CBS has not replaced Mike Carey as its NFL officiating analyst for the coming season and has no current plans to, but if the right person comes along, the network might someday revisit the idea.
“We have not found anybody for that job right now,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said Tuesday during CBS’ annual NFL media lunch. “We’re not actively looking, but if we found somebody we would reinstitute that role.”
What CBS discovered in its two years with Carey – as have other networks covering football and other sports – is that the role created and perfected by Fox’s Mike Pereira is not as easy as he makes it look.
The challenge is finding someone both knowledgeable and comfortable with communicating via mass media.
Carey struggled at times with the latter.
“It takes some people a while to develop into good broadcasters, and the viewing public was not as patient as I thought they might be,” McManus said of Carey’s relatively brief term on TV.
McManus said he was surprised by the amount of criticism Carey received simply for disagreeing with officials. Often, his opinions differed from those of the game officials.
“The issue that I didn’t anticipate was the reaction he would get when he disagreed with the official,” McManus said. “For some reason it’s OK for Jim Nantz or Joe Buck or Cris Collinsworth or Jon Gruden to disagree with an official, but when Mike disagreed, with all the years of experience he had, he used to get criticized, pretty roundly.
“So I think that surprised me. It is a difficult role, and if your job is to predict what the official is going to say, that’s an easier job than actually stating your opinion, which might be different.”