Monday’s six-pack of media notes:
▪ Team 33 – NFL Think Tank – Grading Dolphins location last week.
Here’s how Miami played on offense, with some excerpts from the comments:
Quarterback’s B minus (“while [Tua Tagovailoa] Not bad, he hasn’t played up to the standards of a team that wants to compete”) …
B+ running back (“This positional group is very reminiscent of the classic Shanahan system backcourt, with no true No. 1 guard, but a handful of ball-handlers who can be difference-makers”) …
A wide receiver (“This group has star power and great speed”)…
B-plus tight end (even beyond Mike Gesicki’s catch,” Between Durham Smythe, Adam Shaheen and Hunter Long, Miami’s guys can block and catch because McDaniel Can run two TE combinations as much as you want”).
Here’s how Miami is doing on the defensive end:
B is for defensive linebackers and fringe players (“While talented, this is a top-heavy group, but could easily improve given Jaelan Phillips and Emmanuel Ogbah’s bigger year”)..
C- Linebacker (“This group is clearly the team’s weak point. While Jerome Baker is good, he’s not enough to make up for… this group”)…
A cornerback (“There’s probably no better CB duo than Xavien Howard and Byron Jones at the top level”)…
B is for safety (“Jevon Holland just finished a really good rookie season and is emerging as one of the better safetys in the entire league.” Brandon Jones and Eric Ronaldo will have to fight for another spot, but neither might be a high-level starter”)
▪ COVID-19 continues to hamper ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals. Mike Brin misses first two games after testing positive for virus — Jeff Van Gundy misses opener.
That gave way to South Florida’s Mark Jones, the network’s No. 2 NBA game-by-game voice, in Game 7 of the Heat-Celtics series and No. 1 of the Celtics-Warriors series. Filled Brin’s vacancy in Game 2 and 2. Brin is expected to return for Game 3 on Wednesday, ABC said.
Information officer Adrian Wojnarowski and reporter Kendra Andrews (Malika’s sister) were also sidelined early in the finals due to the coronavirus pandemic.
▪ As expected, former UM and NFL standout tight end Greg Olsen has been temporarily promoted to Fox’s primary NFL announcement team until Tom Brady retires and takes over sometime in 2023 or later.
With Joe Buck and Troy Aikman leaving Fox to join ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” former Fox No. 2 NFL voice Kevin Burckhardt will join Olsen’s Fox leader next season, which includes 2023 Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona in February.
Olson is likely to return to the No. 2 team when Brady retires, while Burckhardt is expected to stay with the lead long-term.
Fox chose to promote from within because network executives love the Burkhardt/Olsen tandem; they have a lively conversational rapport. Or, as Fox executive producer Brad Zager puts it, “an undeniable chemistry and ability to call football at an elite level.”
Olsen told Dan Patrick: “Even if I could do it for a year, I’d try to kill it. I’ll try to make it a fun season and get people to really enjoy our broadcast. Hopefully Tom can play a few more year.”
Olson said he would tell Brady that there was a “really good balance” in the game. You don’t want to make it stupid and get rid of the complex nature that makes football so special and so fun. But you also can’t talk on stream the way I talk to my coach, or I talk to current players or teammates who understand the language and terminology, because you can lose a lot of people. ”
▪ Christmas and New Year’s Day are Sundays this year, and here’s how it will affect the NFL and college football schedules:
The NFL will schedule most of its Christmas weekend games on Saturday, Dec. 24, with three games on Christmas Day: Packers-Dolphins (1 p.m. Fox), Broncos-Rams (4 p.m. CBS) 30), Buccaneers-Cardinals (8:20 p.m. NBC).
The Jaguars-Jets play Thursday night, Dec. 22 on Amazon, and the Chargers-Colts play Monday night, Dec. 26 on ESPN.
During Week 17, every NFL game will be played on Sunday, January 1 with the exception of the Cowboys and Titans on Thursday, December 29 and the Bills-Bengals on Monday night, ABC and ESPN, Monday, January 2.
To avoid a conflict with the Rams’ Sunday night game on NBC on Jan. 1, the Sugar Bowl has moved its traditional prime-time on Jan. 1 to noon on Dec. 31. . 1 is 1995.
Two college football semifinals will be played in Atlanta and Glendale, Arizona in late afternoon on December 31st.
No bowl games are played on Christmas or New Year’s Day, thereby avoiding competition with the NFL.
Four bowl games are scheduled for Monday, January 2, 2023, starting with the Tampa Bay Bowl at noon on ESPN2.
Also on January 2: Cotton Bowl (1 p.m., ESPN), Citrus Bowl (1 p.m., ABC) and Rose Bowl (5 p.m., ESPN).
▪ Alonzo Highsmith, who started UM’s general manager/football operations last week, told WQAM: “The first thing I do – when you come in, you sit and watch. I want to sit Come down and listen and watch and learn. I can’t come in and say ‘do this, do that. I want to see how things work and then I’ll chime in at another time.’
“I came to Miami University in a very humble way. I’m not the savior of the school. I want to be a part of the program like I was my freshman year. I want to help build something.”
Among other things, he will evaluate recruits and portal players and “try to be a mentor to our players and teach them how to get to the next level.”
▪ Fast stuff: As NFL Network reports, former Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is in talks with Amazon to be a studio analyst for its Thursday night package. Fitzpatrick has the intelligence, personality, and self-deprecating humor that thrives on TV…
Former Marlins CEO Derek Jeter — whose ESPN documentary will debut this summer — join twitter On December 9, 2014, two months after his last game as a player, he announced his addition to the social media service by replying to a tweet.
That tweet said: “There is no reason why Derek Jeter doesn’t have a Twitter account right now.” Jeter’s first tweet: “Looks like I’m running out of excuses.”
Within a week, he had 354,000 followers. Dick Vitale, Pedro Martinez and the Yankees are among the 17 he’s following, none of whom are associated with the Marlins…
Mick Hubert retires after 33 years as a radio station for the Florida Gators…
The Detroit Lions will be the focus of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ during training camp…
New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum gave substantive answers in an interview, who will be calling NBA Summer League games for ESPN among other ESPN programs…
The Portland Trail Blazers hired ESPN NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz as assistant general manager.
This story was originally published June 6, 2022 at 5:25 pm.