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Boomer Esiason on D&C: Mark Sanchez ‘not there right now’

10.10.11 at 9:38 am ET
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Boomer Esiason

CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to revisit the Patriots’ 30-21 win over the Jets Sunday and discuss what another loss means for a struggling Jets team.

Esiason said the Patriots ignited a firestorm on New York talk radio with the way they ran through the Jets defense with 12 straight rushing plays in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. The Jets defense, which was supposed to be one of the best run defenses in the NFL, allowed 152 rushing yards to the Patriots Sunday.

“Any time you play your division rival and the game ends the way it did yesterday with New England just taking the ball for about 12 or 13 plays and sealing the victory with a field goal by Stephen Gostowski, that’s about as bad as it gets,” Esiason said. “When you have guys running over 100 yards in BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Tom Brady throwing for over 300 yards, and if Aaron Hernandez doesn’t drop the ball in the end zone in the first half, let’s face it, this game is probably a laugher. So, I think that the Jets are going to circle the wagons right now and they’re going to be getting a lot of criticism.”

Esiason also addressed the status of quarterback Mark Sanchez, who many around the NFL call an underachiever during the regular season and an overachiever in the postseason. Sanchez was 16-for-26 Sunday for 166 yards. Esiason said he does not think Sanchez is ready to take the next step up in play during the regular season.

“He’s not there right now,” Esiason said. “Will he do it? All I can tell you is that when you win four playoff games against Phillip Rivers in his building, Carson Palmer in his building, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in their buildings the way that he did that last year, you can never take that away from the young man. He actually played really well in the AFC championship game especially in the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, so I’ve seen it. I know that he’s capable of doing it.

“I just know that it’s got to be pretty difficult for him going on the field with guys like Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes. … I believe that he plays with some enigmatic, crazy wide receivers that put a lot of pressure on him. … There’s a reason why Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes are no longer with the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New York Giants for that matter or in jail. The fact of the matter is they’re a different sort of cat. They’re talented players but they also at times can be pretty selfish.”

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

On what the running game does for Brady and the Patriot offense: “I think it’s a big deal. And I understand that it’s fun to watch Tom play, especially when he’s at his best like he was yesterday, but any time you can run the ball like this emphatically especially at the end of the game when you have a lead, you know at that point it was only a six-point lead, the Jets got it back within six, to take the ball and essentially run the ball right down the field and get a field goal to seal a victory, then that’s about as good as it gets.

“And I think any coach will tell you from an offensive standpoint, that tells you a lot about your team. It tells you a lot about your offensive line. It tells you a lot about BenJarvus Green-Ellis. And conversely, on the other side, if you’re the Jets, you’re scratching your head going we’re supposed to be one of the best run defenses in football, and two of the last three weeks they got gashed.”

On if he thinks Jets receivers went to Rex Ryan to complain about the offense, as was reported Sunday: “I believe that these wide receivers are the type that would complain. There is not really essentially a “Jet Way” right now as there is a “Patriot Way.” Like if [Chad] Ochocinco were on the Jets, he’d be chirping left and right in the newspapers and the media would be going to him and he would be giving everybody a lecture as to what they need to do on offense.”

On how the loss to the Patriots will affect Ryan’s swagger: “I think he is really, really shocked at how poor his defense has played two out of the last three weeks and how they got ran up and down the field on. To have that game end emphatically the way it did yesterday with the New England Patriots running the ball as effectively as they did, that is going to knock the swagger back a little bit.”

On if there is a shorter shelf life for big-mouth coaches like Ryan: “My [radio] partner down here, Craig Carton, is a huge Jets fan. When Rex got here, he was ecstatic that Rex got here and he was happy that Rex put the Jets on the map and really has had the success the last two years. But in the same breath, he’s also said, ‘When this ends, it’s not going to be a pretty sight. It’s going to end and it’s going to blow up right up in smoke.’

“I’m not saying that it’s ending right now. It’s anything but that, because Rex has been a major success here. But I can understand how he can rub other football fans the wrong way simply because I think sometimes they mistake his confidence in his own team as a lack of respect for their team. But Rex is hired to do one thing and one thing only, and that is to win football games for the New York Jets and put them on the map. And I’ve got to tell you, he has done that and he has done that in spades, in my eyes.”

Read More: BenJarvus Green Ellis, boomer esiason, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan
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