Editor’s Note: The SportsCenter On The Road Bus will be at Alabama and West Virginia this week and Florida State later this month for extensive coverage of the “pro days” – showcasing football players for the 2015 NFL Draft – at the respective schools (see sidebar on coverage below). Studio host and SportsCenter anchor Randy Scott, who joined ESPN in June 2012, will be on the road for those events and more. He shares his thoughts on the assignment via this Front Row post.
This is one of those assignments as an anchor where you look at your schedule and you kind of do a double-take to make sure you’re seeing what you’re actually seeing.
I haven’t traveled for SportsCenter yet. To do it for the first time on this kind of an event is a real treat. I haven’t covered a pro day here at ESPN before, but in my pre-ESPN career, I covered pro days at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia. That’s going back a decade now.
Not only has coverage changed, but the event itself has changed.
And when I was covering those two schools, I was “one-man banding” – lugging the camera, tripod and lighting, etc., shooting my own video, editing the tape (actual tape-to-tape editing) and setting up my own shots.
To go from that to the “SportsCenter On the Road” tour bus and high-tech mobile satellite studio set-up we’ll have in Tuscaloosa, (Ala.), Morgantown (W.Va.) and Tallahassee (Fla.), to go from solo to working with [ESPN NFL analysts] Cris Carter, Darren Woodson, Ron Jaworski, [along with ESPN reporters] Tom Rinaldi and Josina Anderson is just a tremendous thrill.
Each team I’ll have the opportunity to work with is going to bring its own insight and will be its own brand of fun to work with.
I got a look at the itinerary for the first pro day in Tuscaloosa, and it’s a long day. I think call time is at 6 a.m. CT, and then we’ll be doing segments and live hits until at least 5 p.m. So to get to work with CC [Carter], it’s going to be like being hooked up to a caffeine drip. The man has boundless energy and the insight he’ll be able to provide into someone like an [Alabama wide receiver] Amari Cooper will be so valuable to the viewer, and something you won’t be able to get anywhere else.
Tom Rinaldi is tremendous at what he does and his relationships with the Alabama coaching staff and personnel will give us great info into what CC and I won’t necessarily be able to see from our set.
It’s likewise working with Josina Anderson and Darren Woodson at West Virginia.
Josina’s ability to put people at ease is really going to help us through the day in Morgantown, and honestly, Darren will probably be a perfect guy to ask about how you defend [West Virginia wide receiver] Kevin White at the next level.
Down in Tallahassee, Ron Jaworski is the perfect person to talk about [Florida State quarterback] Jameis Winston’s mechanics, presence, delivery, etc., really anything related to what Winston brings to the NFL on the field. And then having [analyst] Todd McShay there to go over what he sees during that pro day from an NFL Draft perspective will be key as we’ll be less than a month away from the first round by that point.
As someone who’s been on the SportsCenter desk – not having left Bristol in my 2-1/2 years at ESPN — I’m looking forward to seeing how the show translates on the road, how the content and segments are produced from site, etc.
I think we sometimes take a lot of that hard work in the field for granted and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it over these next couple of weeks. From an NFL perspective, I’m intrigued maybe just as a fan, to see how much of a “controlled environment” these pro days are.
I know I’ll probably have my own opinions, and I know after spending a day with CC, Jaws and Darren, my opinions will probably be all wrong!