NBC replaces Bettis as analyst
NFL Network hires Dungy, Harrison
By Ron Musselman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Bus has been parked.
NBC opted not to renew the contract of former Steelers Pro Bowl running back Jerome Bettis.
And with Cris Collinsworth replacing John Madden as a game analyst, it created two openings on the network's "Football Night in America" studio show.
NBC announced yesterday it hired Tony Dungy, a former Steelers defensive coordinator and NFL head coach, and former All-Pro safety Rodney Harrison as analysts to replace Bettis and Collinsworth.
Dungy and Harrison, who retired yesterday from the New England Patriots, were part of NBC's pregame coverage of Super Bowl XLII, where the Steelers rallied to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23, for a record sixth championship.
"Over the past few years, I've enjoyed getting to know Tony through numerous production meetings and his work on our Super Bowl coverage and have been impressed by the way he handled himself not only as a coach and communicator, but more so as a human being," NBC sports chairman Dick Ebersol said. "What I learned is that in addition to his obvious Super Bowl credentials, Tony is a gifted storyteller."
Dungy, the first black coach to win a Super Bowl in 2007, retired earlier this year after seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He also coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for six years.
Ebersol said the format for NBC's pregame show will undergo more changes and that more time would be spent on analysis of the upcoming game on "Sunday Night Football," and less time on highlights.
Bettis joined NBC in 2006 shortly after helping lead the Steelers to a 21-10 victory against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. He ended his playing career after 13 seasons, retiring as the NFL's No. 5 career rusher.
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