Thread: Good article on Burleson
08-02-2005, 09:10 PM #1
Good article on Burleson
Burseon article from my local paper
Vikings training camp: Burleson takes over as Vikes' No. 1 WR
By Frank Rajkowski
MANKATO Ã¢â‚¬â€ Nate Burleson always has strived to exceed other people's expectations. That hasn't changed, even as those expectations have increased.
With All-Pro Randy Moss traded to Oakland, and first-round draft choice Troy Williamson expected to be brought along slowly when he arrives at training camp, the 6-foot, 192-pound Burleson begins this season as the Minnesota Vikings' No. 1 wide receiver.
But Burleson, who caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns in 2004, isn't letting that assignment go to his head.
"I just continue to stay humble," said Burleson, a third-year pro who became just the ninth receiver in team history to cross the 1,000-yard mark in a single season. "I really have to play like I'm trying to earn a spot on this team and that's the way I look at it. My whole life, I've looked at myself as somewhat of an underdog.
"I was drafted in the third round. I'm still out to prove that I can compete with the best in the business and that's my focus."
Burleson's attitude can be traced back to the fact that he was not highly recruited coming out of Seattle's O'Dea High School, ending up far from the national spotlight at Nevada.
"I really didn't have that many scholarship offers," Burleson said. "I had some for basketball and track, but not many for football.
"At Nevada, there were people who thought we were a Division II team. We had to go into each game with that underdog mentality."
After making 248 catches for 3,293 yards and 22 touchdowns during his three seasons in Reno, including a 138-catch season in 2002 that ranks as the second-best total in NCAA history, the Vikings selected Burleson in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
He ended up making 29 catches for 455 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. The oftentimes controversial Moss served as his teacher.
"I learned a lot from him," Burleson said. "He was like a big brother to me. He was somewhat of a mentor. He was tough on me when I made mistakes and he patted me on the butt when I did well. When I was going through it, I was like 'wow, this guy is really hard on me.' But afterward, I realized that he was trying to allow me to be the best athlete I could be on the field."
That's why it was different to start training camp without Moss around.
"It's unfortunate that he's gone because I wish I could have been under his tutelage for my whole career," Burleson said. "But it's a business and you have to move on from situations like that.
"It's a tough business," he continued. "You don't expect a team to let go of a player of that caliber. But sometimes change is good. I really can't speak to who got the better end of the deal until they hand out the (Super Bowl) rings. I'm excited for us and I'm excited for Randy because he's in a great situation."
Burleson seems to be as well, and it's one his teammates expect him to take full advantage of.
"I think that Nate is definitely primed and ready to be featured a little more," starting quarterback Daunte Culpepper said. "He got the ball a whole lot and was consistent the two years that he's been here, and I think he is definitely ready now.
"He works hard. He's a guy that is very dependable. I like to play with him. I like to go into each week with a guy like that."
Vikings head coach Mike Tice echoed those sentiments.
"Nate's got great energy," Tice said. "He believes in himself. He thinks he can be one of the elite guys in the league and we think he can be one of the elite guys too. He's got a lot of smarts and a lot of athleticism."
Still, with a crop of receivers expected to include veterans Marcus Robinson and Travis Taylor, tight end Jermaine Wiggins and Williamson (who has agreed to a deal with the team reports said Sunday), Burleson said he doesn't have to carry the load himself.
"I just feel like I'm a big piece of the puzzle," Burleson said. "We have so many guys that do so many things Ã¢â‚¬â€ so many weapons. I'm just here to do my part.
"That's how it was last year. Randy was the No. 1 receiver, but guys were called to be the No. 1 receiver in different situations. We didn't have the same receiver making the same plays each game."
Burleson said he doesn't worry about individual numbers.
"I'm not a big stats guy," Burleson said. "It's all about getting the ice on my finger. I want to get that ring. If we had four 600-yard receivers and we won the Super Bowl, I'd be happy. Winning is my No. 1 goal."
To that end, Burleson is focused on preparing for the season.
"I just have to keep my stomach empty," Burleson said. "I have to stay hungry, so that when it comes time to eat, I'm ready."
I Love his attidude and comments
08-02-2005, 10:09 PM #2
Re: Good article on Burleson
He's ready to take that next step, and is total team guy, and with the talent we have at WR's, I don't think we will miss Randy, we get pleasently surprised by Travis, Marcus will pick his game up just to stay on the field,
Troy will shoot passed Cambell, and the coaches will design packages and special plays/formations to use all our weapons to exploit defensive secondaries. With a resurgense of the run, and the ability of our backs, and tight ends to catch the underneath stuff, I hope to see 8-14 play drives, converting 3rd downs, and wearing down the defenses we play.
08-03-2005, 01:24 AM #3
Good article on Burleson
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