Backups ready to step up for Giants with Plax out Print
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Wednesday, 01 October 2008 21:34
NFL Headline News

 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss don't see the suspension of leading receiver Plaxico Burress as a problem for the New York Giants.
It's just a chance for them to step up and show their stuff.
``I believe this is a great opportunity for our young guys,'' said Super Bowl hero David Tyree, who is still working his way back from offseason knee surgery. ``What we lose in Plax is a completely dominant receiver. But I think Domenik Hixon is going to surprise a lot of people, and we know we have capable guys from one to five that we know they can go in there and we won't lose a beat.''
Hixon, who was the Giants' best receiver in training camp, will start at split end for Burress, who was suspended for a game on Sept. 21 for missing a team meeting the day after an overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Since the Giants (3-0) had a bye last week, Burress will sit out Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks at Giants Stadium.
e on veteran Amani Toomer, who is second on the team with 13 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown.
Hixon will take over for Burress as split end and get the first start of his three-year NFL career. He has six catches for 89 yards this season.
Smith will become the third receiver. He has been become one of Eli Manning's favorite targets with 11 catches for 94 yards, with most coming in four-wide receiver formations on third down.
Moss, who has had one catch for 23 yards, will play in the four-wide package.
The suspension also was going to offer rookie Mario Manningham a chance to play for the first time this season. However, the third-round draft choice from Michigan has battled the flu for the past three days and spent time at the hospital Wednesday. His status for the game is uncertain.
``We have a lot of talented guys,'' halfback Brandon Jacobs said of the depth at wide receiver. ``Plax is a big piece. I think those guys can come out and get it done.''
So does Manning, who has spread the ball around among his receivers. Burress leads the team with 18 catches for 259 yards and a touchdown, but 10 of those catches and 133 yards came in the season-opening win against Washington.
ere and he is a tremendous threat. But our other guys have been making plays all year and will step up and make some plays this week.''
The suspension of Burress also has had an unexpected effect on Seattle coach Mike Holmgren. For most of his news conference with the New York media on Wednesday, he refused to believe that Burress would miss the game.
``Do you guys know for sure he is not playing?'' Holmgren responded when asked about facing the Giants without him.
When told Burress was suspended, Holmgren still hesitated.
``I know that, but you know these things,'' he said. ``They are suspended and then everyone makes up and hugs and off you go.''
Even being told that Burress was no longer on the roster could not totally convince Holmgren that Burress wouldn't be on the field on Sunday.
``OK, all right,'' Holmgren relented. ``I can't see you. Do you have your fingers crossed?''
When he finally got serious, Holmgren said Burress is a big weapon and it only helps the Seahawks not to have to deal with him.
``We are going to go in with the idea of the same approach we always have,'' Holmgren said of his defense. ``Here are the starting guys on offense; this is what we have to deal with. I think our defensive coaches would even tell you they are even talking that if Plaxico plays this is what we are going to do. Not much has changed there.''
``We look at it as an opportunity for us to show what we can do,'' Smith said. ``We are professionals like Plax is and this is a good opportunity for us. They like to press and this will be a chance for us to make some plays down the field.''

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