Michael Vick gave Plaxico Burress hope

You have to give Plaxico Burress some credit to this point.

He’s certainly saying all the right things as he prepares to rejoin the NFL after not having played in a game for nearly three years.

Burress, who turns 34 next month, is doing his best to sell himself to potential teams, and that included an appearance on NFL Network where he opened up on just how he’s changed since serving nearly two years in jail for carrying an unlicensed handgun in New York City, the one he blew a hole in his leg with at a Manhattan nightclub.
Burress told Fran Charles of NFL Network that he figured he’d do four to six months if he wound up going to jail, time he could serve during the offseason without missing football. Now, he’s been away from the game for an awful long time and some believe he’s going to be hard pressed to find many suitors.

“To go on the other side of that wall, to be on the inside of that fence, knowing what your world and life is supposed to be on the other side, when they close that door behind you, you say to yourself, 'Is this really serious?' " Burress said. "I actually said to myself a couple times when I first went in, 'You know what? Somebody's going to come and get me tomorrow.' "

He called the time behind bars an “out of body” experience. Now, he claims he’s a more patient man. He says he’s taken advice from Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who has returned an even better played after his own prolonged prison sentence.

"He was telling me to stay strong, everything will work itself out," Burress said. "To see him go out on the football field and do some of the things that he's been able to do and take his game to the next level as a quarterback, pretty much going through a situation similar to mine, being away from the football game for two years -- it gave me hope."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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