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Thursday, September 15, 2011
Nantz & Simms get the call

By Mike Reiss

Sunday's game between the Patriots and Chargers will be broadcast on CBS, with Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (analysis) on the call. CBS' top pairing is no stranger to Patriots' games, as they called eight of them last year.

Simms, a personal favorite, was a guest on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Thursday, speaking with the midday "Gresh & Zo" Show. Audio of the interview can be heard here, with Simms asked to compare tight end Rob Gronkowski to Simms' former teammate, Mark Bavaro.

"Gronkowski is just a monster, he's so big," Simms said on the show. "The things they have in common -- great hands, the ability to maneuver to catch it, and extremely sneaky speed. I'll never forget the first time I saw Gronkowski -- I went 'OK, big, probably going to be a slow, stiff tight end. Then I watched him and I went, 'he's not what I expected here.'"

Simms shared other observations:

1. Deion Branch looks faster than last year.
2. Both tight ends look more dynamic and better than last year.
3. Wes Welker was so quick in the season opener, he could have had 300 yards.
4. Surprise that Chad Ochocinco hasn't clicked in the offense just yet.

A look at this year's broadcast teams on Patriots games:

at Dolphins: Mike Tirico/Ron Jaworski/Jon Gruden (ESPN)
vs. Chargers: Nantz/Simms (CBS)