ful to be back now," Matthew
ESPN is going with a fresh approach for its first 2018 regular-season broadcast of ”Monday Night Football.”
Two announcers with plenty of NFL credentials but far more entrenched in the college game these days will be handling the Jets-Lions game from Detroit: Beth Mowins and Brian Griese.
”We are pretty excited to bring the franchise on the air Womens Cam Newton Jersey , and hoping some pretty good story lines will play out,” says Mowins, who did last year’s second half of the opening doubleheader with analyst Rex Ryan. Mowins also does a few CBS telecasts of NFL games during the season, as well as Oakland Raiders preseason contests, but her main gig is college sports.
Griese is one of the top analysts of the college game, an insightful and often critical but fair voice.
”Guys who can shoot from the hip are always fun to work with,” Mowins says.
Of course, he also played 11 pro seasons, starting 83 games. So his knowledge of both levels of football is expansive.
”I think the pro game in a lot of ways is more familiar to me than the college game,” Griese notes. ”I have had to learn the college game as it has grown. I spent 11 years in the NFL playing quarterback and it’s more similar to what I know.”
What both Mowins and Griese know is that the fan bases of both teams will be stoked for the game, even though Jets-Lions isn’t quite the marquee matchup. Indeed, the NFL gave ESPN what appears to be a better game in the nightcap, Jon Gruden’s return as the Raiders host the Rams. The regular and new Monday night crew of Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten will be in the booth Connor Brown Jersey , Booger McFarland at field level for that one.
”No question both these teams have reasons for optimism, for different reasons,” Griese says. ”Jets fans should be excited about Sam Darnold, who can be a game changer and a franchise quarterback in the making. For Detroit, it’s a whole new ballgame for the fans with Matt Patricia hired as coach, a new way of doing things. I’m eager to see how he will impact the franchise. And they have their bellwether in Matthew Stafford at quarterback.”
Adds Mowins: ”You tell the truth with a heavier emphasis on the hope, and that is what all of these fan bases are having. The history is part of the story heading into the season and something we absolutely talk about graphically. The nice thing about the opener is everyone has hope again, and we can also focus on the changes these teams have made to improve.”
To its credit, ESPN is willing to make changes or go outside the box for its Monday night showcase. One area of expertise that Mowins and Griese – and sideline reporter Laura Rutledge – bring to the telecast is an advanced awareness of NFL newcomers.
That could be particularly enlightening for Jets-Lions with the likes of Darnold – even if he doesn’t play and Josh McCown starts – and Lions rookie running back Kerryon Johnson on hand.
”One of the things I have noticed over the last several years and doing the Raiders games in preseason, you have a head start on rookies coming into the league,” Mowins says. ”I sort of have that background of who they were and relationships they might have with other players and coaches. That provides a nice jumping-off point, especially early in the season. Some of the rookies the NFL fans may not have seen in college, but I have had a chance to call their games in college Womens Christian McCaffrey Jersey , and so has Brian.”
Mowins and Griese have not done game broadcasts together, but have had many conversations and learning sessions. Last year, when the Broncos played in the opener Mowins and Ryan announced, she reached out to Griese, who does Denver’s preseason games.
”I’ve talked with Beth quite a bit through the years, we are in the same college football realm, so we see quite a bit of each other’s work,” Griese says. ”I’m very familiar with her work in college football.
”The approach for me will be a little bit different because I will probably go to both teams’ training camps to familiarize myself with the teams. I don’t ever do a game where I have not seen a team live or in person (at practice or in a game). That will be the only difference for you in preparation.”
Tennessee wide receiver Rishard Matthews has been in the NFL the past six seasons, and now the veteran is hoping his experience learning other offenses will help him get up to speed very quickly with the Titans' newest scheme.
Matthews missed the Titans' organized team activities, mandatory minicamp in June, training camp and first three preseason games with an undisclosed injury. He passed his physical Sunday and was removed from the physically unable to perform list then practiced Monday.
That left the receiver watching teammates practice, trying to learn new coordinator Matt LaFleur's offense in meetings and walk-throughs without taking a single snap.
Now the 6-foot receiver who led Tennessee with 1,740 yards receiving over the past two seasons can take part in an offense that has him very excited.
"This is the longest I've been out of football http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-hartman-jersey ," Matthews said before practice. "It's tough watching, but as far as the offense I'm really excited. I think the sky's the limit for our group. We have a bunch of talented young players. I think Coach LaFleur has explained that a lot of people will be moving around, and people aren't going to be able to get a beat on us so easy, so that's also exciting."
That's a big change from last December when Matthews argued for the Titans to use a no-huddle or quick-tempo offense to give quarterback Marcus Mariota more freedom with the team mired in a three-game skid that cost Tennessee the AFC South title. He also said then that the Titans needed more creativity on offense and work more to create better matchups.
The Titans fired coach Mike Mularkey after the season ended in January and hired first-time head coach Mike Vrabel. He brought in LaFleur, who also had interviewed for the head coaching job.
With new coaches and a new offense, Matthews found himself struggling with an undisclosed injury that he said was not related to an injured hamstring that cost him two games last season. He watched the offseason program from April into mid-June and started training camp on the physically unable to perform list. The Titans weren't too concerned about Matthews' return, signing him to an extension through 2019 last week.
Vrabel has been impressed by what he's seen of the receiver who ranks second on the Titans only to three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker with 118 catches over the past two seasons. Vrabel called Matthews' attitude "great" and a good reminder to younger players how to be professional at working hard to get back into the lineup. The coach also likes how Matthews plays.
"There's a toughness to it. There's a grit to it," Vrabel said. "I think Rishard would tell you that he's not the fastest, not the biggest, not the quickest, but at the end of the day, there's a lot of production, and there's some consistency there which is really valued."
Matthews Nicklas Backstrom Jersey , who started his NFL career with four seasons in Miami, has started 20 of his 30 games since signing with Tennessee in March 2016. He ranks ninth in the NFL averaging 14.7 yards per catch among players with at least 100 catches over the past two seasons.
He's also the key veteran in a very young receiving group. Corey Davis is expected to be the No. 1 receiver after being the fifth player drafted in 2017, but is still looking for his first touchdown catch in the regular season. Taywan Taylor is going into his second season, and Tajae Sharpe spent his second season on injured reserve last year.
"I'm just thankful to be back now," Matthews said.
NOTES: LB Brian Orakpo, Walker and rookie LB Rashaan Evans all returned to practice Monday. Orakpo originally hurt a shoulder July 27, and Walker was hurt Aug. 16 in a joint practice with Tampa Bay. Evans returned to practice last week but left early. "It's good to see those guys back out there and working and just fresh faces," Vrabel said.
Follow Teresa M. Walker at teresamwalker
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