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Joe Buck hopes Drew Brees gets another shot at broadcasting

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Longtime sports broadcaster Joe Buck believes Drew Brees didn’t have enough time to prove himself as an announcer. 

Buck shared this view on The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch’s “Sports Media” podcast this week, where they also discussed the high expectations for Tom Brady as he joins Kevin Burkhardt in Fox Sports’ top NFL booth.

“I think Drew Brees got a raw deal,” Buck said. “And if there’s anybody who was ever created in a computer to be a top analyst at a network, I think it’s Drew Brees and I would love to see him get another chance at that.

“He got one game, and he was working with a new crew and a new play-by-play guy and everybody expects brilliance. You make one comment, and it gets its own life on social media. It’s just ridiculous.”

Brees worked for NBC during the 2021 football season as a color commentator for Notre Dame games and as a studio analyst for “Sunday Night Football” alongside play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico. During that season, he also called the Cincinnati Bengals-Las Vegas Raiders playoff game for NBC, a performance that faced some public criticism.

NBC and Brees mutually decided to part ways shortly after that season. While the common narrative suggested NBC was dissatisfied with Brees’ playoff calling performance, the former Super Bowl-winning quarterback stated that he left NBC for family reasons.

Could Brees return to the booth?

Brees is an interesting figure when it comes to sports broadcasting because for years the producers, directors and on-air NFL game talent who met with him during production meetings when Brees was a player — and this was the case for all networks — repeatedly said he had everything for projected success as a broadcaster. He communicated well, he saw the field beyond his position and he obviously had the Hall of Fame bona fides that networks like when they market their talent. He was also liked by NFL officials including Roger Goodell, and that always matters.

Clearly, Brees’ NBC tenure did not go as expected. He and Tirico called the Bengals’ 26-19 victory over the Raiders in the 2022 AFC wild-card game and it was a very rough NFL postseason debut for Brees, to state the obvious. Brees came off exactly as he was — a broadcaster with little experience as an NFL game analyst. But people improve in sports broadcasting, especially if they do the work.

If Brees wanted to get back into NFL broadcasting, simply by virtue of his name, he’d get the opportunity to learn his craft on a No. 3 or No. 4 broadcast team. Ego plays a big role in sports broadcasting. Brees’ initial foray did not go as planned, but this is still a Hall of Fame-to-be quarterback beloved by league officials and a household name to most football fans. Someone would take a flyer if he still wants in. — Richard Deitsch, sports media senior writer

(Photo of Drew Brees: Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images)

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