The morning after Steelers replacement long-snapper James Harrison all but gift-wrapped the Giants’ 21-14 come from behind win in Pittsburgh, the Newark Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi considers the case of playmaking malcontent Plaxico Burress.  “You think you’re sick of hearing about this guy? Imagine how the Giants feel right now.”

Burress said he had no idea he was supposed to show up for treatment on Saturday morning before the team left for this defining road trip, which is like the old dog-ate-my-homework excuse. He was benched for the first quarter, then looked so lost on one play the Giants had to burn a timeout to set him straight.

They should have been enjoying this 21-14 victory over the Steelers without reservation, but then came more questions about you know who. The offense looked out of sync for most of this game and had to settle for four field goals deep in Pittsburgh territory. Most of that had to with the Steelers defense.

Burress should have been more fired up for this game than any other on the schedule, a homecoming to Pittsburgh to prove the Steelers wrong from letting him leave town. Instead, he confirmed everything his former team believed about him was true, that Burress’ talent is not worth his selfishness.

Burress should have been morFrom one interview to the next in the visiting locker room at Heinz Field, it was abundantly clear that the Giants have stopped apologizing for Burress. Fifty-two players on the roster have embraced the discipline from head coach Tom Coughlin and are flourishing.

This team keeps proving that it can win without the one. They beat up Seattle while Burress sat out the one-game suspension for missing a team meeting, then scrapped out this tough victory against the Steelers when Burress had just three catches for 15 yards.

Much as I love the image of young Eli and his good citizen teammates craving the touch of Col. Coughlin’s riding crop, surely Politi is aware the head coach’s record in Super Bowls without Burress is exactly the same as Terry Francona’s World Series mark without Manny Ramirez.  Politi compares the team’s frustration with Burress to events that led to Jeremy Shockey’s departure, but there’s one key difference :  the Giants already proved Shockey was surplus to requirements before dumping him.