When you look through the NFL broadcasting lineups for CBS, Fox and ESPN, the analyst ranks are still dominated by former players, but that's starting to change. After seeing the attention and plaudits Fox has received since bringing in former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira as a rules analyst for the last few seasons, ESPN and CBS have made their own moves to add unconventional analysts for their 2012 NFL coverage.
ESPN is bringing in an officiating expert of their own, Gerry Austin, who spent 16 years as an NFL official and is now the supervisor of officiating for Conference USA, while CBS is going a more unusual route, adding surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the man who operated on Tom Brady's knee back in 2008 and is currently the team physician for baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers. NBC is also prominently showcasing a couple of people who never played the game, creating a daily show for Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio on NBC Sports Network and continuing to feature Florio and Sports Illustrated's Peter King on their Sunday Night Countdown pre-game show. This isn't a complete revolution, as the traditional colour commentary roles are still filled almost exclusively by ex-players, but the increased roles for those who didn't play in the NFL are notable, and they say a fair bit about how the league has changed.no comments