Matt Hasselbeck front-runner to call 'Monday Night Football'
Matt Hasselbeck could soon become the newest voice of Monday Night Football.
The former Seahawks quarterback, currently serving as an analyst on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown show, is reportedly one of the front-runners to replace Jon Gruden, who is now coaching the Oakland Raiders.
Hasselbeck will call the 2018 Pro Bowl on Sunday alongside current MNF play-by-by man Sean McDonough, Lisa Salters and Louis Riddick.
"We are considering Matt, for sure," ESPN executive Stephanie Druley said in an interview with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated. "I would not consider the Pro Bowl an audition per se. When we hired Matt a few years ago there were other networks that wanted Matt as a game analyst. I expect Matt to be very good this and he will certainly be considered."
Hasselbeck, a three-time Pro Bowl QB, played in Seattle from 2001-10. He retired in 2016 after stints with the Titans and Colts, then joined ESPN.
Gruden left ESPN after nine years as a Monday Night Football analyst. Detailing the criteria for the replacement, Druley, the network's senior vice president of event and studio production, said: "We want someone who loves the game, who is a student of the game but who has a personality as well. We want them to have interests outside of football and the ability to connect with the viewers. We talk often about how a broadcast should personalize and analyze—and I think we need to do more of that in the MNF booth."
Deitsch reports that ESPN is also considering recently retired quarterback Peyton Manning. The network has reached out to the former Colts and Broncos QB, who became a household name during his Hall of Fame career via his on-screen charisma, but nothing formal has materialized at this time.
"We like Peyton Manning,' Druley said. "And we would be foolish not to talk him."
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