If there’s one person in the sports media world that might have the most knowledge about Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and his future plans, it would be FOX NFL analyst and one of the hosts of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, Peter Schrager.
Last summer, Schrager hosted a podcast with McVay called The Flying Coach, part of The Ringer network, in which the two of them talked to different coaches around the league for the bulk of those episodes.
On Wednesday’s GMFB, Schrager was asked to give his take on the rumors that McVay could leave coaching to join the broadcast booth in the future:
“We did a podcast this summer that was 10 episodes of us interviewing other head coaches,” Schrager said. “Sean loved it. He had a bite at the apple at doing this and just talking and hosting. The TV stuff is very real. There is a place for him on TV in the future.”
“A lot of these networks are in a transitional phase. Al [Michaels] might have called his last game for NBC Sunday Night… Troy [Aikman], his contract with FOX is up in the air right now… Sean Payton is now in the pool, whether it be a studio show or whether it be in the booth. Amazon might have plans to, ‘here’s what our studio show will look like, here’s what our booth will look like.’ If Sean McVay enters the fray, you can tear it all down and start all over because I think McVay is the number one hire for all of these networks.”
Schrager acknowledged that the idea of doing TV in the future is appealing to McVay. However, in terms of maybe leaving the Rams in the immediate future, the current quarterback may be the one player that keeps the Super Bowl winning coach on the sideline for now.
“He’s fresh, he’s 36, he wants to do this thing and he’s coming off of a Super Bowl championship,” said Schrager. “So, there is this TV allure and there is this great pull to him where there are offers going to be made. He can make more money on TV than he is making right now coaching the Rams and it is a far easier job… It’s very appealing and I don’t think the door is shut on any of that stuff.”
“I will also say this, he helped lure Matthew Stafford there. He wanted Stafford. I don’t think he would ditch Stafford unless they had a really long conversation about that. The rest of the team, the organization, that’s whatever. It’s not about leverage and money. I think Stafford is the key piece. I don’t see him leaving until him and Stafford have a long talk… It won’t be decided this week or the next couple of weeks, but I think Stafford is the key point.”
If I could recommend one listen for a podcast, it would be to check out the two-part episode that McVay and Schrager did with Troy Aikman as they dove into some broadcasting topics in addition to talking about the game. On Part one, McVay said it was easy to talk football in the production meeting with Aikman because he asks the right questions:
“To Troy’s credit, there comes a level of respect when you can tell whether you are a coach or a player, the good ones, they’re all working at it. The production meetings are always the easiest to me when you are working with the guys that you can tell they are putting the work in and are asking the right type of questions. The week in preparation, there is a level of trust that exists, but there’s also a level of respect. I’m a fan of football and say how unique an opportunity it is to talk ball with Troy Aikman and Jimmie Johnson.”
Kentucky Derby Rebounds With 16 Million Viewers
“The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.”
The Kentucky Derby has now eclipsed 15 million viewers in each of the last eight years that the event was not effected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. An average audience of 16 million tuned in Saturday to see longshot Rich Strike win the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
The Derby saw its best numbers since 2019 on Saturday. The audience peaked at 19 million.
During the weekend, the event kept finding new life on social media. According to an NBC Sports press release, the overhead shot of the final call drew big audiences across a number of the network’s digital platforms, having been viewed in total more than 36 million times.
Peacock also cashed in on the event’s success. The streaming platform posted an average minute audience of over 247,000 viewers during the Kentucky Derby.
ESPN Releases Details For Joe Buck’s PGA Championship Broadcast
“Michael Collins will serve as Buck’s co-host.”
Omaha Productions and ESPN are getting ready for the PGA Championship. News broke last week that Joe Buck would make his ESPN debut at the center of alternative coverage of the event. Now the network is sharing a few details of the broadcast.
Michael Collins will serve as Buck’s co-host. ESPN’s senior golf analyst will bring the perspective of a former caddie to the broadcast as well as the humor of a former comedian.
The duo will welcome plenty of guests too. The lineup suggests that while the broadcast will be built around golf, the conversations could go anywhere. Troy Aikman, Josh Allen, Charles Barkley, Doris Burke, Fred Couples, Jon Hamm, and Peyton & Eli Manning are all scheduled to make appearances.
“We loved doing Monday Night Football with ESPN and the entire Omaha team has been looking forward to producing alternate telecasts that celebrate other sports,” Peyton Manning said in a press release. “As one of golf’s majors, the PGA Championship is a perfect place to do our first one for golf and we look forward to working with Joe, Michael and everyone in ESPN’s golf team.”
Joe Buck and Michael Collins will be on TV for all four days of the PGA Championship. They will be on for four hours each day. The broadcast will alternate between ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+ depending on where the traditional coverage of the event is airing.
The PGA Championship with Joe Buck & Michael Collins is the latest offering from ESPN’s deal with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions. The company has also committed to produce alternate coverage of MMA and college football broadcasts in the future.
Tom Brady To Join FOX At End Of Career
“Whether or not Tom Brady is great on TV remains to be seen. What is certain is that the network just added star power that is unmatched amongst other networks that carry NFL games.”
Tom Brady won’t be in the booth this season for FOX, but he will be there eventually. The network’s PR account tweeted that as soon as Brady is ready to call it a career, he will join Kevin Burkhardt to call the biggest game on the network’s slate each week.
“We are delighted that Tom has committed to joining the Fox team and wish him all the best during this upcoming season,” FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement.
FOX has made no secret of its desire to bring Brady aboard. The network has been courting him ever since he announced his retirement in February. The desire to pair him with Burkhardt was first reported in March by Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.
This news raises questions about the future for a lot of the parties involved. First, who will be Burkhardt’s partner this season? Tom Brady has committed to play for the Buccaneers. Next, what does this mean for the quarterback’s future? Does this guarantee that 2022 will be his final season in the NFL? Finally, what now for Greg Olsen? He had been Burkhardt’s partner last season and has expressed interest in continuing to work together.
All of those answers will be addressed in time. Right now, FOX is busy celebrating.
Whether or not Tom Brady is great on TV remains to be seen. What is certain is that the network just added star power that is unmatched amongst other networks that carry NFL games.
That is going to cost them too. Andrew Marchand of The New York Post has a full salary breakdown for Brady. He will get $375 million over the course of ten years. Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, FOX’s former top NFL play-by-play team, will make a combined $33 million per year at ESPN. Brady’s annual salary will top that number on its own.
FOX’s deal with Tom Brady is similar to the one NBC made with Drew Brees before his final season in New Orleans. It allowed the quarterback one more season and promised him a nice landing spot in the media when his playing days are done. We will have to wait and see whether or not FOX will end up waiting longer than the one season NBC did.