Published October 11, 2013
CBS is veering a bit from its typical plan of attack for NFL coverage this Sunday, as three members of "The NFL Today" studio crew will venture out to various games to serve as the third man in the booth. Adding to the intrigue of the "Road Trip" is the fact that each assignment features a link to the analyst's former team -- Bill Cowher will call the Steelers-Jets game, Boomer Esiason will call Bengals-Bills and Shannon Sharpe will call Jaguars-Broncos. To fill in for the trio, CBS is having Bart Scott and Amy Trask from CBSSN's "That Other Pregame Show" make the trek across the hall at CBS' N.Y. studios to sit in with James Brown, Dan Marino and Jason La Canfora on "The NFL Today." CBS Sports Group Chair Sean McManus said despite being assigned around the country, the traveling analysts will have a "fairly major part in the pregame." McManus said the "Road Trip" idea came about more or less organically. McManus: "When we looked at the schedule, we noticed that we had games involving the former teams of three of our analysts. We just decided that it would be fun to try. We're not going to do this on a regular basis." McManus credits CBS Sports President David Berson for generating the idea to have a studio analyst hit the road. "We looked at the schedule, and we saw, 'Wait a second, there's three opportunities here.'" Is McManus worried about the analysts cheering for their former teams from the press box? He said, "I expect them to still be objective and honest in their calling of the game. Obviously, there's an emotional attachment that each one has, and everyone understands that. But they're not going to be outwardly rooting, or hopefully even inwardly rooting for their teams. If they are, we will chain them to their desks in the broadcast center for the foreseeable future, and we will never let them out of the studio again."