ESPN did not make a lot of a splash in naming its new “Monday Night time Soccer” saying crew for 2020. But when it was capable of lure Sean McVay from the sidelines to the published sales space, it will have.
The New York Submit’s Andrew Marchand experiences that ESPN talked to McVay about taking on as “MNF’s” lead coloration commentator every time his head-coaching days with the Rams are over. In courting McVay, the community was Jon Gruden’s one-time protege to be the subsequent Jon Gruden on tv.
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Gruden was 45 and had coached within the NFL for 11 years with the Raiders and Buccaneers earlier than being employed by ESPN in 2009. He had a Tremendous Bowl ring and had simply come off being fired. Throughout his nine-season run on “MNF,” his soccer information and folksy persona was a giant hit, to the purpose that he as soon as was the community’s highest-paid worker.
McVay turned solely 34 this 12 months and is into his fourth 12 months teaching the Rams, the crew he took to the Tremendous Bowl solely two seasons in the past. There is not any sense that he is burning out or not having fun with what he likes to do most. Marchand experiences that ESPN needed to easily plant the seed of hiring him sooner or later, close to or distant.
For the reason that successful duo of Gruden and Mike Tirico, ESPN has struggled to get the perfect marquee mixture for “MNF.” When Tirico left, Gruden did not have the identical chemistry with Sean McDonough. Then Gruden went again to teaching the Raiders. Then got here the Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten disappointment, which gave solution to the Tessitore-Booger McFarland catastrophe.
This season, ESPN has elevated its former backup “MNF” crew of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick to first string. Previous successes of faculty soccer and studio work ought to clear up a few of the mess, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not essentially the most marquee lineup for Monday nights.
With no Peyton Manning in play, Tony Romo being locked up by CBS and Drew Brees already lined up for NBC, the youthful, winsome Gruden-derivative McVay made sense as a goal.
Whereas it is true that McVay that would have a a lot increased nationwide profile on “Monday Night time Soccer” vs. teaching Jared Goff and a Los Angeles crew with a restricted fan base, he is in the suitable place, a minimum of for proper now.