Wed 24 Sep 2008
So much for the post-Super Bowl honeymoon and the hunky-doryness engendered by the 3-0 start: As FOXSports originally reported, Plax has been suspended for two weeks for â€œinsubordination.â€Â Apparently, he missed practice/meetings on both Monday and Tuesday, and didnâ€™t respond to phone calls asking where in the world he was.
This means that Plax is suspended from all team activities until October 6th, without pay, meaning that he will miss the Seahawks game.Â Even when he gets back, you have to wonder if heâ€™ll be at his best after being away from football for two weeks.Â Just a bad situationâ€¦
Obviously, this is an extreme punishment from Tom, but one he felt he had to lay down.Â Tom always talks about the principles of team, and in this instance, he put his money where his mouth is.Â If a guy like Calvin Boothe or Dave Tollefson pulled what Plax did, we wouldnâ€™t have objected to Tom making an example of them with something much harsher. Â Say what you want about Tom, he showed he is a man of principle.Â Especially considering Plax is only missing one game and our depth at the position, I have no problem with this â€“ it will be good for this team in the long run.
Obviously, a brutal job by Plax to go AWOL.Â Running a football team is like running a football play: every last man must be accountable for being in the right place.Â If one man is not where heâ€™s supposed to be, it threatens to screw up the whole operation.Â This type of stunt â€“ just falling off the face of the fucking Earth for two work days â€“ gets you fired from many real jobs, so itâ€™s hard to feel too sorry for Plax here.
The unanswered question here is: What in the world was going on with Plax?Â Maybe this will come out, but for now, speculation seems silly.
Plax has been celebrated, and deservedly so, for how much heâ€™s changed in the past couple years.Â He heroically played all last year on a torn ankle, and played the Super Bowl with a seriously messed up knee.Â As I just read in Ralph Vacchianoâ€™s book about Eli, Plax acknowledged that his public arm-flailing displays after not being thrown to were bad for Eli and the team, so he approached Eli, apologized, and said heâ€™s cut it out.Â And obviously this summer, he got himself a new contract â€“ and a very reasonable one, at that â€“ with no holdout and virtually no public griping.Â Combine that with his excellent downfield blocking and his obsessive note-taking during team meetings, and it seemed like Plax had evolved into the ideal teammate.
But now this.Â Hopefully, this is nothing more than a temporary backslide, a moment of immaturity that he will duly apologize for and move on from.Â From what I read, his progress as a professional has been real.Â He screwed up pretty badly here, but it shouldnâ€™t undermine everything heâ€™s done up to this point.Â Hopefully he takes his punishment like a man, moves on, and resumes being the good teammate he has been.
At worst, however, this sours his relationship with Coughlin and the team and evolves into a season-long â€“ or worse, contract-long â€“ distraction.
Correction: There wasn’t any activity on Tuesday, so Plax only missed meetings on Monday.
Update: Plax’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Plax was attending to a family emergency, but didn’t provide specifics. Â He said that while Plax is contrite, he’s appealing the suspension.
In Plax’s absence, Domenik Hixon will start as the X receiver.