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NFL Network teams Mike Mayock with Brad Nessler

Mike Mayock Pic Getty Images

NFL Network has a new announcing team for its prime time regular-season games, with Brad Nessler handling the play-by-play and Mike Mayock as the color commentator.

Although NFL Network hasn’t formally announced the pairing, Richard Deitsch of SI.com reports that the decision has been made.

The promotion of Mayock was expected and, frankly, overdue: He’s been the best analyst on NFL Network for years, and his presence in the booth represents a major improvement over last year’s commentators, Joe Theismann and Matt Millen.

The decision to put Nessler, who also calls college football for ESPN, in the play-by-play chair is something of a surprise. He replaces Bob Papa, who had been with NFL Network the last two years. Prior to that NFL Network had Bryant Gumbel in the play-by-play role.

Gus Johnson had also been considered for the play-by-play role. After the decision to go to Mayock was made, Papa was told to re-audition for his old job, and apparently NFL Network thought Nessler was a better fit with Mayock.

Mayock and Nessler will debut on Thursday, November 10, when the Raiders play the Chargers in San Diego.

UPDATE: NFL Network has now announced the move.

“My favorite aspect of this industry is to do live games,” Mayock said in NFL Network’s statement. “You are able to get up close to the coaches and players and the environment is electric. To have the opportunity to call NFL games in primetime on NFL Network is like a dream come true.”

Added Nessler, “The NFL has always been a big part of my life and my career. To join NFL Network and the great team they’ve assembled is an honor. Primetime football on Thursday nights is an event. It’s an exciting new challenge and I can’t wait to be part of it all.”

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22 Responses to “NFL Network teams Mike Mayock with Brad Nessler”
  1. shackdelrio says: May 5, 2011 9:25 AM

    “his presence in the booth represents a major improvement over last year’s commentators, Joe Theismann and Matt Millen.”

    The presence of anybody in the booth would have been an improvement over those two chuckleheads.

  2. yem123 says: May 5, 2011 9:31 AM

    GREAT move! I liked Papa (I’m a Giants fan, grew up with him) but Mayock & Nessler are excellent quality. Basically any move which eliminates Theismann is an upgrade.

  3. psuravens19 says: May 5, 2011 9:35 AM

    Personally, the NFL Network feed is one of the worst that I’ve ever watched. The only time I watch a Thursday night game is when the Ravens play and I hate every second of it.

    MLB network does it right, they show the feed from the home team.

  4. benh999 says: May 5, 2011 9:42 AM

    What about teaming him with a speech therapist?

  5. realitypolice says: May 5, 2011 9:43 AM

    Papa got screwed.

    On the other hand, what do I care? I don’t even get the NFL Network.

    I’m not bitter at all. Why should I expect to get the network owned by the richest pro sports league in the world headquartered in New York City.

    It’s not like I live there or anything. Oh wait, I do.

  6. rajbais says: May 5, 2011 9:46 AM

    I like Nessler, but passing over Gus Johnson is a crime!!!!

  7. dwinsgames says: May 5, 2011 9:48 AM

    I don’t think Nessler is an upgrade from Papa, who is terrific, but Charlie the Chimp would be an upgrade from the other two chuckleheads, so if that is the new package, I’ll take it.

  8. bhindenemylines says: May 5, 2011 9:51 AM

    Bob Papa has been the only bright spot on that show for as long as he’s been on. He got screwed.

  9. chapnastier says: May 5, 2011 9:53 AM

    Thank God they didn’t go with Gus Johnson!

  10. nyctexan says: May 5, 2011 9:58 AM

    Hope to hear a lot more Brad Nessler than crazy ‘ole Mayock.

  11. schmitty2 says: May 5, 2011 10:00 AM

    “his presence in the booth represents a major improvement over last year’s commentators, Joe Theismann and Matt Millen.”

    A 80 year old with Alzheimer’s and laryngitis would be a better analyst than those guys

  12. buckmelanoma says: May 5, 2011 10:00 AM

    Almost anyone other than Dierdork & Theisman.

  13. packersurle says: May 5, 2011 10:07 AM

    Bob Papa is so east coast – I don’t think he know one fact about a team not on the east coast. He should be announcing for a NY team and not nationally.

  14. steelersteve says: May 5, 2011 10:26 AM

    This is a GREAT move by the NFL network! Since they have been broadcasting games there booth work/presences has been pathetic! Almost unwatchable.

    Now where is Tofoya again – lmao!

  15. tednancy says: May 5, 2011 10:30 AM

    Too bad about Bob Papa. Nessler, however, is a far better choice than Gus Johnson. All Gus does is shout and whoop and holler.

    Enthusiasm vs. wisdom? I’ll take the latter. Gus is so loud, he drowns out the crowd noise and game ambiance. The best announcers are the ones who just shut up and let a big moment speak for itself.

    Like Pat Summerall.

  16. shackdelrio says: May 5, 2011 10:53 AM

    “schmitty2 says:
    May 5, 2011 10:00 AM
    A 80 year old with Alzheimer’s and laryngitis would be a better analyst than those guys”

    Funny you should say that. Joe Paterno was their second choice.

  17. abengalfan says: May 5, 2011 10:55 AM

    packersurle says:
    May 5, 2011 10:07 AM
    Bob Papa is so east coast – I don’t think he know one fact about a team not on the east coast. He should be announcing for a NY team and not nationally.

    I listen to Papa most mornings on Sirius NFL Radio, he knows all 32 teams as well as anyone.
    And FYI Pack fan he does the NY Football Giants radio broadcast so there is that.
    Will miss Papa Thursday nights, other than Collinsworth he was the only NFLN announcer I enjoyed listening to.
    Gumble, Joe T and Millen were all bad

  18. ronswansonsdinner says: May 5, 2011 11:24 AM

    Don’t understand why Joe Thiesman had a job in the first place. He thought Albert Einstein’s real name was Norman.

  19. MichaelEdits says: May 5, 2011 11:40 AM

    Theismann and Millen. Would you believe those broadcasts never made it to southeast Asia?

  20. pigskin28 says: May 5, 2011 11:41 AM

    Yes, yes, yes yes YESSSSS!! Thank you!

  21. huejackson says: May 5, 2011 12:32 PM

    Bob Pappa is no where near as good as the pappa that does the raider games on the raiders,
    I think his name is greg papa?
    He is the best play by play football broadcaster in the business

    TOOOOOOUUUUCHHHHH DOOOOOOWWWWWNNNNNNN
    RRRRRAAAAAIIIDDDDEEEEEERRRRRRSSSS

    (u will hear alot of that this year)
    and alot in the superbowl

  22. whatswiththehate says: May 5, 2011 1:43 PM

    I don’t know much about Mayock and his expertise or knowledge of football but all I do know is that he is way to singular minded for my taste. After watching him, Lombardi and Charlie handle the QBs and some of the draftees in this past draft with such blatant bias, I really wonder if he really knows how to be objective enough to talk positively and fairly about a team he may not favor as much.

    IMO, everyone associated with ESPN and their family lack a great deal of professionalism. Wearing a nice suit and speaking well does not make you professional.

    And does anyone get hired to be part of the NFLN clan who isn’t part of the ESPN family. My, the need to learn to share the love.

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