Ditka, an ESPN NFL analyst since 2004 and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, played and coached for the Bears during his legendary career. In fact, he is the only individual in the NFL’s modern era to win a league championship with the same team as both a player (1963) and head coach (1985). continue reading…
Trey Wingo at the 2012 NFL Draft. (Allen Kee / ESPN Images)
NFL Live host Trey Wingo is no stranger to the NFL Draft.
He covered the event for the first time on a live ESPN web stream in 2000 before moving onto the ESPN Radio broadcast from 2001-03. Since 2004, Wingo has been a major figure in ESPN’s television coverage of the annual “NFL Player Selection Meeting.”
After doing pre-draft shows and interviews with players during Round 1 yesterday from the ESPN studios in Connecticut, Wingo drove the approximately two hours to New York City around midnight in anticipation of his weekend hosting role on ESPN’s main set at Radio City Music Hall. continue reading…
ESPN NFL Draft coverage team includes (L-R) Mel Kiper, Jr., Todd McShay, Trent Dilfer and Trey Wingo. (Allen Kee/ESPN Images)
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ESPN college football and NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay appears as a guest on the “Front & Center” podcast to discuss the 2013 NFL Draft. Providing insight on his preparation behind the scenes, McShay talks about the nearly year-long evaluation process, how he transitioned from scout to TV analyst and a possible post-Draft get-together at Fenway Park with fellow analyst Mel Kiper.
Note: This afternoon, ESPN announced its commentator team for the 2013 NFL Draft (April 25-27). McShay will be paired with host Trey Wingo, Trent Dilfer and Kiper on the main set at Radio City Music Hall on Days 2 and 3. He will also be part of draft coverage throughout Day 1 from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn.
ESPN college football and NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay reviews his notes during a recent draft. (ESPN Images)
Former NFL official Gerry Austin, who just completed his first season as ESPN’s Monday Night Football Rules Consultant, is no stranger to Super Bowl games in New Orleans.
Austin worked for the NFL from 1982-2007. During that 25-year span, he was a part of three officiating crews that called the Super Bowl, two of which were played at the Superdome, site of this weekend’s Ravens-49ers game.
Austin was a side judge for Super Bowl XXIV (San Francisco versus Denver) and the referee for Super Bowl XXXI (Green Bay versus New England). 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…
As the latest James Bond adventure, Skyfall, is set to debut in U.S. theatres this weekend, you might have noticed some familiar ESPN personalities shedding some light on all things 007.
Football analysts Desmond Howard and Trent Dilfer are featured as part of an ESPN multimedia campaign, including part of a two-page spread in the latest ESPN The Magazine. It’s the result of a multimedia collaboration between ESPN and Sony Pictures, said Ashley Smith, senior director, Creative Works, part of ESPN’s Marketing Solutions department.
“Our approach to this campaign was unique as we wanted to take our fans inside one of the most iconic franchises in pop culture history, with a perspective from two familiar ESPN analysts,” Smith said.
“ESPN and Sony riffed on the concept together developing what ultimately would be entertaining for our fans, yet what the Bond folks were comfortable revealing behind the scenes.”
With the film scheduled for a premiere during football season, Howard and Dilfer were ideal candidates to reach the action film’s target audience.
Earlier this year, they spent three days at Pinewood Studios in London. They drove the iconic Aston Martin car that Bond, portrayed by Daniel Craig, uses. They met with Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes; Dilfer met with the film’s stunt coordinator, and Howard had a chance to interview Craig’s co-stars Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe.
“My role was a lot of work,” said Howard, a longtime member of College GameDay Built By The Home Depot crew. continue reading…
The annual golf classic raises funds for the DC College Access Program (DC-CAP), a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and enabling District public and public charter high schools students to enroll and graduate from college.
ESPN attendees included analyst Magic Johnson, Stuart Scott and George Smith.
ICYMI: Highlights from the past week on Front Row
• E:60 entered the ‘wonderful world of Gronk’. Reporter Jeremy Schaapspent some quality time with New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski and his family for the feature.
• ESPN’s newest College GameDay commercial features West Virginia’s head coach and mascot along with the GameDay crew. Front Rowtalked with the Mountaineer’s mascot Jon Kimble about shooting the ad and the response it’s gotten on the Morgantown campus. continue reading…
ESPN’s Trent Dilfer will be a busy guy tonight for the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the host, Seattle Seahawks.
In addition to his TV duties for the network, Dilfer will be given the honor of raising the Seahawks’ 12th Man flag prior to kickoff at CenturyLink Field.
Trent Dilfer (NFL Photos)
“I am humbled and honored the Seahawks organization has asked me to be a part of their 12th Man flag raising ceremony,” said Dilfer, who played in Seattle for four years (2001-2004). “Seattle holds a very dear place in my heart and I will always be indebted to the organization for how it treated my family and me as we dealt with the loss of our son, Trevin.
“Some of the finest people I met in the NFL were HAWKS, and it was a privilege to wear the uniform for four years,” he said. “My only regret as a Seahawk was that I didn’t perform better on the field.” continue reading…