Last week, ESPN aired more than 120 hours of television and radio from the site of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, La.
With Studio E staples Mike & Mike In The Morning, NFL Live and NFL 32 producing remote shows from the French Quarter, there was just enough time to give one of ESPN’s most versatile Digital Center 1 workspaces a “refresh.”
In less than 48 hours on Jan. 29 and 30, Studio E was retrofitted with the latest-generation cameras, monitors and set lighting — a task made possible by the Super Bowl road shows and First Take’s flexibility.
“It is rare that we move NFL programming to any other studio, especially since a show like NFL 32 has a specific set built for them in Studio E,” said Sara Nasshan, a senior resource coordinator who handled the request to clear Studio E for two full days to accommodate a full camera replacement.
“The only live show in the studio was First Take, and their team was very flexible,” she said. “They agreed to move the show to Studio A on two dates to accommodate this work in Studio E. Smart timing and flexible show units help make moves like this happen.” continue reading…
A collection of ESPN’s Super Bowl champions on-set in New Orleans. (Tonya Malinowski/ESPN)
NEW ORLEANS — ESPN commentators offer their predictions for Super Bowl XLVII. Of the 35 ESPN commentator picks, 21 chose the San Francisco 49ers, while 14 selected the Baltimore Ravens as the anticipated winner:
Picking the 49ers:
Tedy Bruschi, NFL Live analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion, 28-27: “The difference is the 49ers’ offensive line. Frank Gore is the MVP.”
Frank Caliendo, comedian/impersonator and Sunday NFL Countdown contributor, 30-27: “Both teams — who have been known for their defenses — have been putting points on the board as of late, but I think the 49ers have a little more firepower — and I really just want to see how crazy [head coach] Jim Harbaugh goes if they win.”
Cris Carter, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown analyst, 31-27: “[Colin] Kaepernick’s going to run the ball a lot.”
John Clayton, ESPN.com senior NFL writer, 28-24: “With power football in vogue in this Super Bowl, the 49ers will overpower the Ravens at the end. The 49ers are deep in talent and focused, but it still wouldn’t surprise me if they need overtime to get the win.”
Trent Dilfer, Monday Night Countdown analyst and Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XXXV champion quarterback, 31-23: “As conflicted as I am having to pick between two of my former teams . . . Both move the ball. The Pistol [offense] allows the Niners to punch it in, while the Ravens are stuck kicking field goals.”
Mike Ditka, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown analyst, Super Bowl champion as player, coach, 28-24: “I like what Jim [Harbaugh] has done and how he’s built the team. If the 49ers do not get a pass rush, they will be in trouble but they have found a way to get it done all season.”
Herm Edwards, NFL Live analyst, 27-24: “The 49ers have too many options on offense that present problems for the Ravens. Even though Colin Kaepernick is young, sometimes being young and naïve in a game like this is a good thing.”
Merril Hoge, NFL Live, NFL Matchup and NFL PrimeTime analyst, 21-20: “The core of the 49ers, the offensive and defensive lines, is the best in football. Colin Kaepernick has brought focus to their offense, but it’s because they are so good in the trenches.”
Tom Jackson, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown analyst, 24-21: “In the critical area — the front line on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball — I think the 49ers have an edge.”
Keyshawn Johnson, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown analyst and Super Bowl champion, 24-17: “No one’s figured out how to stop this Pistol offense. Defenses have struggled against this offense and Kaepernick.”
Chris Mortensen, NFL senior analyst and NFL32 co-host, 31-23: “Colin Kaepernick’s composure has been the biggest surprise for me this postseason, and I don’t think he’s going to lose it on the NFL’s biggest stage.”
Jerry Rice, NFL Live analyst, Hall of Famer and three-time San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl champion, 24-17: “The Niners will have a better defense and Colin Kaepernick bringing so many different formations to the offense will present matchup problems for the Ravens.”
Ryen Russillo, co-host of ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo, 24-17: “San Francisco has been the best team all season and they will be the better team on Sunday.”
Adam Schefter, NFL Insider, 17-14: “Two throwback teams playing a throwback game in which two undrafted free agent kickers, David Akers and Justin Tucker, could decide the world championship.”
Mark Schlereth, NFL Live analyst, ESPN Radio host and three-time Super Bowl champion, 28-27: “Offensively, Colin Kaepernick — the dual-threat and read-option [QB] — will be too much.”
Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (l) caught up with former rival and NFL analyst Darren Woodson in the ESPN newsroom during a guest analyst appearance in Bristol this week. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Even in the offseason, the Washington Redskins linebacker does not like a lot of down time.
Just 10 days after the Redskins’ season ended in a 24-14 NFC Wildcard Playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Fletcher visited ESPN and appeared on various NFL shows to lend his insights.
“I really just enjoyed learning about everything that goes into producing a show,” he said.
Becoming an NFL television analyst “would be the ideal transition” as a post-playing career option, Fletcher said Thursday. He enjoyed his two-day stint on-air and appeared on SportsCenter, NFL Live and NFL32 to help ESPN bring fans more insights into the AFC and NFC Conference Championship games this weekend. continue reading…
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On Aug. 1, ESPN welcomed Jason Taylor as the newest member of its NFL analyst team.
In the Front and Center podcast, the six-time Pro Bowler talks about his new role as an NFL analyst, the time he spent on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, his thoughts on the AFC East, and the Jason Taylor Foundation. Taylor will appear on NFL Live (weekdays at 4 p.m. ET, ESPN), NFL32 (weekdays, 6 p.m., ESPN2) and SportsCenter. He’ll also make contributions to Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown throughout the season.
He may not be as agile as Spiderman, Batman or Superman, but when it comes to football and fans who want to understand the finer points of the game, there’s no one better to call than the “Caveman”.
Director of Pro Football Scouting for Scouts Inc., Gary Horton is the “Caveman.” He’s been around the game for 35 years, including 10 years as a college coach and 10 years as an NFL Scout.
Horton contributes to ESPN’s NFL coverage on a variety of platforms and is a regular on NFL32 (weekdays, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2), where the on-camera “Caveman” role has brought him some well-deserved attention.
He works year-round with ESPN’s production teams and analysts on all things NFL, from prepping telestrations to determining which demo field segments to run on Sunday NFL Countdown.
In the video above, Horton takes Front Row behind-the-scenes of NFL32 to explain how his nickname came to be.
Front Row knows you have better things to do all weekend then check your social media feeds, so we did it for you. Here, from the ESPN PR universe, are some of the Tweets, posts and other commentary you may have missed.