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Todd McShay Says He Will Never Steal Mel Kiper Jr’s Job

“Although the debates between the two about draft prospects can get heated on occasion, McShay mentioned how Kiper has been a major support system for him.”

Ricky Keeler

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With the 2020-21 NFL season now in the books, the focus will soon go towards the NFL Draft in April. That means more people will be reading and analyzing mock drafts from Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. over at ESPN. This week, McShay released his second mock draft of 2021. 

Before that was released on Tuesday, McShay joined Marty Smith on the Marty Smith’s America: The Podcast to talk about the Super Bowl as well as the path that got McShay to ESPN. Both Smith and McShay joined ESPN back in 2006. 

Shortly after McShay got to ESPN, he got a call from executives in Bristol asking if he was interested in joining Mel Kiper Jr. on TV to debate the upcoming draft. The thing is, ESPN actually called him before they called Kiper.

Although the debates between the two about draft prospects can get heated on occasion, McShay mentioned how Kiper has been a major support system for him. 

“The thing about Kiper and I, the real story is we get hostile with each other once-in-a-while. But it’s like with your buddy who you are having a legitimate fight with and two seconds later, you are over with. He has been probably the top 2 or 3 people at ESPN in terms of supporting my career throughout and nobody knows that. The bottom line is for as much bickering as we do back-and-forth, he has always had my corner from Day 1. 

“He’s Mel Kiper. He’s the institution. He’s never had to worry about some young punk stealing his job and he’s acted with that confidence the entire time. He has always been in my corner and I will never forget what he’s done for me.” 

McShay’s early claim to fame was when he was helping Sporting News with their draft guide as a part of The War Room. The one thing that put McShay on the map, he revealed, came in the early 2000s. Before the draft that year, he had a higher evaluation than most on a certain seven-time Super Bowl champion.

“I graduated in 1999. I got an internship in ’98 with this guy named Gary Horton (worked for ESPN for a long time). He had started this company called the War Room that turned into Scouts Inc. I was making 12,000 calls my first year coming out of college. For the first 2 years, I studied tape and we wound up doing for Sporting News, a draft guide.

“At the time, I gave him [Tom Brady] a 3rd round grade and said he was the most underrated player coming out of that year’s draft. That got attention and helped my career at that point. I thought he was better than people thought he was, but I still gave him a 3rd Round pick, so I can’t take a lot of credit.”

You can catch McShay on the coverage of Trevor Lawrence’s Pro Day at Clemson on Friday beginning at 10 a.m ET on the ACC Network. 

Sports TV News

Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Sports TV News

Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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Sports TV News

No Conspiracy Behind ESPN Monday Night Playoff Game Selection

“The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN has only carried NFL playoff games on Monday night for two seasons but has been a part of wild card weekends dating back to the 2014-15 campaign.

With the exception of one season, a 4-seed versus 5-seed matchup has always been covered by the Monday Night Football broadcast team in that stretch of nine seasons. That continued with Cowboys/Bucs this year.

In 2021-22, with the NFL expanding the playoff field to seven teams, the first Monday night playoff game was played. The Rams cruised past the Cardinals 34-11.

Last week, the decision was the source of much speculation. TV executives shared a number of theories about why ESPN landed the game that had the most star power in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote that no speculation was necessary. The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience. The new format, the games that have a likelihood of altering seeding for the divisional rounds have already been played.

The 4/5 games this weekend proved to be pretty entertaining. The Jaguars rallied from down 27 to beat the Chargers. Al Michaels and Tony Dungy were ripped on social media for how they called a particularly exhilarating game for NBC. So it turns out Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would’ve called either one of the weekend’s best games.

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