Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman and current ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland has been promoted once again by the network for its “Monday Night Football” coverage.
The “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” announced on Wednesday morning that McFarland will now be the solo booth analyst with play-by-play man Joe Tessitore for the upcoming 2019 slate of Monday Night Football games.
This move had been expected, as last year’s booth analyst and former NFL tight end Jason Witten returned after a year off to play for the Dallas Cowboys this upcoming year.
Witten had struggled at times with his analysis and chemistry with the rest of the crew.
Part of that was due to ESPN’s experimentation with McFarland being a “field analyst” and on a rolling elevated cart (photo above), while providing insight from the field level. However, McFarland not being where Tessitore and Witten could see him or non-verbally communicate with him as games were going on, clearly created awkward moments in 2018.
There was more “handwriting on the wall” about McFarland joining the booth full time at the end of last season’s Monday Night Football slate. That’s when, ESPN brought McFarland into a three-man booth situation with Tessitore and Witten.
McFarland has been with ESPN, ABC and the SEC network since 2014. He previously had been a local sports radio host in the Tampa Bay Market, where he still lives, for two years after retiring.
McFarland spent eight seasons in the NFL, and was part of two Superbowl winning teams with the Buccaneers in 2002 and the Colts in 2006. He’s a former #1 draft pick of the Bucs out of LSU, and just spent last weekend, as one of several analysts on the ESPN set live from Nashville and the 2019 NFL Draft.
ESPN announced that veteran sideline reporter Lisa Salters is back for her eighth season on MNF.
And, it’s special year Monday Night Football, as they will kick off their historic 50th season on September 9th, when the Houston Texans visit the New Orleans Saints, as part of ESPN’s opening Monday double header.
McFarland commented in the ESPN announcement,
“I’m so excited to continue to be part of Monday Night Football, especially with the opportunity to be in booth for the 50th season, working with true professionals and friends like Joe and Lisa. We have a great slate of games and I look forward to starting our journey in Louisiana, where I was born and raised, with the Texans-Saints game in early September.”
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