How Can Tom Brady Succeed As An NFL Analyst? How Can He Fail?

May 11th, 2022

Tommy, can I get my old job with FOX back next year?”

Yesterday Joe was at One Buc Palace for the various press conferences from offensive assistants and got a lot of interesting intel out of it.

Outside the walls of One Buc Palace and out of the laser-focus of Bucs fans, the electronic media and national scribes were going wild with the news that Bucs quarterback Tom Brady will be the FOX Sports’ No. 1 NFL in-game analyst whenever he retires.

Joe now understands why Troy Aikman was never given a reason why he wasn’t offered another contract. This clearly has been in the works for a long, long time.

Joe was talking with a couple of local TV dudes at One Buc about the Brady news. These two guys have decades of local TV work under their belts. Both thought Brady will kill it in the FOX broadcast booth. Joe held the opposite opinion.

Joe’s angle was that Joe has yet to see Brady behind a microphone where he appears remotely glib, quick, engaging or compelling. Sometimes he is, but not often. Oh, he’s polite; don’t get Joe wrong. But when Joe thinks of a TV analyst, Joe thinks of a guy who’s quick, insightful, engaging. Brady in front of reporters is more Lavonte David than foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski, Bucco Bruce Arians or even Richard Sherman.

(Both TV guys said Brady is acting at press conferences and that’s the Belicheat in him.)

Brady is clearly on another planet with his intelligence but that doesn’t always transform into broadcasting. It’s the personality, the insight and a quick-to-the-point manner that makes a broadcast.

Bill Walsh may have been the smartest football mind whoever lived. He was awful in the booth. Joe Montana? Great guy, clearly a smart dude, but he is miserable on TV.

Richard Deitsch, media analyst for The Athletic, decided to talk with a big-shot network suit who has a strong history of building broadcast teams to find out how Brady may or may not work in a broadcast booth.

“It’s successful if Tom wants to put the work in and learn this craft,” said the person, who has deep roots in sports TV production. “Until now he’s been able to control everything about his very limited but successful foray into media, whether it be his self-produced documentaries or social media posts. Now, he’ll be jumping into the same pool as the rest of sports television analysts and he’ll be judged accordingly, but receive even more scrutiny. Tom gets all this and I would not bet against him.”

How can it go south?

“It fails if he has so many other things in his life and he can’t make the full commitment to learning this craft and being great,” said the source. “With all the outside endeavors he’s enjoyed through his football career, he shut them all down when it was time to train and play. Along with his family, football came first. It will need to be similar here. But it’s a brilliant move by FOX. Not sure what they paid, but they significantly upgraded their NFL presentation.”

Joe isn’t sure how anyone can say FOX upgraded when Brady has yet to work a game. That’s like Clyde Christensen and Bruce Arians telling people Blaine Gabbert is a quiet assassin as a starting quarterback. Based on what?

Being a good analyst is about presentation. You have to be quick — very quick — with your analysis. Make your point now! Then get out of the way. Joe has yet to see this in Brady.

Success has nothing to do with how good of a player or coach you were. Kirk Herbstreit is one of the best analysts working in football. He was a nothing quarterback. Tony Romo always had the engaging personality and sharp wit, but you never knew how that would work until he got in a booth. And how many playoff games did the Eastern Illinois product Romo win?

Dick Vitale may be one of the greatest sports analysts of all time and he was a truly forgettable coach, outside of the fact he was a madman on the sidelines. As an analyst, Vitale is the total package of preparation, homework, knowledge, engaging personality and quick insight that makes for a memorable, enlightening, fun broadcast.

Joel Klatt of FOX Sports is an up-and-comer. Anyone remember him playing quarterback at Colorado? Didn’t think so.

John Madden became an icon not just because he knew X’s and O’s, but he had a bigger-than-life personality that burst through the TV and clicked with viewers as no analyst has before or since.

The voice of reason, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, has a simple gauge whether someone is a good analyst: Would you invite the guy into your living room to broadcast or sit next to him at a ballgame? If the answer is yes, then you have a good analyst.

While the media world was fully bananas about Brady’s new job — even TMZ went crazy with it — Joe confesses to much preferring seeing Brady play for the Bucs than to hear him from a broadcast booth. But maybe that’s just Joe.

22 Responses to “How Can Tom Brady Succeed As An NFL Analyst? How Can He Fail?”

  1. #8 Says:

    I agree. Honestly not sure this turns out well for Tom.

  2. OHBucFan Says:

    Really? Madden vs Walsh? Romo vs Brees? Aikman vs Montana? Peyton vs Eli? Arians vs Payton? Tom vs Aaron? Think about it this way: Each of these guys sitting in the window seat in first class. Who you sitting with?
    TB will be a home run.
    Don’t worry about it though. TV execs get it wrong all the time, too.

  3. Kirk Says:

    I’m sure that TB is being tutored by Fox Sports.
    He will be just fine.

  4. Hodad Says:

    Jeez Joe, Aikman has been brain dead his whole broadcast career, and Buck has the personality of milk toast. Look how successfull those two dolts have been. Brady will be fine. If anything Joe, by now you should know don’t bet against Brady.

  5. Jeff Says:

    Brady doesn’t have a good voice. He sounds like an 18 year old with a screechy tone. He’s simply not engaging at all. I don’t see how this works out. And frankly don’t care how he does as a broadcaster.

  6. Goatfarmer Says:

    Excellent analysis, Joes.

  7. John Collins Says:

    Romo jumped on the scene by being a seer of Brady’s play calling being so right his personality opened and he landed a major contract.
    Brady has many qualities how high is quick wit ranked

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I can guarantee you the Q rating is off the charts for Brady…..FOX has researched and focus grouped Brady to the max…..there is no way they enter into this agreement in the blind.
    Brady will be a different person when he isn’t restricted by being on a team.

    I look forward to his new career which I hope starts in about 5 years.

  9. Razor Ramone Says:

    The first thing I thought was how awful Joe Montana was.

  10. Beeej Says:

    I love to hear the technical reasons why various things happen on the field (think Romo) Nobody has more such info than Brady

  11. PSL Bob Says:

    Have to agree with Joe on this one. I just don’t see his personality lending itself well to the broadcast booth. He’s spent a long career managing his message to say nothing in a long about way. Now he has to do a 180 and give a meaningful analysis in a very short amount of time. I just don’t see this working out well.

  12. HC Grover Says:

    Brady will pick it up on the quick. I will miss the Buc radio announcer that is retiring He was good.

  13. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I think Tom Landry once broadcast a Super Bowl game – if you’re an X’s and O’s guy- it was great.
    Dickie V was an excellent college coach- didn’t have much of a chance with the Pistons- but one of the All-timers as college basketball announcer.

  14. Pewter Power Says:

    When has Tom ever not wanted to put in the work to learn his craft? This article is way too early, could have at least waited 24 hours.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Never tell Tom Brady he’ll fail.

  16. sasquatch Says:

    I just don’t see Brady as a TV analyst.

  17. New England Patriots Fan Says:

    The man is one of the best speakers in the NFL. Every word is thought through and specific, his knowledge on the technical side is comparable to Bill Belichick at least on the modern game. Every interview or conversation is TV worthy for those interested in football, even boring weekly interviews.

    He could be signed to be a top plastic surgeon for 375m in 2023 and within 2-3y be the top surgeon in Florida, because he has demonstrated a willingness to study, and work harder than anyone else, and is a highly intelligent, clutch person.

    The guy could start almost only industry, and be successful if he put even 10% of what he put into football.

  18. Your Mom Says:

    Not sure a sociopath has a personality that engages people in a broadcast… you have to be along on the train with him, not just him being the driver. Time will tell…

  19. GOB Says:

    I don’t think it’s so much his personality that will be an obstacle. The problem is that outside of New England and Tampa, he’s largely hated. When you win that much at everything, I guess it comes with the territory. I doubt people will find him relatable.

  20. Brandon Says:

    I remember Joel Klatt… can I have a cookie?

  21. Mikejp Says:

    Don’t bet against Tom Brady, Joe. Tom always focuses on his work and games. His quick detection of play will put in the TV, so fans will be excited if his prediction is wrong or accurate.


    I am looking forward to it and very interested to see how he does. I agree with JOE that Tom sometimes comes off a little stiff in pressers & interviews.

    But he is also HELLBENT to succeed like perhaps no one ever. He will likely WILL himself to be GREAT.