I sent an e-mail to NFL Network seeking confirmation of Richard Deitsch’s story in SI.com about Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock coming into the Thursday Night Football booth, but when you get a press release, you can’t get better confirmation than that. Also, the NFL posted the story at its website so this is a big deal.
As mentioned in my previous post, Brad will continue to call college football games on ESPN and ABC. Mike will continue as NFL Draft guru and panelist for various shows on NFL Network as well as be the analyst for Notre Dame Football on NBC.
Here’s the official press release from NFL Network and the National Football League.
NFL NETWORK NAMES MIKE MAYOCK AND BRAD NESSLER NEW ANNOUNCING TEAM FOR THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAMES
Highly regarded NFL analyst Mike Mayock will be joined by veteran television play-by-play announcer Brad Nessler in the booth on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football games for the 2011 season, NFL Network Senior Vice President of Production and Programming Mark Quenzel announced today.
The new team of Mayock and Nessler will call NFL Network’s eight primetime games. Mayock continues to serve as NFL Network’s top NFL Draft analyst while adding his X-and-Os expertise on additional shows for the network. Nessler joins the Thursday Night Football booth while continuing to call primetime college football and basketball games on ESPN and ABC.
“Mike Mayock’s in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the game and his no-nonsense analytical style has made him a rising star in the business. He is regarded by many as the best NFL Draft analyst in the business and he will be excellent on our NFL games,” said Quenzel. “Brad Nessler is one of the premier play-by-play announcers on television. Teaming them on Thursday nights will be entertaining and informative for our fans.”
“My favorite aspect of this industry is to do live games. You are able to get up close to the coaches and players and the environment is electric, said Mayock. “To have the opportunity to call NFL games in primetime on NFL Network is like a dream come true.”
“The NFL has always been a big part of my life and my career. To join NFL Network and the great team they’ve assembled is an honor,” said Nessler. “Primetime football on Thursday nights is an event. It’s an exciting new challenge and I can’t wait to be part of it all.”
Mike Mayock has been an analyst on NFL Network for the past seven years. He has recently been called “incomparable” among NFL Draft television analysts. In addition to the NFL Draft, Mayock provides analysis on NFL Total Access, Path to the Draft, Playbook and other NFL Network specials. He is also the game analyst on NBC’s Notre Dame college football games on Saturdays and called the NFC Wild Card Playoff game for NBC last season. Mayock has been NFL Network’s analyst on Senior Bowls in addition to Insight and Texas Bowl games.
A 10th-round pick in the 1981 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mayock played for the New York Giants from 1982-83. He is a member of the Boston College Hall of Fame, where he starred in football and baseball and received a communications degree.
Brad Nessler will continue to serve as a play-by-play voice for college football and basketball games on ESPN and ABC. Last year he called one of the Monday Night Football games on the opening weekend of the NFL season for ESPN. Nessler also called a MNF game in 2006 and has been on ESPN since 1992. Nessler previously called NFL games on radio for the Atlanta Falcons (1982-1988) and Minnesota Vikings (1988-89).
Nessler’s been calling major college football games for nearly 20 years. He is currently the voice of ESPN’s ‘Saturday Night Football’ game slate. He has called more than 50 college bowl games including the Bowl Championship Series title game in 2001 and 2005. Nessler also called the BCS Sugar Bowl game on January 1 that featured Ohio State’s win over Arkansas this year.
Bob Papa will continue to be a valuable member of NFL Network’s team. He will continue to contribute reports on NFL Network’s Sunday NFL GameDay shows as well as have roles on additional NFL Network programming. Joe Theismann will return to NFL Network’s Playbook and other specials.
NFL Network will begin its sixth season of eight primetime Thursday Night Football games on November 10 when the Oakland Raiders visit the San Diego Chargers.
NFL Network 2011 Thursday Night Football Schedule
Week 10: Thursday, November 10 at 8:00 PM ET
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
Week 11: Thursday, November 17 at 8:00 PM ET
New York Jets at Denver Broncos
Week 12: Thursday, November 24 at 8:00 PM ET
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (Thanksgiving)
Week 13: Thursday, December 1 at 8:00 PM ET
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
Week 14: Thursday, December 8 at 8:00 PM ET
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 15: Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 PM ET
Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons
Week 15: Saturday, December 17 at 8:00 PM ET
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 16: Thursday, December 22 at 8:00 PM ET
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
NFL Network has announced that Nessler and Mayock will be introduced to the media in a conference call later this morning. More coming up as soon as I get it.