|Boomer Esiason on D&C: Chad Ochocinco has made ‘mockery of his career’||09.19.11 at 11:07 am ET|
CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss the Patriots’ fast start.
Esiason said Sunday’s 35-21 victory over the Chargers made him think of the successful Patriots teams of the previous decade.
Said Esiason: “It reminded me of their Super Bowl teams, where the opposing offenses would go up and down the field … and then all of a sudden, somebody like Ty Law would come up with a big play, or Rodney Harrison would come up with a big play, Mike Vrabel would knock a ball down. It would be a key fumble recovery by Vince Wilfork. And lo and behold, what did we see yesterday? It was the same thing. It was great offense, tremendous special teams, a couple of gaffes here and there on defense, but at the end of the day four turnovers. The most key stat of all in the NFL is turnovers. And when you have a plus-four, the score is going to look like it did yesterday.
“And when your quarterback is comfortable, he’s playing maybe better than he ever has — and I can’t believe I’m saying that, after taking a look at what he did in 2007 then again in 2010 — can he play any better? I think defenses have got to start adjusting. I think they have to start blitzing, they have to start hitting him. … Defenses have got to get after him. They can’t just let him sit back there.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On the key to the Patriots’ offensive success: “No pressure. No pressure whatsoever. I know Tom [Brady] took a shot there at the beginning of the third quarter, but or the most part, when you watch their games, the last two games, the offensive line has been unbelievable. And I think teams have decided, OK, we’re going to play zone, we’re going to put eight men in the secondary, and we’re not going to pressure Tom. When a quarterback is in the zone or a quarterback is doing what Tom is doing right now, you have to get after him. You have to put him on the ground. I don’t care if it leads to a big play down the field.
“If there’s one thing that maybe the Patriots are missing, it’s the big-play, Randy Moss-type wide receiver down the field. I don’t know if [Chad] Ochocinco will become that. I don’t know if there’s anybody that can cover [Rob] Gronkowski or [Aaron] Hernandez down the field. But you can’t let him just sit back there. … If there’s no pass rush, he’s going to rip you apart.”
On criticism of Ochocinco: “This is a player who has, I think, I don’t want to say ruined his career, but made a mockery of his carer with all the hijinks over the last three or four years, and Tedy Bruschi took umbrage with it. I think if you had been in that locker room and you had played in those Super Bowls and you had been a part of something so great that doesn’t happen very often, I think you have every right to take issue with what Ochocinco tweeted.
“I don’t think it was in any way, shape or form insulting, but again, remember, it’s a crack in the locker room. And that locker room’s been the tightest locker room since Brady and [Bill] Belichick have taken over in 2001.”
On the Patriots’ failed fourth-and-4 attempt Sunday: “The big problem I had with Bill yesterday, if there was one issue that I could take, was they elected go for it on fourth-and-4 from around midfield. OK, I know your punter’s hurt, but this is a guy, Bill Belichick, who reads about punting back in the 1920s, for crying out loud. So, I’m sure that he had somebody on the team that could punt the ball, whether it be [Stephen] Gostkowski, or put Brady back there and have him quick-kick it. I was surprised that they did that.
“But that kind of goes to your thought process there. He’s not scared. He’s not afraid to take chances. And when you have an offense that’s playing the way they are right now, why not take chances? I’d rather see them on the field as opposed to sitting on the sidelines, that’s for sure.”
On the Patriots’ next opponent, the 2-0 Bills: “Are they for real? I don’t think they’re a playoff team. They’re going to go up in class next week, certainly. … [Quarterback] Ryan Fitzpatrick is a great story. He’s a serviceable guy. He’s certainly not Tom, he’s not in that class. But in this league, as Bill Belichick I’m sure will point out this week, you never take anything from granted. Because you’re only an injury away from having your season collapse, if that injury happens to your quarterback.”
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