Well, former Tampa Bay Bucs head coach and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden is now the head man in Oakland. There has been a great deal of speculation who would take his place and the first network assignment in the post-Gruden era at ESPN was announced today.
Former NFL quarterback and present ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck will be in the booth for the Pro Bowl telecast from Orlando. He will join Monday Night Football’s Sean McDonough and reporter Lisa Salters for the network broadcast set to air on both ESPN and ABC at 3 pm. January 28.
The announcement came this morning in a statement released by the network. ESPN Senior VP, Events & Studio Production Stephanie Druley did the honors.
“Matt has experience calling games and will be a great fit alongside Sean McDonough for this Pro Bowl assignment. He is a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback with connections to many players and coaches throughout the league, and he was already scheduled to cover the game as part of our ESPN studio team.
“The process for determining our new Monday Night Football booth is already underway. We are looking at both internal and external candidates and expect to have a decision made this spring. This is one of the most high-profile and attractive positions in all of sports broadcasting so we want to take our time to ensure we make the best decision.”
Hasselbeck added: “Making the Pro Bowl is a special achievement as a player – it’s pretty humbling. But the part I enjoyed most is getting to know the best of the best in a relaxed setting. Now I get to do it again in another role. I can’t wait to call the Skills Showdown and the Pro Bowl game with Sean and Lisa.”
Meanwhile, the person that most fans would like to see join the Monday Night Football booth is Peyton Manning. He is a future Hall of Famer who has passed up network jobs but might take another look considering the high profile spot.
There have even been quite a bit of betting action on the next Monday Night Football analyst. Per the Las Vegas-based Bovada, an online sports betting site, Manning’s odds to get the much-discussed television job are 12/5. If you’re up for a $100 bet, you’d win $240.
The same $100 on Eli Manning would win you $2,000 if he’s in the booth for Week 1 of the 2018 regular season.
Here’s the full list:
Peyton Manning 12/5
Louis Riddick 4/1
Kurt Warner 4/1
Steve Young 5/1
Randy Moss 7/1
Matt Hasselbeck 8/1
Rex Ryan 9/1
Tim Tebow 9/1
Eli Manning 20/1
Boomer Esiason 20/1