I thought this pair would be tapped by ESPN to call the 2nd game of the Monday Night Football doubleheader this season as they worked Chargers-Chiefs last year. And Nessler’s performance last year most likely led to NFL Network tapping him to work Thursday Night Football this season. So Nessler will work a total of 9 NFL games this season if you count the MNF season opener along with the 8 games he’ll work with Mike Mayock on NFL Network. Nessler and Dilfer will call the Oakland Raiders-Denver Broncos game that is slated to start at 10:15 p.m. ET on September 12 and will close out Week 1 of the 2011-12 season.
In addition, ESPN is announcing the hiring of Josina Anderson as its Chicago-based reporter. She comes from KDVR in Denver where she apparently was full of reporting scoops for her station.
We have the announcement right here.
Second Game of Season-Opening Doubleheader at 10:15 p.m. ET on Sept. 12
ESPN play-by-play voice Brad Nessler and NFL studio analyst Trent Dilfer will call the Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos, the second game of ESPN’s season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 12 at 10:15 p.m. ET (8:15 p.m. MT). Both commentators also worked together a year ago to call the Chargers-Chiefs season-opener.
Nessler is making his third appearance in the MNF booth. During the first year of ESPN’s season-opening doubleheader (2006), he worked alongside Jaworski and former NFL head coach Dick Vermeil – a pairing that earned much praise from viewers – to call the Chargers-Raiders. He has served as a play-by-play commentator for college football and basketball since joining ESPN and ABC in 1992. This fall, Nessler will team with Todd Blackledge to form one of ESPN’s top college football commentator teams. He is also entering his first season as the lead play-by-play voice for NFL Network’s eight-game late season package.
The season-opening game will be Dilfer’s second MNF appearance. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback is a studio analyst for a variety of ESPN programs — NFL Live, NFL PrimeTime, SportsCenter, and Audibles. Following his appearance in the MNF booth, Dilfer will appear on Monday Night Countdown each week this season from the site of the MNF game where he will provide analysis alongside fellow analyst Steve Young and Stuart Scott.
Senior coordinating producer Tim Corrigan, ESPN’s lead NBA producer who has overseen ESPN’s season-opening MNF doubleheader game the past five seasons, and director Mike Schwab, will oversee production of the Oakland-Denver matchup. The MNF reporter will be named at a later date. The Raiders-Broncos will follow the New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins telecast (7 p.m.) when the MNF commentator team of Mike Tirico and analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski makes its regular season debut.
Other ESPN NFL programming and production updates …
Josina Anderson joins ESPN as Chicago-based bureau reporter
Josina Anderson is joining ESPN as a Chicago-based bureau reporter where she will cover the NFL, NBA and other sports. Anderson previously worked as sports weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 in Denver where she produced the nightly sportscasts and covered the Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche, and Rockies. In addition to breaking a number of major stories, Anderson earned a 2009 Heartland Emmy award for “A Premonition from Addis Ababa,” a story about an Arena Football League quarterback’s voyage to Ethiopia to adopt a son. At ESPN, Anderson will regularly appear from game sites on Sunday NFL Countdown in addition to reporting on SportsCenter and other news and information programs. Anderson started her career at the CBS affiliate in Coos Bay, Oregon, as a sports anchor/reporter, and she also worked in Washington D.C., on local sports cable shows. A former University of North Carolina track and field athlete, Anderson is also an accomplished classical ballet soloist.
SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special on Thursday at 7 p.m.
ESPN will televise its fifth annual SportsCenter Fantasy Draft Special on Thursday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. The program will feature analysis and debate from a number of ESPN analysts and experts, including Matthew Berry, Tim Hasselbeck and ESPN.com sports injury expert Stephania Bell. SportsCenter’s Robert Flores will host. Other highlights include: a look at overall fantasy draft strategy, ranking players by position, a review of the impact of injury when drafting a player, sleeper picks and rookie impact, and mock draft analysis.
MNF Preseason: Chicago Bears at New York Giants Monday at 8 p.m.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football preseason schedule continues Monday, Aug. 22, with Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears visiting Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will call the game at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN with sideline reporter Suzy Kolber. The game will also be available via espnnetworks.com and the WatchESPN App.
The Bears-Giants game will be preceded by a one-hour Monday Night Countdown with host Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter in studio.
One more NFL-centric press release coming up.