NFC South: Mike Tirico

Southern exposure for Week 2

September, 12, 2012
Since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing on the road Sunday, we don’t have to wait for the Thursday afternoon deadline to find out if their game will be televised locally.

Let’s turn to for our weekly look at which markets the NFC South games will be available in.

The Bucs’ 1 p.m. ET game will air live in the Tampa Bay area and throughout almost all of Florida. It also will get play in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, half of Pennsylvania and good chunks of Nevada and California. The game will be carried by FOX with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman as the announcers.

The game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers will be played at the same time. That game will be carried throughout the Southeastern states (except for Florida) and right over to the Texas border. The FOX crew for that game is Ron Pitts and Mike Martz.

The Atlanta Falcons will have the largest exposure of any NFC South team in Week 2. That’s because they’ll be hosting Denver in the Monday night contest, and that game will go out to a national and international audience on ESPN. Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will be the announcers.

Sean Payton to try television work

January, 24, 2011
Sean Payton is going to the Super Bowl after all.

The coach of the defending Super Bowl champion (and they technically still hold that title until there is a new Super Bowl winner) New Orleans Saints will join ESPN’s coverage during the week leading into Super Bowl XLV.

Payton will be part of Sports Center Special at 3 p.m. ET on the Thursday and Friday before the Super Bowl. He also will be a part of the pre-game coverage on Super Bowl Sunday. Payton will join the "Monday Night Football" team of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden from the ESPN set at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That part should be especially interesting since Gruden and Payton are close friends.

They worked as assistants together with the Philadelphia Eagles and Gruden has visited Saints’ training camp the past two preseasons to spend time with Payton and quarterback Drew Brees. By the way, Payton and Gruden have something else in common. They are the only two coaches to win Super Bowls with an NFC South team.

Gruden extends deal with MNF

November, 16, 2009
I had been thinking that Jon Gruden’s stint as a broadcaster was a one-year thing. I was sure Gruden would be back in coaching next year because I thought that’s what he loves most.

Looks like I might be totally wrong. ESPN announced this morning that Gruden has agreed to a multiyear contract extension to continue his role as an analyst on “Monday Night Football’’.

"Working with Mike [Tirico], Jaws (Ron Jaworski) and our entire 'Monday Night Football' team is the most fun I have had in years, and I am fired up to make this long-term commitment to ESPN," said Gruden. “'Monday Night Football' is special and I look forward to remaining a part of it and continuing to call these great games.”

The announcement also said Gruden will take on some additional duties, working for ESPN Radio for the Rose Bowl and Bowl Championship Series title game broadcasts.