Well, this is certainly a surprise. The last we heard about the NFL Network Thursday Night Football team was that Mike Mayock would replace Joe Theismann and Matt Millen and he would be teamed with either incumbent play-by-play man Bob Papa or Gus Johnson. Well, Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated has learned that Mayock is indeed coming into the booth for NFL Network and he’ll be joined by ESPN’s Brad Nessler!
This came totally out of left field. NFL Network is not commenting on the matter. (UPDATE: Now NFL Network has commented with this press release.)
Nessler has called NFL games before, having called the Monday Night Football late night opening season doubleheader game in 2006 and 2010. Before that, he did NFL regional games for CBS in 1990 and 1991. Since 1992, he’s been with ESPN/ABC assigned to college football and basketball. His partner for the last couple of years on college football has been Todd Blackledge. He’s a very good play-by-play man and would probably be in line to replace Brent Musburger when he retires. Richard says Nessler would most likely remain at ESPN to call college football.
Mayock did a very good job in his return to the booth last season as the analyst for Notre Dame football on NBC and also did analysis for one NFL Wild Card playoff game back in January. He should shine in the Thursday Night Football booth.
This continues the upheaval for NFL Network since obtaining the Thursday Night Football package. Let’s hope this booth of Nessler and Mayock, if true, can remain in place for a while.