Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

BSM Writers

Jason Garrett Has Work To Do If He Is Going To Be As Good As NBC Says He Is

“There had been plenty of hype around him. Maybe that upped my expectations.”

Avatar photo

Published

on

blank

The new edition of the USFL is another place where players can showcase their talent to hopefully impress an NFL team. This rebirth of the league is a place for broadcasters and analysts to showcase themselves for next-level jobs too. The stakes are relatively low, meaning the audience isn’t sitting around waiting for the USFL games like they would on an NFL Sunday. Mistakes can be made, made again, and then corrected. Just like for the players, the announcers are getting reps. 

Count former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett among the ones getting those precious reps. He and Jac Collinsworth make up the top broadcast team of the USFL on NBC. Garrett has seen it all in football. Coordinating producer Matt Marvin told The New York Post that he expects fans to like what Garrett has to say

“I think his passion and relatability came across during rehearsals,” Marvin said. “Jason has been a quarterback, head coach, coordinator and a position coach in the NFL, so his football knowledge is unparalleled, but he displayed the ability to put things in terms that we could all understand. He also has a tremendous energy that you can really pick up on. Football has been such a big part of his life and that is reflected in the way he calls the game.”

You’d think he has a unique perspective on the game, but does it translate to television? Well, early on, I’m not so sure. It’s not an easy move from the field to the booth, to say the least. It takes some work and work is needed in this case. 

“There’s a lot of stuff that goes into being an announcer. And obviously, I don’t have a ton of experience with that, but I was just trying to have some fun up there,“ Jason Garrett explained to 105.3 The Fan after the opening game of the USF season.

It’s true, not just anyone can hang up the coaching headset and trade it in for a broadcasting headset.

“There’s definitely a lot of mechanics to go with the rhythm and the timing to get comfortable with that,” he told 105.3 The Fan. “I do believe football sets up well and that you have a play-by-play guy who describes the actions then the color guy jumps in. Trying to get the feel for each other.”

He and Collinsworth had never worked together before. They did a couple of rehearsals in Stamford, Connecticut to get ready, but it’s hard to replicate the real thing in a studio. There is so much more that goes on in the booth and during a real telecast. Something not lost on Garrett now. 

“You got to get used to the producer talking to you. Got to get used to understanding where my eyes should go – to the field or the monitor or to the replay? All of that, and then hopefully being able to share something insightful for the viewer. So, you just kind of work through all those different mechanical things.”

With all that said, I watched the NBC telecast of the game between the New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits last weekend. I was not all that impressed. The production value is good. But there’s a lot going on. We hear random voices of coaches calling in plays to the quarterback, live mics on the field picking up trash talk and that’s on top of the play-by-play and commentary. 

Back to Garrett. He was like a fish out of water. He looked stiff during the open, was talking in very choppy sentences and seemed to be trying too hard and thinking too much.

I wasn’t sure why I would have expected better from a first-year guy. There had been plenty of hype around him. Maybe that upped my expectations. 

I get the fact that this is new to him. It’s also just the second real game he’s done with Collinsworth. To be honest, Collinsworth didn’t do Garrett many favors.

Early in the game the analyst barely spoke. He wasn’t jumping in when there were obvious spots for him to do so and it sounded weird. Collinsworth didn’t seem to be paying attention to it, even when Garrett wasn’t reacting to questions designed to bring him into the conversation.  We went through the lineups, first down, and second down without hearing the analyst. Finally, after the 2nd down play, Garrett chimed in for the first time. 

Fans of the Cowboys often said that Garrett spoke in clichés and never showed a ton of emotion while coaching. He clapped his hands a lot according to all the memes I saw when researching this column.

Why do I mention it? Because a lot of the early commentary offered very little insight. There wasn’t much that I couldn’t have found out by reading each team’s game notes.

It almost sounded like he was offering up coach speak at a press conference after a game. “3rd and 3 ain’t easy,” the Breakers’ quarterback was, “getting better each and every day,” oh and he was also playing “at a high level”. The Bandits’ secondary needed to “shore up their coverability”. Those were just a few of the cliches that Jason Garrett said during the broadcast.

He also had a nervous laugh throughout the broadcast. It wasn’t a full belly laugh; it was that type where you’re not exactly sure what is so funny. He also used “WOW!” several times. That’s not expert analysis.

I could see the play and think to myself “WOW!” but why was it a “WOW!” play? Give me a little something here. 

As the game went on, Garrett seemed to be warming up a bit. But he went from 0 to 60 faster than a Lamborghini. Starting in the 2nd quarter, Garrett started to feel it a bit and wasn’t waiting as long to jump in to fill those spaces he needed to fill. There was a little more emotion.

The only problem was that he started talking over things, like the referee’s calls and even over Jac Collinsworth. He worked both sides of the extreme in just a quarter of action. He was starting to feel more comfortable later in the 2nd half. He was getting wordy though.

Garrett was taking too long to make his point and was still talking about a replay when the telecast returned to live action. There has to be a good balance. Not all of it was Garrett’s fault completely. 

You could also tell that Jason Garrett was working with a less experienced play-by-play guy. Collinsworth, and the producer quite frankly, could have helped him early on. Set him up. Put him in positions where he doesn’t have to really think about what to say and just be natural. I’m not an advocate for the announcer interviewing his analyst, but sometimes that’s what it takes early on to get that analyst comfortable. Bring him in more early in the game. Get him into the flow in the first quarter and the rest will take care of itself. 

I would have liked to have heard much more about his perspectives on the game. How does he view it as a coach or even as a former player? There were a few times he started to go that direction when talking about New Orleans quarterback Kyle Sloter, who was playing with a groin injury. Jason Garrett started to talk about just how difficult that is for a QB. He told the audience how the injury affected his drop back and his side-to-side movement. He didn’t come back to that at all though. I understand overkill, but this was something he had experienced. Give me some insight! Teach me something! Give me a reason to be amazed at what Sloter was doing!

Garrett is a smart guy. He played quarterback at Princeton and Columbia. He suited up for four different NFL teams. He played in the World League of American Football and the Canadian Football League. Garrett was a head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He is the son of a football coach.

My point? There are plenty of experiences he could be drawing from. He’s probably forgotten more about football than most people watching the broadcast even don’t know that they don’t know. Garrett needs to use these experiences to better tell the story about what he is seeing on the field.

He’s not a coach right now, so there is no need for him to be buttoned-up in his commentary. There are no press conferences, he’s not making the decisions on the field. I’d like to see him loosen up a bit and have some fun. Coaches are used to wearing a loss. When they become broadcasters, they can put the headset down and go to dinner when a bad game is over. 

Jason Garrett has to find what works for him. There are a lot of examples of former coaches that have gotten into the broadcasting realm. He shouldn’t try to copy them, but figure out his niche. He doesn’t have the personality of Jon Gruden or John Madden, and that’s fine. Garrett should start with just being himself and using his knowledge of the game to bring the viewer some insight.

Once Garrett lets his guard down and lets himself get into the flow of the game he’ll be fine just telling the viewers what he is seeing. Until then, he’s just that persona he created as the former Cowboys coach – bland, speaking a lot and saying nothing. I hope that changes soon. 

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

Published

on

blank

Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

Published

on

blank

On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.