In a recent interview with our pal Tim Benz of 105.9 The X in Pittsburgh, Giants receiver Plaxico Burress spoke about the rumors that dogged quarterback Kordell Stewart during their mutual time in Pittsburgh.

ďIt had to be tough on him personally,Ē Burress told Benz. ďI didnít call him gay or anything like that. . . . I think thatís one of the reasons why he really couldnít become the player that he wanted to be. . . . It has to play on you mentally a little bit.Ē

Burress elaborated on the topic in his new book, Giant: The Road To The Super Bowl, which he wrote with Jason Cole.

ďPeople were talking about [Kordell] being gay,Ē Burress writes in Chapter 5. ďThe players heard that, but we never talked about it. I donít know if Kordell is gay or not. It was none of our business. If ever we would have talked about it, it would have made everybody uncomfortable. If some player was gay, I donít think he could come out while he was still playing. It would be real hard. It would mess a team up mentally and it wouldnít be good for that person.Ē

Burress also said that the rumors caused Stewart to withdraw from teammates. ďHe had to watch the people that he hung around with. Just hanging out with your friends, or your boys and your cousins, all those things come to the surface. I think he just insulated himself after a while.Ē

As to Stewartís performance on the field, Burress confirms what many league observers have long believed. ďHe wasnít a real NFL quarterback, a drop-back quarterback,Ē Burress says. ďThey gave him time to develop as a classic drop-back passer, but it just never happened. He couldnít, that wasnít his game.Ē

Interesting since there has been some recent banter concerning both players on this board.