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Boomer Esiason on D&C: Jets WR Plaxico Burress ‘a space cadet’

09.12.11 at 11:43 am ET
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CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning, as the Patriots prepare to open the season against the Dolphins.

Esiason shared his opinions about enigmatic wide receivers Plaxico Burress and Chad Ochocinco and explained why he feels Ochocinco will be more successful than Burress.

“I think Plaxico Burress, I don’t think he really truly understands what’s going on in the world,” Esiason said. “The fact that he didn’t know who Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg was, the fact that in this Men’s Journal article he was blaming Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning for a thing that he did to himself, and the fact that he can’t comprehend what he did was illegal leads me to believe that he’s a space cadet.

“I know that Ochocinco is somewhat the same way, but Ochocinco doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. I think he just enjoys the whole artistry of who he is and the recreation of this alter ego of his. I don’t think he’s a mean-spirited guy. I think Plaxico Burress can be a mean-spirited guy.”

Esiason also offered his prediction for the Patriots’ opener.

“I think that it should be a one-sided game in favor of the Patriots,” Esaison said. “But it is the Dolphins and it is the Patriots, it’s opening weekend and you never know what you’re going to get.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On what makes the Patriots a great team:Tom Brady is the difference. If you take a look at teams I picked yesterday for the Super Bowl, Green Bay and New England, you have to play with the best players and the best quarterbacks. We have seen through the most part in this first weekend of the NFL season that quarterbacks who have their coordinators and their head coaches together and have been together for quite sometime are all going to be successful. The other teams are going to struggle at some point. Even though a couple of those teams had pretty good days yesterday, I don’t think they can sustain that through a 16-game season like the Patriots and the New York Jets. But to me, the New England Patriots are a better team than the New York Jets right now.”

On if he thinks Ochocinco will be successful in New England: “When Ochocinco had his mind right when he was a younger player, he really was one of the best wide receivers in football. Somewhere along the line, he decided to step on the cuckoo train and veer off from what really makes him a special player, but hopefully doing it the Patriot way, he’s going to get it right and Tom Brady’s going to get him right.”

On if he was surprised by the personalities the Patriots signed: “On paper, it really doesn’t [surprise] because it’s Bill Belichick and he’s going to do it the Patriot way and he’s never going to take a chance, but you take a look at the players who have played for Bill Belichick over the years, including Randy Moss, and you say maybe he can find a guy who’s going to be motivated and all the things that guys like [Albert] Haynesworth and Ochocinco are saying right now are all the right things.

“So, maybe you get these players at the right time, you put them in that locker room and when you have high-character guys around them, maybe you’ll be able to get the best out of them. So, on paper while that may surprise me, and you would never think that a guy like Bill Belichick would ever deal with guys like this, you also have to remember that Lawrence Taylor may be the best player that Belichick has ever coached.”

On the Colts without Peyton Manning: “I said yesterday that they go from a four-loss team to an at-best four-win team. To me, you could see just how important Peyton Manning is to that team. He is everything to that team. My former college roommate, Frank Reich, who was the quarterbacks coach out there the last three years with Peyton Manning, he just cannot say enough good things about what Peyton Manning means to that team. And then when you watch them play the way they did yesterday, you could see that the heart was ripped out of that franchise and it will be a long, long year for Indianapolis.”

On what he expects from the Patriots this season: “The Patriots are a loaded football team. They have a tremendous offensive line. They have one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in football. Wes Welker, you name it, they’ve got it. They’ve got tight ends coming out the wazoo that are good as anyone in football.

“It comes down to whether or not the older players can withstand the rigors of the 16-game season on the defensive line. If you can keep those guys fresh and they can play up to the reputations all of us think they can play, that’s why I picked them to go to the Super Bowl. He’s got a nice mix going. He’s got some play-makers. He’s got some youth. He certainly has the aging kind of veteran players we’ve all known to come and love.”

On the 9/11 tributes Sunday: “It really was [special]. As you guys know, my offices were on the 101st floor of the North Tower, the tower that was hit first on 9/11, and yesterday, at least for me, was a time for quiet reflection. Early in the morning, when the planes hit, the moments of silence actually do mean something to me. Going through the entire day yesterday, I had great distractions because I had all the football going on and everything else. And I had football last night at the Meadowlands for that matter. Watching what the Jets did at halftime and pregame was very moving. I’m glad it’s September 12th, let’s put it that way. I’m glad it’s behind us.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, boomer esiason, Chad Ochocinco, Plaxico Burress
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