Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Dungy joins NBC's Sunday studio show

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- An understated coach and an outspoken safety are adding their voices to NBC's Sunday night NFL studio show.

The network said Wednesday that Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison are joining "Football Night in America" as analysts.

Dungy
Dungy

Dungy retired from the Indianapolis Colts after this past season, capping a career in which he became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl. Harrison announced his retirement from the New England Patriots earlier Wednesday. The hard-hitting safety was a two-time Pro Bowl pick.

Dungy earned the Lombardi Trophy in 2006, when the Colts beat the Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI, which took place in Miami. Dungy coached for 13 years in the NFL -- seven years with the Colts, in which he amassed an 85-27 record, and six years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in which he had a 54-42 record.

Harrison, who played college football at Western Illinois University, played for 15 years in the NFL, nine with the Chargers. He then moved to the New England Patriots in 2003 and won two Super Bowls with that team.

Both men appeared on NBC's Super Bowl pregame coverage earlier this year.

Dungy's classy reputation might make it harder to imagine him ripping coaches and players.

"You think that because he's such a nice guy. But he can do it subtly," Colts center Jeff Saturday said. "I think he'll make his point with guys he thinks are underperforming."

Dungy proved willing to be frank on a conference call Wednesday, questioning new Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's maturity and opining that Chicago acquired him specifically to beat the rival Green Bay Packers.

"He's a very talented guy who can throw the ball very well, but quarterbacking is so much about leadership and so much about doing things under pressure," Dungy said. "There is going to be a lot of pressure on him in Chicago because he's been viewed as the missing piece of the puzzle to get them back to the Super Bowl.

"We'll see about the maturity level. That is what I would question, and some of the things that happened leading to him leaving Denver. That would concern me as a coach."

Dungy also talked about former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, with whom he met last month at a federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan. If he were running a team and needed a quarterback, Dungy said, "I would not be afraid of his past."

"I think he deserves it and think if he gets a second chance, he will do well," Dungy said. "And I think we'll see a different Michael Vick off the field."

Dungy left coaching to devote more time to his family and charitable work, so he doubted he would have time for a TV gig. But NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol assured him that the job would require only a weekend commitment, leaving Dungy free to attend his son's high school football games on Friday nights.

Ebersol said he had come to believe that lacking a former coach in the studio was a "glaring weakness" of NBC's pregame show. The format also will undergo other changes, he said. More time will be spent on analysis, especially of the upcoming "Sunday Night Football" game, and less on highlights.

Tiki Barber will serve as an on-site reporter at games. Cris Collinsworth already departed the studio show to replace John Madden in the booth.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.