SBD/April 13, 2012/Media

ESPN Announces NFL Draft Commentator Lineup, Chris Berman Set To Host Again

ESPN will air NFL Draft on April 26 and April 27 from Radio City Music Hall in N.Y.
ESPN announced Thursday the commentator lineup for the ’12 NFL Draft. Chris Berman will again host the net’s primetime coverage Thursday, April 26, and Friday, April 27, at Radio City Music Hall in N.Y. He will be joined by Mel Kiper Jr. and Jon Gruden on ESPN’s main set. Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report from an additional set at the venue, while "NFL32" host Suzy Kolber will conduct interviews on-site with draft prospects. Former Colts Vice Chair Bill Polian and "NFL Live" host Trey Wingo will appear from ESPN's HQs during the opening round. Polian will then appear on-set in N.Y. Friday and Saturday. Todd McShay will have a similar schedule, starting in Bristol and traveling to N.Y. on Days 2 and 3. ESPN’s telecast on Day 3 will feature Wingo hosting from Radio City with Kiper, McShay, Mortensen, Polian, Schefter and Trent Dilfer. Kolber will co-host from Bristol with analysts Tedy Bruschi, Herm Edwards and Ron Jaworksi (ESPN). USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand writes Polian “isn’t exactly an expert on NFL draft on-air yak.” Polian said that this will be “the first time in three decades he won’t be part of a team’s draft efforts.” He added that he “won’t hesitate to critique picks made by his old peers” (USA TODAY, 4/13). Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Jim Kleinpeter reported LSU coach Les Miles will “serve as an analyst for NFL Network’s broadcast of the draft on its final day, April 28.” Miles will also be “featured in interviews on April 26-27.” He will join host Rich Eisen and analyst Michael Irvin for the draft broadcast (NOLA.com, 4/12).

TWO-FACED
: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley wrote when watching the "Gruden’s QB Camp" segments that have been airing on "SportsCenter" lately and listening to Gruden talk to the players, “you are reminded again how much more you admire that Jon Gruden than you do the one who sits next to Mike Tirico in the ESPN ‘Monday Night Football’ booth.” The "QB Camp" Gruden “is enthusiastic, smart, sometimes smart-alecky, candid, challenging, inquisitive, precise and no-nonsense” and he “is a bit of a ham, yes.” The "QB Camp" Gruden "is a coach who is coaching and it makes for some terrific reality TV.” But on Monday nights, “for whatever reasons, Gruden decides to leave the QB Camp guy, or at least portions of him, back at the office.” Wolfley: “You do wish Gruden to become more like another blond commentator with credentials noted for his candor and generally disliked by the players he talks about -- Johnny Miller of NBC” (JSONLINE.com, 4/12).
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