Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Bart Scott to join CBS' 'The NFL Today'
CBS announced Monday that former Jets linebacker Bart Scott will join the revamped panel of analysts for its "The NFL Today" pregame show for the 2014 season.
Previously the network said Tony Gonzalez would join the show, while Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe left.
Scott and Gonzalez join the returning James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason.
Scott, who last played in 2012, drew strong reviews for his rookie season as an analyst on "That Other Pregame Show" on CBS Sports Network, earning him his shot on the network's centerpiece pregame show.
CBS said Scott will expand his role in other areas, including contributing to "Inside the NFL" on Showtime, while also appearing on weekly segments for TOPS.
"I'm excited," Scott said in a telephone interview. "I love the format of how they do the show."
Scott said he initially was unsure how well he would do transitioning to television last year but that in the end it was mostly "effortless" thanks to the coaches he played for over the years who helped him understand the game.
Scott was hampered in his final season by a toe injury and seriously considered a return to the field for 2014 to prove he still could play. He said one team he would not name was "serious" about bringing him into the fold in a major role.
"But this opportunity was too tremendous to pass up," he said. "I know I can play. There were people who were going to give me the opportunity in a starting role and a main role . . . But football would have been a two-year job. This is a career.
"It's equivalent to getting the Jay Leno Show or the David Letterman Show. If I passed it up I might be kicking myself in the butt for the rest of my life . . . This opportunity is a dream for me to be able to step off the field one year and step into that arena now. I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility. I know I'll be critiqued a lot harder now that I’m on this big stage."
"Bart joining 'The NFL Today' is a natural progression from his outstanding work during his first season on TOPS,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a news release.
“Bart brings a dynamic personality and unique perspective as a recently retired player providing strong opinions on all the hot-button issues on a weekly basis. We are confident he will continue to bring that perspective and those opinions to 'The NFL Today'”
Mark Lepselter, Scott's agent, said, "I think last year on TOPS was like an incubator opportunity to show that he had legitimate TV skills. Bart has a big personality and he has presence and he’s not afraid to say things.
"He could have had an opportunity to play [in the NFL in 2014], but this was too good to pass up."
Scott played 11 seasons in the NFL for the Ravens and Jets, securing All-Pro honors in 2006.