ESPN’s NFL Studio Shows Getting New Digs

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN;s NFL pre-game shows are moving in together.

Monday Night Countdown and Sunday NFL Countdown will now air from a climate-controlled rooftop studio in New York City.  The move is the result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Additionally, ESPN’s NBA Countdown will originate from the studio, which gives its hosts a clear view of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, and Brooklyn Heights.

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown aired live from ESPN’s Bristol, CT studios in seasons past while Monday Night Countdown aired on site weekly from the site of each of ESPN’s featured weekly games.

The gang will be back together on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown‘s.  Tedy Bruschi, Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss and Rex Ryan will return for the weekly broadcast.  host Sam Ponder will also return to host.  This year will mark her fourth year as the show’s anchor and her 10th year covering the NFL with ESPN.

Along with the studio talent, reporters Sal Paolantonio, Kimberley A. Martin, Dianna Russini, Ed Werder, Jeff Darlington, and Dan Graziano will all return for this season’s broadcasts.  They will be on site at various NFL stadiums throughout the season.  Paolantonio recently celebrated his 25th year with ESPN.

The reporters’ assignments for Week 1 of the 2020 season are noted below.

  • Paolantonio – Philadelphia at Washington
  • Graziano – Miami at New England
  • Russini – Green Bay at Minnesota
  • Martin – Cleveland at Baltimore
  • Darlington – Tampa Bay at New Orleans
  • Werder – Dallas at Los Angeles Rams

While fans can expect to see plenty of familiar faces on Sunday NFL CountdownMonday Night Countdown will have at least one new face this season.  Two-time Super BowlChampion Booger Mcfarland will join Randy Moss and three-time Super Bowl champion/Super Bowl MVP/Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee Steve Young for that program.

Host Suzy Kolber returns to host the show for her fourth consecutive season.  ESPN Insider Adam Schefter will also return as a regular.

ESPN’s season premiere of Monday Night Countdown will preview the Steelers/Giants – Titans/Broncos double header schedule that will open the network’s annual Monday Night Football schedule.  The schedule launches Sept. 14.

More information on ESPN’s new NFL studio is available online now along with all of the network’s latest NFL headlines at:






To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Rex Ryan Joins ESPN’s ‘Sunday NFL Countdown’ Broadcast Team

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN added a big name to its NFL broadcast team Monday.

Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan was announced as the newest addition ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown broadcast team Monday. Ryan will make his debut as a full-time member of ESPN’s roster this Saturday, April 8 at 3 p.m. ET as he calls Florida State University’s spring game in Tallahassee, Fla.

While his addition is the latest to ESPN’s NFL broadcast ranks, Ryan is no stranger to ESPN as an on-air figure.  He served as a guest analyst for ESPN during the network’s Postseason NFL Countdown on Super Bowl Sunday in Houston in February.

Seth Markman, senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s NFL studio shows, said Ryan’s matter-of-fact personality and his knowledge of the game made him a good fit for the network’s NFL studio shows.

“Rex is authentic – what you see if what you get, and that will be great for our viewers on Sunday NFL Countdown,” Markman said.  “We also look forward to the insight and perspective he will bring to the show as an NFL coach who has worked in the league for two decades.”

Ryan was upbeat as he discussed making the next move in his career.

“This is going to be a new experience for me and I am really excited about it,” Ryan said.  “I’ve been a coach for 30 years and I’ve been around football my entire life.  I’m passionate about the game – just like the fans are, and I’ve coached in the league for a long time, so that’s the perspective I will bring to ESPN.  I’m just going to show up and be myself and have fun with it.”

Ryan’s most recent NFL credentials include coaching the Buffalo Bills during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.  Before that, he served as head coach of the New York Jets from 2009 – 2014.  He led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances during his tenure in New York.

He spent nine seasons as an NFL assistant with the Baltimore Ravens, winning a Super Bowl Championship with the team at Super Bowl XXXV.  From 2005 – ’08, he served as the team’s defensive coordinator.

The son of legendary NFL coach Buddy Ryan, Rex was also honored in 2006 as the Assistant Coach of the Year by Pro Football Weekly magazine and the Pro Football Writers Association.

Along with his appearances on Sunday NFL Countdown, Ryan will also contribute to ESPN’s flagship news program SportsCenter and on ESPN Radio broadcasts and more.

More information on Rex Ryan’s addition to ESPN’s NFL studio shows is available online now at:









To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Colts, Jets Wrap Week Two In The NFL

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Week Two of the NFL’s 2015 – 2016 season is officially under way. It kicked off Thursday night with the Chiefs falling to the Broncos in Kansas City. Sunday will be even busier with fourteen games on tap. And thanks to an announcement made by officials with ESPN, football fans now know where week two will wind down next Monday.

Officials with the worldwide leader in sports announced this week that its weekly Monday Night Football broadcast, which finishes each week of the NFL season, will come live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana as the Colts host the Jets in an AFC showdown. The Jets will come in to Sunday’s game fresh off of a Week One win over the Cleveland Browns while the host Colts will look to get their first win of the season after falling to Buffalo 27 – 14 in Rex Ryan’s debut as the Bills’ head coach. Mike Tirico will have the call for Monday night’s game. He will be joined in the booth by his MNF co-host Jon Gruden. Lisa Salters will also be on hand for additional commentary and news. Kickoff for Monday night’s game is currently scheduled for 8:15pm ET.

Ahead of Monday night’s broadcast of MNF, Chris Berman and Suzy Kolber will co-host ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown beginning at 6pm ET. Berman will be live at ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Ct alongside NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Johnson along with Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis, and Steve Young will join Suzy Kolber live from Lucas Oil Stadium.

Those that won’t be near a TV Monday night can catch the game live online via WatchESPN. The game will also be simulcast on TV in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. More information on Monday Night Football is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:



To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

ESPN Announces MNF Pre-Season Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Spring is one of the greatest times of the year for sports fans. The NHL and NBA are both headed into their respective playoffs. MLB is just getting started. The auto racing world is in high gear. And in the world of football, many universities are planning their annual spring football scrimmages ahead of the annual NFL draft. It also means one other thing for sports fans. It means the annual announcement by ESPN of the network’s pre-season football coverage. And make that announcement is exactly what the worldwide leader in sports did Thursday.

ESPN announced Thursday that it has two games on tap for its 2015 Monday Night Football schedule. The first of those games is a matchup of the Browns and Bills on Thursday, August 20th in Cleveland. It will be the first chance for new Bills coach and former Jets coach Rex Ryan to put his team, which now features All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy, on display. On the other side of the ball, it is believed that Johnny Manziel will be fighting for his career as the Browns host the Bills in the AFC matchup.

The second matchup on ESPN’s Monday Night Football pre-season schedule will see Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, August 24th. The Bucs struggled mightily in the 2014- 2015 season and will have the #1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft as a result of those struggles.

The MNF broadcast team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will have the call for both games. They will be joined once again by sideline reporter Lisa Salters. Both games are schedule for an 8pm ET start time and will be preceded by an hour-long edition of ESPN’s weekly NFL pre-game show Monday Night Countdown. ESPN’s Spanish-speaking audiences will be able to catch both games on television on ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network. ESPN Deportes will also have coverage of every regular season MNF broadcast.

Along with coverage on television via ESPN and ESPN Deportes, every MNF broadcast can also be seen online through a number of outlets including: Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via WatchESPN. WatchESPN is available in more than 93 million households across the country to fans who get ESPN’s networks as part of their video subscription.

More information on ESPN’s upcoming MNF broadcast schedule is available online along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:



To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at