Daily Archives: May 18, 2009

Gruden is the new Mr. Monday night

Big NFL announcing news, with Tony Kornheiser stepping down from Monday Night Football and ex-Bucs and Raiders head coach Jon Gruden stepping in. Gruden has the energy and the knowledge to be good in the role, although his growl of a voice might sound a little funny. It’ll also be interesting to hear how he and Ron Jaworski interact, because Jaws has drifted a little too far into blowhard territory for my tastes. (I detailed full thoughts on the MNF trio and other announcing teams in this post.)

Gruden has a sense of humor and even a sarcasm that should play well on TV, as long as he doesn’t come across as condescending. But he should bring a youth and an energy to the booth right away. Plus, he’s relevant and knows the league really well, which is something that precious few announcers have now. The NFL game changes so quickly now that we need to have younger players/coaches calling games. That’s a big part of why Brian Billick was so good behind the mic in his first season. He knew the players, the personalities the strategies so much better than most other announcers, and it showed.

So Gruden as Mr. Monday Night is a great experiment for ESPN to undertake, and it has a great shot of working out.

And another thing… If you like following announcing stuff, Awful Announcing is a great clearinghouse for what’s happening.

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Filed under NFL announcers

Starks hangs it up

I’m new to this whole Twitter thing, but one of the things I like is being able to follow random people. One that I follow is agent Drew Rosenhaus, and while I sift through his propoganda about each of his clients, occasionally there’s a bit of news in there. The news I saw over the weekend was about CB Duane Starks’ retirement party. So here are some thoughts on Starks’ career; you can see how he compares to other offseason retirements in this post.

Starks was the 10th overall pick in the 1998 draft, and he ended up being a starting corner on the great Ravens defenses for four years. He never quite reached shut-down corner level, as his teammate Chris McAlister did, but he was a solid starter. He had six interceptions during Baltimore’s championship  season and added a pick-6 in Baltimore’s Super Bowl win. Starks left Baltimore for Arizona in 2002, and he bounced to New England and then Oakland after that, with injuries wreaking havoc all along the way. With 25 career interceptions, Starks had a notable career that didn’t reach greatness. But he can be proud of what he accomplished over the last 11 years.

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Filed under Football Relativity, NFL Free Agency