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His TV commentary filled a yellow pad of observations Greg Olsen had done some limited studio and game work in the past. McManus hit the jackpot. He has also done some studio work in the past.
But this would be his debut as a solo analyst. So I turned on the set and took notes. Olsen is still an NFLer and will be with the Panthers next week in San Francisco for their matchup with the undefeated 49ers.
As the game progressed, he was also more invested emotionally.
The one thing he did not do which Romo of course does is predict plays. Still, this fellow from Patterson, New Jersey definitely has a bright future on television.
It would be a good find for Eric Shank and company should Fox sign him once he retires. Meanwhile, Arizona State writing intern Brian Seitz, asked to be assigned to watch the game and appraise the announcers. In fact, Brian identified a number of key talking points that he hoped Olsen and perhaps Albert would address.
In fact, Kenny kidded him about his references to his playing position. Greg followed with a half-laugh that might have loosened him up. Still, Olsen might have talked a wee bit too much at the start, perhaps out of nervousness.
Olsen drew and depicted Xs and Os clearly, simply and illuminatingly. Sometimes though, he talked a bit too fast, likely because he had to economize his words between plays.
That will come to him. The game has to breathe. Repeating the obvious is a no-no. In the second half, as the game progressed, Olsen had a bit more of an edge and he was frank. Viewers generally prefer it when analysts are at least somewhat unsparing. For instance, he referenced RPO, wrongly assuming that everyone knows what the acronym represents.
Many have no idea what a stick play is.
Break things down into the elementary please. In the second half, he started to, and the duo developed a good rapport. Greg pointed out an Arizona mistake, one that forced the Cardinals to punt from near their goal post. Olsen explained why and how it happened.
He does at times spew his remarks a bit too fast. Think of it this way.
Fans are having a beer. Slow down. The great ones, Cosell and Madden spoke slowly. In time, Greg will appreciate the importance of covering less ground giving and doing so with more vocal strokes. Less is more.
He attempted the impossible, commenting on almost every development on the field.
Cover less teaches more. Most brains on Sundays have a limited capacity. Side note: Sideline reporter Lindsay Czarniak should be more forceful when she speaks.
At one point, it looked to me like she was soaking wet from the rain and wanted to go home. Talking of the rain, Kenny asked him about whether rain helps the defense or offense and Greg broke it down, grass versus synthetic turf.
From what I remember at the time, he had to economize his comments because the next play was about to snap. I think what he said is that grass helps the defense more because ball carriers can hobble on wet grass.
Rain, rain, go away. Kenny set him up nicely in the second half as the rain pelted Met Life Stadium. He asked Olsen about the use of gloves and hand gear during rain.
Greg pointed out that some players took their gloves off. He did so in a gentlemanly way but was firm. Tony speaks right into the mic and comes across with a full throat. He will in time learn to speak from the diaphragm, inflect effectively, moderate his speed, clip his words and deliver his phrases crisply.
Gettleman now runs the Giants. Dick Stockton had two analysts on his team Sunday.
Ronde Barber and Mark Schlereth. The two alone are somewhat weak. Olsen noted how Jones put the ball where it needed to be, but it was the receiver who failed.
Mobility and athleticism Olsen pointed out how Murray moves inside the pocket, not necessarily to scramble, but to buy time for a receiver to get open. He talked about how Murray knows when to run, if and when a defense rushes only a few players.
He finds the open gap and takes off. An example of this was on a 3rd down and long early in the game when the Giants rushed 4. Murray ended up scrambling and getting a few yards, putting the Cardinals in an easier position to kick a field goal.