Former NFL head coach Bill Parcells and Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice are officially joining ESPN as NFL analysts, the World Wide Leader announced. Parcells, who most recently served as an executive with the Dolphins, will make his 2011 debut on next week’s Monday Night Countdown. He has worked as an analyst for ESPN on several occasions in the past, in between coaching and executive positions with Dallas and Miami. The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach will reunite with Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, and Chris Mortensen on Countdown. During the season he will make regular Sunday NFL Countdown appearances and contribute a pair of SportsCenter Special shows, Super Bowl Confidential and Draft Confidential, similar to the 90-minute Bill Parcells Draft Confidential from earlier this year.
Gotta admit, Parcells is good TV, and should be insightful and biting with his commentary, not least because he must be done with working in NFL front offices at this point. Right? I mean, he’s retired, just like Brett Favre.
Monday’s preseason game features the Jets, who Parcells led to the 1998 AFC Championship Game, and the Texans. The premiere of regular-season MNF features the Jets and the Dolphins, who Parcells recently left in tip-top shape. He’s beloved by Miami fans.
“Over my years in football, I’ve had the good fortune of building terrific relationships with some of the folks at ESPN,” Parcells said. “Some of them are familiar faces to the viewers and some are smart and talented people behind the scenes. I look forward to working with many of those same people again and sharing my opinions and perspective with viewers throughout the NFL season.”
Rice, who holds NFL records for receptions, touchdown receptions and receiving yards, is scheduled to start his duties on Sept. 15. He will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter and ESPN’s Audibles show, which will air Thursday nights this fall. On Audibles, Rice will be banter with his former Niners teammate Steve Young.
“I am excited to begin this new chapter of my life working for ESPN as an NFL analyst, ” Rice said. “Throughout my career, I recognized ESPN was the best place to go for NFL information and analysis and I am honored to join their great team. For my part, I am going to work as hard as humanly possible to bring viewers the best insights and opinions on issues around the league.”
Parcells and Rice join Eric Mangini, Hugh Douglas and Damien Woody as recent additions to ESPN’s NFL coverage.
“Bill Parcells and Jerry Rice are two of the NFL’s all-time greats and have five Super Bowl rings between them,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “They are among the most respected names in the game, and we’re thrilled fans will have the opportunity to hear their insights as part of ESPN’s comprehensive NFL coverage.”