Dwight Freeney, Randy Moss, Rex Ryan and Tony Romo were always going to join the media. Each for different reasons, they all made a great deal of sense to someday appear on television as commentators and analysts.
But then there’s the occasional player or coach who surprises to become an excellent analyst. Here are some examples who might not be obvious candidates to join the media, but would be excellent if they did.
How could you look away?
First and foremost, Lynch is famous for his running style and for his production. But his bizarre personality has come hand-in-hand with his popularity and fame.
People who don’t know anything about the NFL know Lynch’s Super Bowl media night catchphrase: “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
Lynch (and his strong personality) would bring some levity and quirkiness to the rigid structure of NFL shows that lose the average sports fan on things like tape breakdowns.
He may not play by the rules. He may not be quick to formulate a hot take about the best team in the NFC or rank the top five quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft. But Lynch’s comedy can be both ridiculous and cringe-worthy. He’s a performance artist. But that’s what makes his presence charming and that’s what would make him refreshing on TV.
He’s known for leading the least informative, briefest, bristliest, gruffest, snort-filled pressers. But those are the moments that make broadcast TV, because NFL fans find Belichick’s combativeness entertaining. He conducts some press conference — often on Friday when reporters thin out — where he leads dissertations on the NFL’s history. He’s got incredible, random recall on probably 70 to 80 percent of the league’s players.
Name a former or current NFL player. Belichick has probably coached him or coached against him, and he might just share a good story on that player.
When Belichick joined the NFL Network broadcast at the last two combines, he was must-see TV, sharing stories and tidbits on former players. Imagine what he’d feel comfortable sharing if he wasn’t on military lockdown to win his next Super Bowl. He has said before he enjoys the media, because he finds they’re the best way to connect with fans. Maybe he’d make those comments feel a bit more genuine by joining the media (in moderation) to share his wealth of knowledge and love for the sport.
He’s brimming with personality. So long as his career continues on the path Ramsey has started, he should be an even more respected defender by the time his career is over. He’ll probably never lose his swagger, but he may also pick up a little veteran savvy and increased knowledge of the game — not that he necessarily needs much of either.
The fact that he can hang with Stephan A. Smith bodes well for the youngster. He may not need to embrace debate, but it never hurts that Ramsey can convert his competitive spirit in front of the camera — and get some laughs in an argument with Smith.
He’d be like Romo all over again.
Dalton has been a well-prepared quarterback, going back to his days in college. He’s articulate and well-mannered. At least when it comes to his hair, he’s fashionable. He doesn’t shy away from the camera, and seems to have the sort of buttoned-up (and sometimes bland) personality so many studios embrace — particularly with their NFL coverage.
His knowledge and smiley personality would fit on-screen. And he seems to love the game enough to stick around as a media member.
Newton’s relationship with the media is complicated. On one hand. he’s SuperCam. On the other hand, he’s the guy who walked away from the media after losing the Super Bowl. He has taken a great deal of media criticism, some unwarranted.
But Cam is well-spoken and articulate. Even if he’s had some rough spots in handling the media, he’s not afraid of drama. That might serve him well if he jumps into the studio.
Most of all, he commands the room, no matter where he is. He’s got a strong presence, a huge smile and a charisma, which wins over the locker room and could win over America. He’s got a strong understanding of the game, and he’s well-respected around the league by players and coaches.