Touchdown Reception: ESPN Hires Jerry Rice For NFL Coverage
ESPN has hired Pro Football HOFer Jerry Rice as an analyst for several of its NFL programs, with a formal announcement "made later this week," according to Richard Deitsch of SI.com. Rice will appear on "NFL Live," "SportsCenter" and "Audibles," a new show that "will air weekly this fall on Thursday nights." Rice is "scheduled to start at ESPN on Sept. 15 and will be based on the West Coast." Rice previously has co-hosted "Sports Sunday" on S.F.'s KNTV-NBC after 49ers games last season, and he also "served as an analyst for BBC Television's coverage of the NFL and co-hosted an afternoon show on Sirius NFL Radio." Deitsch noted Rice's hire is the "latest -- and by far the biggest name -- in a flurry of NFL moves by ESPN this month." The additions of former NFLers Hugh Douglas and Damien Woody and former Browns and Jets coach Eric Mangini were announced last week (SI.com, 8/8). Newsday's Neil Best wrote on Twitter, "Does new CBA promise retired players ESPN jobs?"
SIGNAL CALLER: Former NFLer Kurt Warner has signed a multiyear extension to serve as an analyst exclusively for NFL Network. Warner will join the net's "NFL GameDay Morning" Sunday pregame show, "NFL Total Access" and "Thursday Night Football" on-location pregame, halftime and postgame shows this season. He will also continue to serve as an in-studio analyst for "NFL Total Access" (NFL Network). SI.com's Peter King wrote, "It'll be interesting to see more of Kurt Warner this fall. ... Warner can't lie. He's not always compelling, but he'll always tell the truth." King added, "He won't succumb to the macho talk about sucking it up and staying in the game when hurt. He'll side with players, particularly on head injuries, because that's one of the big reasons he left the game" (SI.com, 8/8).