The latest NFL analyst to join Fox Sports is a familiar name, Michael Lombardi. Lombardi worked as an NFL executive from 1984 to 2007 with the 49ers, Browns, Eagles and Raiders, then went full-time to the media side from 2008 to 2012 before returning as an executive with the Browns in 2013 and the Patriots in 2014 and 2015. According to Fox’s release, he’ll be contributing to a wide variety of their shows, including weekday FS1 studio shows and Sunday’s Fox NFL Kickoff:
A National Football League front-office veteran, possessing close to three decades experience, Michael Lombardi joins FOX Sports as a guest analyst and contributor on FS1 studio shows SKIP AND SHANNON: UNDISPUTED, THE HERD WITH COLIN COWHERD and SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, in addition to making appearances on the Sunday morning FOX NFL KICKOFF (11:00 AM ET) pregame show on the FOX broadcast network. The announcement was made Thursday by Jamie Horowitz, President, FOX Sports National Networks.
“Michael is a thought-provoking and insightful football analyst with an impressive résumé,” Horowitz said. “We feel like his blunt approach and original perspective makes the FS1 shows more interesting, and the fans of those shows more informed.”
This seems like a smart hire for Fox, as while they have numerous former NFL players (including Shannon Sharpe, Charles Tillman and more) and coaches (including Dave Wannstadt), Lombardi should be able to bring new insight with his personnel-side analysis. Having guys with that background such as Bill Polian and Louis Riddick has been highly beneficial for ESPN, and it makes sense for Fox to have someone on staff with that kind of experience, especially now that they have a bunch of studio shows to fill.
The other benefit of hiring Lombardi is he’s a seasoned media commentator at this point. He appeared on-air for CBS in 1998, worked for NFL Network from 2008 to 2012, did some work for Showtime’s Inside the NFL, wrote for Sports Illustrated, founded and edited the National Football Post, and wrote for NFL.com. It’s helpful having someone who has experience not just in the personnel world of the NFL, but in expressing the concepts and terminology found there to a broad media audience. Lombardi has proven to be skilled at that in past stops, and if he can do so again, this hire looks like a win for Fox.