burress said his decision to turn down the offer the Steelers made to him during training camp in 2011 came down to him not wanting to move his family from the New Jersey area.
Burress can help this football team, especially in the red zone. Opponents have begun to double tight end Heath Miller in the red zone. And while Mike Wallace is still one of the fastest receivers in the league, some of that speed is negated in tight spaces.
If opponents try to play the 6-5 Burress one-on-one in the red zone, he will beat them. That could be the missing link for this Steelers team.
@ Ben Roethlisberger looked good on Wednesday, far better than he did a week ago. In fact, Roethlisberger was no longer wearing the sling that he had on all of last week.
He was talking on his cell phone using his right arm and was also able to easily remove his T-shirt over his head without any apparent discomfort.
That has to be a good sign for the injured quarterback moving forward.
@ Antonio Brown also looked good Wednesday. Though he was limited in practice, the injured wideout was walking around without a limp.
I followed him up a flight of stairs Wednesday and he easily took them two at a time.
@ Isaac Redman passed his initial concussion tests and practiced on Wednesday.