By Richie Zyontz
FOX NFL Lead Producer
Editor’s Word: Richie Zyontz has been an NFL producer for FOX since 1994 and the lead producer for the final 20 seasons. He has greater than 40 years of expertise overlaying the league and has produced six Tremendous Bowls. All through the 2022 NFL season, he’ll present an inside look as FOX’s new No. 1 NFL group makes its journey towards Tremendous Bowl LVII.
It has been an enchanting season for the FOX NFL A Staff.
Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen have easily and efficiently succeeded the enduring broadcast group of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. That was no simple problem.
Most of this crew has been collectively for 20 years at many ranges on each the manufacturing and technical sides. It is a tight-knit group, which added two new lead voices for the 2022 season.
A sweeping change like that does not occur typically in sports activities tv. However there’s one big caveat to this tsunami.
That caveat wears No. 12 for the Tampa Bay Bucs and is known as Tom Brady. When his storied NFL profession is over and he so chooses, Brady will develop into the lead analyst on our video games — a job Greg Olsen is doing fairly nicely in the meanwhile.
The ready recreation
Our group simply coated Brady for the fourth time this season, nevertheless it was our first assembly again in September that set the tone. Olsen is humorous, self-aware and really good.
He neatly subtle what some feared could be a clumsy scenario when the current and future No. 1 analysts met by way of video name.
Virtually instantly, Greg instructed Tom, “This TV factor sucks, do not even fear about it. I will deal with it.” The tone was set; hearty laughter adopted.
On their name this week earlier than Sunday’s Panthers-Bucs game, Brady talked about he and a few teammates had compiled an inventory of the all-time finest tight ends, and Olsen made the minimize. Greg, wanting to understand the second, requested Brady to repeat it. A pleasant second, however the elephant within the room stays.
Nobody is aware of whether or not Brady will play past this season, us included. Heck, it is potential Brady himself does not know. Ought to Brady make the leap to broadcasting in 2023, I firmly consider he’ll excel. Would you guess towards the best quarterback of all time?
Proper now, he’s clearly targeted on soccer. Internally, we strive to not speculate concerning the future.
Olsen himself has no qualms about his odd scenario. He acknowledges that including Tom Brady to the FOX NFL steady is a coup for the corporate. It is one he is ready for.
Stepping up at school
Olsen has far exceeded even my lofty expectations this season. I knew of his vitality and confidence, however I had by no means met him till this offseason.
Except for being a blast to be round, this man lives and breathes soccer. His enthusiasm fills a room. The excited supply heard in the course of the broadcast is the very same tone we hear in our manufacturing conferences each Saturday evening.
Olsen is uncommon for an analyst. He hardly ever speaks in clichés and explains the sport in comprehensible language. One other nice high quality is his capacity to see the large image. Many analysts are inclined to overanalyze. They go from play to play and beat you over the top with trivia. Olsen stays forward of the sport and presents context to what’s unfolding.
There’s an ongoing quest for higher concision. In actual fact, in the course of the first business break every week, Greg will say, “Z , the published does not formally begin till you inform me to decelerate and tighten issues up.”
It is good recommendation, if I could say so myself!
Greg Olsen shares his ideas on the Buccaneers-Panthers matchup throughout a FOX Sports activities crew assembly
With that in thoughts, the group determined to display a little bit of our broadcast from final week between the Eagles and Cowboys. Simply Olsen, Burkhardt, director Wealthy Russo and myself, watching the tape over a bowl of chips and guacamole.
That is very totally different than the movie research Olsen was used to as a participant. In that world, an analysis is rather more minimize and dry. You both made a play otherwise you did not. You blocked the man in entrance of you otherwise you did not. The play was both a win or a loss.
Tv is rather more subjective. There’s not essentially a proper or a flawed; there’s a variety of grey space.
There are just a few fundamental rules for commentators. Certainly one of which is to keep away from overtalking. Broadcasts want some clear air — permitting the photographs and the sound of the group to hold the second.
A couple of minutes into our evaluation, Greg observed an instance the place he was long-winded, including an additional thought when maybe it wasn’t wanted. He observed himself; I did not should say a phrase.
Our self-scouting turned out to be a useful train. I observed occasions through which we went to replays when none had been wanted. Over-replaying is the truck model of overtalking — finest to keep away from.
Regardless of the considerations about overtalking, there have been many examples the place Burkhardt and Olsen remained silent, permitting Russo’s footage to inform the story.
Once we had been accomplished, the decision was unanimous: The session was useful, and our time was well-spent.
NFC South Showdown
Video games typically do not go in accordance with type. The Bucs offense and Brady had been in a disjointed funk. Olsen’s previous group, Carolina, had rushed for greater than 300 yards in its earlier recreation. Though this matchup had main playoff implications for each golf equipment, we weren’t anticipating a murals. The Panthers would pound the ball. The Bucs would hopefully preserve it shut and permit Brady to drag off some late magic.
Olsen had a special take. At our manufacturing assembly Saturday evening and once more at Sunday morning’s discuss with the digicam crew, he described a wide-open recreation through which each groups would take extra possibilities. He envisioned Brady slinging the ball across the yard, and that’s exactly what occurred.
Present quarterback and future TV analyst Tom Brady received his nineteenth division title. Former tight finish and present TV analyst Greg Olsen had the sport nailed.
In two weeks, Olsen and Brady may probably meet once more when Tampa doubtless hosts the NFC East champion in a wild-card recreation. For now, Week 18 beckons. And the Tremendous Bowl is barely 42 days away!
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