National Football League coaching legend Bill Parcells and San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice are joining ESPN as NFL analysts. Parcells will bring his more than 30 years of NFL experience to Sunday NFL Countdown and other specials as a contributor throughout the year. Rice, arguably the greatest player in league history, will appear on such programs as NFL Live, SportsCenter and Audibles.
Parcells will make his return to ESPN on Monday Night Countdown (7 p.m. ET) this Monday, Aug. 15, before the New York Jets-Houston Texans preseason game. He will also be part of Countdown’s regular season kickoff show on Sept. 12 before two of his former teams – the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins – open the 2011 Monday Night Football schedule. Parcells will make regular Sunday NFL Countdown appearances and contribute a pair of SportsCenter Special shows, Super Bowl Confidential and Draft Confidential, similar to the 90-minute Bill Parcells Draft Confidential from earlier this year.
No stranger to ESPN, Parcells previously worked as a studio analyst on both Monday Night Countdown (2007) and Sunday NFL Countdown (2002) after spending part of the 2001 season as a guest analyst. The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach’s return will reunite him with host Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, and Chris Mortensen, among other members of the Countdown team.
Rice will make his debut on Audibles on Sept. 15 (7 p.m.) as the pro football-themed discussion show driven by fan-generated questions becomes a part of ESPN’s weekly Thursday night fall lineup. Rice will contribute to the show from ESPN’s Los Angeles production facility and work alongside with the likes of Trent Dilfer, Herm Edwards, Keyshawn Johnson and his former 49ers quarterback Steve Young – a duo that combined for 85 touchdowns during their record-breaking careers. In addition to Audibles, the three-time Super Bowl champion will make regular appearances from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn.
“Bill Parcells and Jerry Rice are two of the NFL’s all-time greats and have five Super Bowl rings between them,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “They are among the most respected names in the game, and we’re thrilled fans will have the opportunity to hear their insights as part of ESPN’s comprehensive NFL coverage.”
Parcells added: “Over my years in football, I’ve had the good fortune of building terrific relationships with some of the folks at ESPN. Some of them are familiar faces to the viewers and some are smart and talented people behind the scenes. I look forward to working with many of those same people again and sharing my opinions and perspective with viewers throughout the NFL season.”
Rice added: “I am excited to begin this new chapter of my life working for ESPN as an NFL analyst. Throughout my career, I recognized ESPN was the best place to go for NFL information and analysis and I am honored to join their great team. For my part, I am going to work as hard as humanly possible to bring viewers the best insights and opinions on issues around the league.”
Bill Parcells Bio:
During his 19 NFL seasons as a head coach, Parcells posted a career record of 183-138-1 with four teams — New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. A two-time Super Bowl winner with the Giants (1986 and 1990), Parcells is one of only five coaches in NFL history to lead two separate teams to the Super Bowl, having also guided the Patriots to the NFL title game in 1996. He ranks ninth on the NFL’s list of all-time winningest head coaches, and his 11 playoff victories are tied for the fifth most in NFL history. Parcells stepped down as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in January 2006 after leading the team to a Wild Card playoff berth. In four seasons, he compiled a 34-32 overall record in Dallas, becoming the first head coach in NFL history to lead four different teams to the playoffs. Most recently, Parcells was the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Miami Dolphins from 2008-10. During his first season, he helped engineer a remarkable 10-game turnaround from the previous year as the Dolphins finished 11-5 and became AFC East champions and returned to the playoffs.
In addition to his previous studio role with ESPN, Parcells also worked two years as a studio and game analyst for NBC Sports in 1991-92.
Jerry Rice Bio:
Jerry Rice played 20 NFL seasons (1985-2004) and is the most prolific wide receiver in NFL history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, the first year he was eligible, and the San Francisco 49ers retired his No. 80 in September 2010. Rice owns virtually every significant receiving mark, including career records for receptions (1,549); receiving yards (22,895 yards); most 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14); total touchdowns (208); and combined net yards (23,546). Rice was named first-team All-Pro 11 consecutive seasons and voted to 13 Pro Bowls, as well as a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s and the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team. In 2010, Rice was the top player in the NFL Network’s countdown of The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players.
In 1986, Rice caught 86 passes for a league-leading 1,570 yards. He also led the NFL in touchdown catches with 15 – the first of 11 straight 1,000-yard seasons for Rice who also recorded double-digit receiving touchdown totals in nine of the next 10 seasons. Rice set the NFL record for touchdown receptions in a season with 22 in 1987. He led the NFL in receiving yards six times including a NFL record 1,848 yards in 1995. Rice also led the NFL in touchdown receptions six times and had four seasons with at least 100 catches. The first round pick of the 49ers out of Mississippi Valley State also holds multiple NFL playoff and Super Bowl records having played in eight conference championships and four Super Bowls. He earned three Super Bowl rings with the 49ers and was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXIII.
Last season Rice co-hosted the Sports Sunday prime time sports show on NBC affiliate KNTV in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he previously co-hosted “The Afternoon Blitz” on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. He has also worked as an analyst on the BBC’s NFL coverage.