Osi wisely backs from Cassel-Brady comparison

October, 14, 2008
10/14/08
7:11
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora is out for the season while recovering from a knee injury. On Tuesday he was a guest commentator on "ESPN First Take."

Umenyiora might have a future in broadcasting, and that's a good thing because he clearly shouldn't get into player evaluation.

He squared off against Skip Bayless in the show's "First and 10" debate segment. Moderator Dana Jacobson asked if the New England Patriots would reach the postseason. Jacobson gave Umenyiora the floor.

Umenyiora: I think so. I've seen Matt Cassel. We played him in a preseason game, and to be honest with you, I thought back then he was just as good as Tom Brady.

Jacobson: What?! Osi, seriously?

Umenyiora: When I saw him back then in the preseason game that's what I thought.

Bayless: As good as Tom Brady?

Umenyiora: That was my misconception.

There was much laughter.

Umenyiora: Obviously, it hasn't played out that way. But he's a good quarterback. I think the Patriots can at least win 10 games. I think they'll make it into the playoffs. They're going to win 10 games this year.

Umenyiora also predicted the Dallas Cowboys would not make the playoffs.

Actors Mark Wahlberg and Ludacris also sat down with Jacobson for an interview to promote the new action flick Max Payne. Wahlberg, who played Philadelphia Eagles folk hero Vince Papale in "Invincible," is a huge Boston sports fan and commented on the Patriots.

"They gotta make the playoffs in that division, although the Bills have been quite a surprise this year thus far," Wahlberg said. "I'm trying to stay optimistic. I mean, Brady was obviously a backup to [Drew] Bledsoe and a sixth-round draft pick, so you know ... I'm hoping Cassel will take this as a huge opportunity for himself and rise to the occasion.

"But I can't be greedy. We won three Super Bowls. The Celtics just won the [NBA] championship. The Red Sox won two [World Series] in four years."

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