Wondering about the NFL menu of voices this fall?
After the Hall of Fame Game last week, the NFL preseason got underway on Thursday, with every team in action sometime between Thursday and Sunday.
When the league gets down to business during the regular season and launches an 18 week schedule, these are the lineups. Fox makes a big contribution adding Tom Rinaldi, a star-studded interviewer. He’s been assigned to Joe Buck’s top crew.
CBS NFL 2021 Depth Chart
Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta
Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Spero Dedes, Jay Feely
Tom McCarthy, Tiki Barber
Fox NFL 2021 Depth Chart
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Chris Myers, Daryl “Moose” Johnston
Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
Gus Johnson, Aqib Talib
The preseason is the only time NFL teams will have a dedicated local television feed. A few teams merely use a simulcast of the radio broadcast that they utilize during the season, but others will use established national voices, with Fox, CBS, ESPN, or NFL Network mainstays for either play-by-play or analyst positions.
Arizona: Dave Pasch, Ron Wolfley
Atlanta: Justin Kutcher, Coy Wire, D.J. Shockley
Baltimore: Gerry Sandusky, Rod Woodson, Mike Nolan
Buffalo: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker
Carolina: Taylor Zarzour, Steve Smith Sr.
Chicago: Adam Amin, Jim Miller
Cincinnati: Mike Watts, Anthony Munoz
Cleveland: Tom McCarthy, Joe Thomas
Dallas: Bill Jones, Babe Laufenberg
Denver: Steve Levy, Brian Griese
Detroit: Brandon Gaudin, Herman Moore
Green Bay: Kevin Harlan, James Lofton
Houston: Kevin Kugler, Spencer Tillman
Indianapolis: Greg Rakestraw, Rick Venturi
Jacksonville: Brian Sexton, Bucky Brooks
Kansas City: Ari Wolfe, Trent Green
Las Vegas: Beth Mowins, Matt Millen, Rich Gannon
LA Chargers: Spero Dedes, Dan Fouts, LaDainian Tomlinson
LA Rams: Andrew Siciliano, Aqib Talib, Mina Kimes
Miami: Steve Goldstein, Jason Taylor
Minnesota: Paul Allen, Pete Bercich
New England: Bob Socci, Scott Zolak
New Orleans: Joel Meyers, Jon Stinchcomb, Jonathan Vilma
NY Giants: Bob Papa, Carl Banks
NY Jets: Ian Eagle, Anthony Becht
Philadelphia: Scott Graham, Ross Tucker
Pittsburgh: Bob Pompeani, Charlie Batch
San Francisco: Greg Papa, Tim Ryan
Seattle: Curt Menefee, Dave Wyman
Tampa Bay: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber
Tennessee: Dan Hellie, Charles Davis
Washington: Kenny Albert, Joe Theismann
- Adam Amin will lead Fox’ #3 team with Mark Schlereth. Kenny Albert, now at #4, has ex-NFLer Jonathan Vilma.
- Fox’ number #2 team has Kevin Burkhardt on the game call with a new partner, freshly retired Greg Olsen who’s shown much promise in audition roles. Daryl Johnston, who teamed with Burkhardt last season, now has the underrated Chris Myers on play-by-play.
- Kevin Kugler is down a notch in his second year. He’ll be breaking in newcomer Mark Sanchez, the former Jets QB.
- Gus Johnson is down the list at Fox, albeit, the network’s news release labels him as acclaimed. Gus will do a few NFL broadcasts when needed, meaning he’s being used as an extra during a heavy weekend of Fox’ NFL schedule. Johnson will have the promising Aqib Talib. Gus is Fox’ lead college football play-by-player.
- Tom Rinaldi is a big upgrade for Fox. He’ll be part of the prime game crew headed by Joe Buck. He brings an unrushed personality to the set.
- CBS’ Rich Gannon wasn’t renewed. At number #4 on the depth chart, Gumbel, 75, gets Adam Archuleta who moves up a notch on CBS’ analyst chart.
- Of the 32 teams, eight (25%) have no regular season NFL broadcast play-by-play affiliation.
- In Miami, Steve Goldstein follows the top-notch Dick Stockton who at times in his amazingly long career was close to the very top of the charts of play-by-players for either CBS or Fox. Dick, 78, announced his retirement after last season. Goldstein has migrated to news, serving as an occasional local anchor for CBS TV, Miami. He’s 51.
- Of the pre-season voices, those with little or no NFL broadcast experience are Justin Kutcher, Taylor Zarzour, Mike Watts, Bill Jones, Greg Rakestraw, Ari Wolfe and Bob Pompeani. Joel Meyers, a jack of all trades, no longer has a regular season gig but did in the past on TV and radio.
- New Orleans has changed its radio play-by-play voice. Zach Strief joins the club’s coaching staff and Mike Hoss is promoted to play-by-play from a role of sideline reporter. Hoss has little play-by-play experience.
- The Cowboys’ Brad Sham, the Falcons’ Wes Durham and Arizona’s Dave Pasch tell us that they’ll be traveling. It appears that the NFL is encouraging member clubs to do games live from the road. Smart move by the league. Doing those impossible to cover road games remotely looks bad for everyone involved, the stations, the teams that they’re covering and indirectly the league. With the recent acceleration of the Delta variant, let’s hope that no new curbs will be mandated by the league.
- The longest tenured among NFL announcers is Merrill Reese. It’s his 45th season as the Voice of the Eagles. He started in 1977. Merrill is beloved in Philly.