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Greg Olsen Knows ‘There’s a Lot of Things I Need to Improve At’

“My problem is — and this was also something when I was a player — you see so much that you find interesting.”

Ricky Keeler

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Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen has been successful in the early stages of his broadcast career at FOX. Despite the success, Olsen knows there are things he still needs to improve at to continue to be better.

On the latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina, Olsen told Traina that there are some things he is still learning, especially on the technical side of the broadcast.

“There’s a lot of things I know I need to improve at. Even just some of the technical processes of the cameras and what they are called and the communication to the booth. A lot of that stuff I’m still kind of learning.”

As Olsen is calling the game with Kevin Burkhardt in the A booth, the former tight end knows that he finds a lot of things fascinating about football that he has to narrow down how much he talks about on a particular play.

“My problem is — and this was also something when I was a player — you see so much that you find interesting. On any given play, it could be a 25-yard pass completion down the middle. The easy thing to point out is great throw by Patrick Mahomes and what a great catch by Travis Kelce. I’m always in the belief like ‘No shit, everyone at home saw that’. What element to why that was a good play can you provide the audience? The problem is do you want to pick what they did to the coverage, do you want to find the back who did a good job in pass protection.”

When Olsen tries to figure out what aspect of the play to talk about, be tries to tell himself not to overload the viewer with too much information.

“There’s so many aspects as to why plays are or are not successful. Sometimes when you see 3-4 of them. I need to be better at picking one. If you don’t get your second-most important thought, you have the entire rest of the game to share that with the viewer when it’s relevant again. I’m so excited about the game of football.

“It’s something I’ve lived and breathed and done my whole life that I want everyone else to really enjoy and learn and share, but you also don’t get to talk over the entire broadcast. It’s not the Manningcast where everyone is there to listen to you…That’s something that I’m in a constant battle with myself to not go information overload.”

Olsen did say to Traina that he feels his experience as a tight end can provide a different type of analysis that he thinks the viewer has come to enjoy.

“I feel my experience playing the position that I did for as long as I did and the way I learned the game, the way I’ve been around the game leads to a different broadcast. We’re talking about different things than just the guy throwing it and catching it. I feel like people have come to like that. I think people that tune in to our games come to expect a little bit of a different analysis.

“I don’t shy away from that. I’m not a quarterback, but that’s okay….I would argue tight end maybe more so than any position on the team was taught and learned and we studied the game from all different unique perspectives from pass protection to offensive line meetings to route running.”

Sports TV News

Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Sports TV News

Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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Sports TV News

No Conspiracy Behind ESPN Monday Night Playoff Game Selection

“The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN has only carried NFL playoff games on Monday night for two seasons but has been a part of wild card weekends dating back to the 2014-15 campaign.

With the exception of one season, a 4-seed versus 5-seed matchup has always been covered by the Monday Night Football broadcast team in that stretch of nine seasons. That continued with Cowboys/Bucs this year.

In 2021-22, with the NFL expanding the playoff field to seven teams, the first Monday night playoff game was played. The Rams cruised past the Cardinals 34-11.

Last week, the decision was the source of much speculation. TV executives shared a number of theories about why ESPN landed the game that had the most star power in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote that no speculation was necessary. The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience. The new format, the games that have a likelihood of altering seeding for the divisional rounds have already been played.

The 4/5 games this weekend proved to be pretty entertaining. The Jaguars rallied from down 27 to beat the Chargers. Al Michaels and Tony Dungy were ripped on social media for how they called a particularly exhilarating game for NBC. So it turns out Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would’ve called either one of the weekend’s best games.

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