Behind the Scenes with FOX's NFL crew: Why Greg Olsen is a pure in sales space

Published:Mar 9, 202418:17
Behind the Scenes with FOX's NFL crew: Why Greg Olsen is a pure in sales space

By Richie Zyontz
FOX NFL Lead Producer

Editor's Notice: Richie Zyontz has been an NFL producer for FOX since 1994 and the lead producer for the final 20 seasons. He has greater than 40 years of expertise masking the league and has produced six Tremendous Bowls. All through the 2022 NFL season, he'll present an inside look as FOX's new No. 1 NFL workforce makes its journey towards Tremendous Bowl LVII.

It has been a captivating season for the FOX NFL A Staff.

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen have easily and efficiently succeeded the enduring broadcast workforce of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. That was no simple problem.

Most of this crew has been collectively for 20 years at many ranges on each the manufacturing and technical sides. It is a tight-knit group, which added two new lead voices for the 2022 season.

A sweeping change like that does not occur typically in sports activities tv. However there's one large caveat to this tsunami. 

That caveat wears No. 12 for the Tampa Bay Bucs and is called Tom Brady. When his storied NFL profession is over and he so chooses, Brady will grow to be the lead analyst on our video games — a job Greg Olsen is doing fairly properly in the intervening time. 

The ready recreation 

Our workforce simply lined Brady for the fourth time this season, however it was our first assembly again in September that set the tone. Olsen is humorous, self-aware and really good. 

He well subtle what some feared can be a clumsy state of affairs when the current and future No. 1 analysts met through video name.  

Nearly instantly, Greg informed Tom, "This TV factor sucks, do not even fear about it. I will deal with it." The tone was set; hearty laughter adopted. 

On their name this week earlier than Sunday’s Panthers-Bucs recreation, Brady talked about he and a few teammates had compiled an inventory of the all-time greatest tight ends, and Olsen made the reduce. Greg, wanting to understand the second, requested Brady to repeat it. A pleasant second, however the elephant within the room stays. 

Nobody is aware of whether or not Brady will play past this season, us included. Heck, it is potential Brady himself does not know. Ought to Brady make the bounce to broadcasting in 2023, I firmly consider he'll excel. Would you wager in opposition to the best quarterback of all time? 

Proper now, he’s clearly centered on soccer. Internally, we strive to not speculate in regards to the future.

Olsen himself has no qualms about his odd state of affairs. He acknowledges that including Tom Brady to the FOX NFL secure is a coup for the corporate. It is one he is ready for.

Stepping up in school 

Olsen has far exceeded even my lofty expectations this season. I knew of his vitality and confidence, however I had by no means met him till this offseason.  

Other than being a blast to be round, this man lives and breathes soccer. His enthusiasm fills a room. The excited supply heard through the broadcast is the very same tone we hear in our manufacturing conferences each Saturday night time.

Olsen is uncommon for an analyst. He hardly ever speaks in clichés and explains the sport in comprehensible language. One other nice high quality is his potential to see the large image. Many analysts are likely to overanalyze. They go from play to play and beat you over the top with trivialities. Olsen stays forward of the sport and provides context to what's unfolding.  

There's an ongoing quest for better concision. Actually, through the first business break every week, Greg will say, "Z , the published does not formally begin till you inform me to decelerate and tighten issues up." 

It is good recommendation, if I'll say so myself! 

Greg Olsen shares his ideas on the Buccaneers-Panthers matchup throughout a FOX Sports activities crew assembly

Greg Olsen shares his thoughts on the Buccaneers-Panthers matchup during a FOX Sports crew meeting


With that in thoughts, the group determined to display screen a little bit of our broadcast from final week between the Eagles and Cowboys. Simply Olsen, Burkhardt, director Wealthy Russo and myself, watching the tape over a bowl of chips and guacamole.  

That is very totally different than the movie research Olsen was used to as a participant. In that world, an analysis is rather more reduce and dry. You both made a play otherwise you did not. You blocked the man in entrance of you otherwise you did not. The play was both a win or a loss.

Tv is rather more subjective. There's not essentially a proper or a improper; there's quite a lot of grey space. 

There are just a few primary rules for commentators. One in every of which is to keep away from overtalking. Broadcasts want some clear air — permitting the images and the sound of the group to hold the second.

A couple of minutes into our evaluation, Greg observed an instance the place he was long-winded, including an additional thought when maybe it wasn't wanted. He observed himself; I did not must say a phrase.

Our self-scouting turned out to be a useful train. I observed occasions wherein we went to replays when none have been wanted. Over-replaying is the truck model of overtalking — greatest to keep away from.

Regardless of the issues about overtalking, there have been many examples the place Burkhardt and Olsen remained silent, permitting Russo's footage to inform the story.  

Once we have been achieved, the decision was unanimous: The session was useful, and our time was well-spent. 

Greg Olsen speaks with the FOX Sports activities digital camera crew earlier than a recreation

Greg Olsen speaks with the FOX Sports camera crew before a game

NFC South Showdown 

Video games typically do not go in accordance with kind. The Bucs offense and Brady had been in a disjointed funk. Olsen's outdated workforce, Carolina, had rushed for greater than 300 yards in its earlier recreation. Though this matchup had main playoff implications for each golf equipment, we weren't anticipating a murals. The Panthers would pound the ball. The Bucs would hopefully preserve it shut and permit Brady to drag off some late magic.  

Olsen had a distinct take.  At our manufacturing assembly Saturday night time and once more at Sunday morning's speak with the digital camera crew, he described a wide-open recreation wherein each groups would take extra probabilities. He envisioned Brady slinging the ball across the yard, and that's exactly what occurred.   

Present quarterback and future TV analyst Tom Brady received his nineteenth division title. Former tight finish and present TV analyst Greg Olsen had the sport nailed. 

In two weeks, Olsen and Brady may doubtlessly meet once more when Tampa doubtless hosts the NFC East champion in a wild-card recreation. For now, Week 18 beckons. And the Tremendous Bowl is simply 42 days away! 

High tales from FOX Sports activities:

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Publish date: 2023-01-02 10:59:38
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