Earlier this month, Fox Sports revealed their lineup of NFL broadcasters for the upcoming 2022 season. However, news about their studio crew wasn’t included in the release.
In an interview Saturday with the Miami Herald, Jimmy Johnson talked with Jordan McPherson about several topics, including his role on Fox NFL Sunday. Johnson revealed that he’d be in studio only on the weeks where Fox had doubleheaders, joining remotely on the singleheader Sundays this season.
Are you going to be in studio? Working remotely? How is that going to work?
“For doubleheaders, I’ll be in Los Angeles [in the studio] and obviously for playoff games and on Veterans day when we go to Doha, Qatar. On singleheaders, I’ll do it remotely from the Keys, and occasionally Sean Payton will jump in my seat.”
Early on, what were the challenges of doing Fox NFL Sunday remotely?
They don’t like it when I’m not there. They’ve said, ‘Hey, when you’re there on set, it’s a lot better show.’ But at my age, I just don’t want to go to LA every week. At first, when we started doing it remotely, there was a concern because you had to have the camera just right. There was sometimes a little bit of a delay. They ended up running 2 miles of fiber cable to my house to make sure it wouldn’t be delayed. I told them we won’t have a delay if when we go through rehearsal — and we don’t rehearse what we’re going to say, but what we do is Bill Richards, our producer, will say ‘you talk, then you talk, then you talk’ so we don’t talk over each other’ — and if I know when I’m going to talk, if you kind of give me a hint, a word or two, I’ll jump right in so there won’t be a delay. That was in a production meeting. And then, the very first show, Howie [Long’s] talking; I’m ready to talk and Bradsahw cuts in. We just went through the production meeting and couldn’t get it right.”
Fox has doubleheaders in Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12 (Thanksgiving), 14, 16, and 18, so it’ll be almost an every other week thing in studio for Johnson this season.
This seems reasonable, especially given Johnson’s age and the fact that Fox has hired a high-profile studio analyst in Sean Payton. This way, Johnson can have a bit of a break, and Payton won’t immediately be thrown into the deep end.