CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan and talked about the Patriots' dominant win over the Jets, what the Jets have to do going forward, and more news from around the NFL.
Esiason looked at the Patriots' performance over the last few games and said he thought they could be a Super Bowl contender, but he noted that they will have to prove it down the stretch.
“I see their last five games,” Esiason said. “Look who they beat. They beat the Jets twice, I think they beat the Bills, the Colts. They haven’t beaten many great teams but they’ve taken care of business. Meaning, they’ve done it on defense and special teams, they scored with those two units. The offense seems to be unstoppable, they’re running the ball exceptionally well.
"They go to Miami this week. Miami will give them a game. It’s a division game, it’s a road game. And then comes the real test Monday night against Houston. And we’ll find out pretty quickly in back-to-back weeks against Houston and San Francisco whether or not this team truly is a championship team. I’d say it is because they have the quarterback to do it. I wouldn’t place them in front of Houston and Denver just yet.”
Esiason addressed the Jets’ poor performance Thursday and said he was stunned New York played that way.
“I actually had to do that game and I just wanted to poke my eyes out," Esiason said. "It was unbelievable. It was unbearable, actually, to do a game like that because they are professional football players even though in that second quarter it didn’t look like it. When you have a bombastic coach who was really trying to put this franchise on the landscape over the last four years and they get beat like that, it’s a heavy dose of humble pie.”
Even if the Jets were to dump coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, Esiason said it wouldn’t be easy to reorganize the team.
“It’s hard, it’s really hard to do,” Esiason said, adding: “The problems with their salary cap moving forward. Who they’ve given money to: Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, David Harris, a number of these guys have big, bloated guaranteed contracts for the year to come. Even if they get rid of their general manager and head coach, the next group of guys that comes in here has really got a major problem on their hands with long-term salaries. … Right now, it looks as bad as it’s been for a long time with Mike Tannenbaum here and Rex Ryan here and they have some major problems to address this offseason. But first they have to take care of business. They have to try to somehow get to 4-1 in these last five and at least feel a little bit better about themselves.”
Esiason doesn’t think that Sanchez is the option going forward for the Jets.
"He’s a reclamation project for anybody who comes in here," Esiason said. "I don’t know how Rex and Mike stay here with him as quarterback. It just doesn’t seem like it can work right now. I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. … Under the current set of circumstances, it doesn’t look like he is the long-term future for the New York Jets.”
Esiason said that despite the public embarrassment that was Thursday’s performance by the Jets, it doesn’t mean Ryan will automatically be dismissed.
“If it looks as if the team has given up on him,” Esiason said, adding: "I think the owner has to make a decision on whether or not he can move forward with the same kind of atmosphere on this football team.”
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On Jim Harbaugh’s decision to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith: “I was against it. I think Alex Smith was 19-5, completing 70 percent of his passes this year. I understand why Jim did what he did. I think most San Francisco 49er fans were frustrated with Alex Smith. That his game didn’t have range down the field, there weren’t a lot of explosive plays. ... And then all of a sudden comes along this young, great kid who has got a terrific arm. He’s athletic. He’s big. He’s tall. He can move around in the pocket. He looks, to me, like its effortless when he throws the ball down the field.”
On whether the Falcons, after a shaky win Sunday, are a fraudulent team: “I wouldn’t say it’s fraudulent, every game is a tough game. … When you’re playing in your division, all these games are difficult. I think Tampa is one of the teams that is on the rise. They’ve got a good nucleus of young players. Yesterday, they couldn’t seal the deal against Atlanta in their building. I think Atlanta is the real deal. I don’t think they’re as good as San Francisco. I think that Green Bay and the Giants can give them a run for their money. … They might lose another game here or there, but they’re not going to lose home-field advantage.”
On whether having a high-profile backup QB drives the starter to play harder: “I think every quarterback, unless you’re a super-elite quarterback in the league like Tom Brady, needs that. To be comfortable with your performance under the current set of circumstances, you’re fooling yourself, you’re fooling your team.”
Greg and Chris discuss the Pats kicking the tires on Rolando McClain, something that shocked both of these guys. They also get into the Aaron Hernandez trial and Robert Kraft appearing as a witness last Tuesday. Aaron Schatz, Football Outsiders, called the show to talk offseason free agency, Pats HOF/Parcells and more. The guys also got into the NFL schedule coming out soon and who the Pats will open with.
The intelligent and knowledgeable Aaron Schatz calls the boys to discuss the Patriots offseason, how some teams don't need to make moves in free agency to improve, the Pats HOF debate and much more.
In hour 1 on this fine Easter Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss the Patriots Hall of Fame - who's in, who's not and who should be? They also get into the NFL draft and discuss some particular names Pats fans should keep in mind with WEEI.com's Mike "Trags" Petraglia.
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
Xander had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to get the Red Sox on top of the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, he talked with Joe and Dave after the game about what his thought process during the at-bat was and the excitement of a walk-off.
Buster Olney of ESPN joins the guys to talk about the first two weeks of the baseball season. They discuss the struggling Red Sox rotation and the potential of the high-powered offense.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan after the Red Sox come back to beat the Nationals 8-7.
Cominf off a terrible game agaisnt the Capitals, Pierre McGuire discusses Claude Julien's decision to mix up the lines as well as the Bruins two remaining games.
We talk all things Bruins with the great Jack Edwards of NESN as they prepare to take on the Capitals.
In hour 2 of the Easter edition, the Sunday Skate crew discuss Reilly Smith and how he is struggling to get on track. This leads to a discussion of his much disputed new contract and Chiarelli's way of conducting team business. They get in Gregory Campbell's role on the team and if he still deserves as much ice time as he has been getting. More line discussions and a look at the B's playoff push ensue.
The latest edition of Answer The Question Kirk with Rob Bradford and Gary Tanguay.
The Celtics president of basketball operations joined the show to preview Cavs Celts.
The guys discussed the Pats draft with Todd McShay.
Kyle Draper and Sports Radio Hack Lou Merloni make up after beefing earlier in the week, Aaron Hernandez gets taken down by Larry Willmore, and our very own Christian Fauria makes his Country Music Debut
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman joins the guys to defend his prediction of Celtics in 6.
After some suspicious outfield play from Red Sox Left Fielder Hanley Ramirez, the guys question whether or not he has what it takes to play in the outfield, a position he has never played before.
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss this year's Celtics as they enter the playoffs to take one of the best teams in the East in the NBA Playoffs.
We discuss the Britt McHenry suspension from ESPN, and the incident itself, and whether or not we've all had an incident like this, and whether her response was in any way appropriate.
We wrap up the day with some of the best sound of the day and the week.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
Jerry is joined by hockey writer Brian "Rear Admiral" McGonagle of Barstool Sports to perform a post-mortem on what happened to the 2014-15 Bruins, who's to blame and where the team goes from here.
Ben and Alex break down Leg 1 of the quarter finals of the Champions League and talk about some of the most interesting transfer rumors.
The Celtics president of basketball operations joined the show to preview Cavs Celts.More from this show
With their opening round playoff series starting this weekend, the guys discuss whether or not the Celtics actually have a chance to win the series.More from this show