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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Burleson "wants to be great" good artical...

    Nate is really makin me feel good about our offence, and team... check it out, it looks like he's comin out of his shell a little bit..

    Nate Burleson has decided he wants to be great.

    Doing a dance in front of a television camera after making a catch during the first training camp practice, trying to make Travis Taylor laugh while doing an interview - that's all a part of it.

    In his first two seasons as a Viking, Burleson, the quintessential jokester, came to Mankato barely resembling himself. Burleson was quiet, serious, maybe even trying too hard. But with year three beginning and Burleson now the main receiving threat in an offense led by one of the league's top quarterbacks, Burleson has reverted back to what has made him unique as a football player.

    "Go out and have fun," Burleson said. "I don't want to lose sight that this is the same game I was playing when I was eight years old. I just have to experience it and enjoy it for what it is and not take it too seriously. I know we have a goal and I know we have certain things we want to do, but at the same time I do love this game."

    Burleson has lightened the mood in Mankato so far, constantly talking to his teammates and just as often making spectacular catches in 11-on-11 drills. Although he's never been a No. 1 receiver at the pro level before, Burleson's poise makes him look like a seasoned veteran.

    It's actually Burleson's lifestyle that helps him block out the pressures of stepping into the role last filled by Randy Moss. Things happen for a reason, and even the negative situations Burleson may find himself in offer learning experiences. Drawing double teams and being the go-to guy on third down late in the fourth quarter is nothing different.

    "My mentality on life in general is go with the flow," Burleson said. "I don't get bothered too easy by many things. Whatever happens is meant to happen is how I look at it. I just don't let anything get me down. I try to take a positive out of any situation."

    Minnesota certainly is using Burleson as a positive after shipping Moss to Oakland this offseason. The team does not expect Burleson to replace Moss, but is confident he can make as many big plays as the top receivers around the league.

    "Nate's got elite balance and leaping ability and tremendous confidence," head coach Mike Tice said. "He's a great kid and we think he can be an elite receiver."

    No matter what kind of numbers Burleson puts up this year, he also believes he is among the league's elite. But that wasn't the case for most of his first two seasons.

    It wasn't until the end of last year that Burleson started to think of himself in the elite category. Before, Burleson was a "get the first-down and get out of bounds" receiver. But as his confidence level began to reach the point it was at when he caught 138 balls during his senior year at Nevada, he became hungrier. Daunte Culpepper started to show more confidence in Burleson, and finally he believed he could make a play any time he touched the ball. It was exactly what his father, Alvin, had always told him.

    "My dad would always tell me how good I could be, how much talent I had, how I have the ability to change games," Burleson said. "Growing up I would always think, 'yeah, right.' Then that last year of college I thought, 'Yeah, he is right. I guess I do have the talent."

    Burleson said he is not going into this season with any kind of statistical goals. Burleson caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards last season, but does not believe he needs to top those numbers for this year to be a success or for him to be mentioned with the league's best.

    With weapons like Michael Bennett, Troy Williamson, Marcus Robinson, Taylor and others, Burleson just wants to play his part in a well-balanced offense.

    "I understand I'm a big piece of the puzzle, but I'm not going to be the major focus," Burleson said. "That's the biggest thing is not going out there and trying to outdo myself. I don't need to outdo myself. I just need to produce when I'm afforded the opportunity."

    And when the ball is not coming his way, Burleson will be helping out the rest of the receiving core by lightening up the mood or giving pointers.

    "He's a really good receiver to learn from," Williamson said. "The whole receiving core, we always look Nate to make us laugh, just get us through the day and he helps us do that a lot."

    Burleson is just happy for the opportunity to help others and that others will listen to him. Teammates listen to Burleson because they respect him. By being thrown into the fire as a rookie, Burleson already has valuable experience to go with his skills that pair as a valuable asset for teammates to learn from.

    And Burleson will continue to do the little things that the Vikings believe will make him one of the NFL's top receivers.

    "You just have to do the little things to separate yourself," Burleson said. "At this level everybody's good. You just have to decide if you want to try to be great or not."

  2. #2
    cc21 is offline Ring of Fame
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Burleson "wants to be great" good artical...

    Nice read. Lets hope he can have a great season this year.

  3. #3
    PurplePeopleEaters's Avatar
    PurplePeopleEaters is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Burleson "wants to be great" good artical...

    Great read. My adopted viking learns quickly.

  4. #4
    magicci's Avatar
    magicci is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    oxnard, ca

    Re: Burleson "wants to be great" good artical...

    i really like nates attitude i would love to be his teamate.

  5. #5
    Swamination's Avatar
    Swamination is offline Rookie
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Burleson "wants to be great" good artical...

    Good article. Theres no doubt in my mind that Nate will be a great #1 reciever.

  6. #6
    Freya's Avatar
    Freya is offline Team Alumni
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Burleson "wants to be great" good artical...

    Sounds way good to me!

    Personally, I don't think there is intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one?

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