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NBC Hires Four New NFL Analysts

Jason Barrett

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Sports broadcasting has few sure things, but one of the annual certainties is networks bringing in a new crop of former NFL players and coaches with hopes of landing the next on-air star. This week, NBC Sports will add to the cause with a number of new hires.

The network has added longtime NFL coach Kevin Gilbride; Jason Taylor, the six-time Pro Bowl defensive end and 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year; 15-year NFL veteran Takeo Spikes; and Brian Westbrook, the two-time Pro Bowl running back for the Eagles who has worked for a couple of different broadcast outlets. All will be regulars on Pro Football Talk, the NBC Sports Network show hosted by MikeFlorio which airs at 5:30 p.m. ET every Monday through Friday. That show also has a new co-host alongside Florio: NBC has brought in former NFL Network studio host and anchor Paul Burmeister to replace Erik Kuselias.

Gilbride was part of the NFL for 27 years and was the head coach of the Chargers in 1997 and ’98. He is best known for his work as an offensive coordinator, having helped direct the Giants’ Super Bowl-winning teams in 2007 and ’11. Among the quarterbacks he worked with during his three-decade coaching tenure: Mark Brunell, Warren Moon and Eli Manning. Gilbride announced his retirement last January amidreports that he was about to lose his position with New York. He will appear Mondays and Fridays on the show.

Gilbride said on Tuesday he is not looking to go back into coaching. As is often the case for NFL television hires, Gilbride found a broadcast agent (Maury Gofstrand), who reached out to sports television executives (in this case NBC’s Dan Steir, Senior Vice President, Production & Senior Coordinating Producer, NBC Sports Group) about employment. They met for lunch a couple of months ago and consummated a deal.

“This is something I wanted to transition into,” Gilbride said on Tuesday. “I didn’t want to get out of football completely. I wanted to come home [he and his wife live in Rhode Island] and stay involved in the game and continue to study and stay abreast of the new developing trends. I’ve always enjoyed the Xs and Os aspect of it.

“I certainly feel I can give a valid critique of what took place in a game, explain why and what the thinking was with players and coaches, or why that mistake occurred. I will have no difficulty in judging whether something was a good or bad decision and maybe even offer some alternatives on other ideas. People just see the behavior, the action. But what has always been fascinating to me is what are the causes that led to that behavior.”

For more news on stories like this visit Richard Deitsch on SI where this article was originally published

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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