Behind The ScenesNFL

Schefter previews his NFL Wild Card game assignment as an ESPN sideline reporter

Adam Schefter, seen here before a Monday Night Football game last month, makes his ESPN sideline reporting debut Saturday in Houston. (Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
Adam Schefter, seen here before a Monday Night Football game last month, makes his ESPN sideline reporting debut Saturday in Houston. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

HOUSTON – NFL Insider Adam Schefter covers pro football year-round for ESPN – the NFL Draft, Free Agency, Super Bowl, you name it. But, this weekend will mark a “first” during his eight-year ESPN tenure.

Schefter will make his ESPN sideline reporting debut during the Oakland Raiders versus Houston Texans NFL Wild Card game (Saturday, 4:20 p.m. ET, ESPN and ABC). Schefter will cover the Raiders, joining the regular Monday Night Football crew of Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters, who will cover the Texans.

Schefter, who reported from NFL sidelines earlier in his career, discusses his Wild Card role with Front Row and previews his new weekly ESPN Audio podcast “Know Them From Adam,” which debuts next week (Jan. 10).

Adam Schefter's new podcast debuts Jan. 10.
Adam Schefter’s new podcast will feature a conversation with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

How are you approaching the Wild Card game assignment?
My job is to basically live the NFL, around the clock, around the calendar, so it’s not much different there. The main difference is I flew to Houston on Thursday morning and will go through the regular production meetings with the teams that the Monday Night crew regularly does. That’s new to me. So this will provide additional access that should be very helpful during the broadcast.

You previously did sideline reporting. Do you have a favorite memory from that experience?
Just the fact that I did it. When NFL Network first started doing games, I was its first sideline reporter. Got to work with legends in the broadcast industry, Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth, and I loved that. Also got to do sideline work twice with Al Michaels and John Madden during preseason games, while [sideline reporter] Andrea Kremer was serving Olympic assignments. There were some memorable games, but there was nothing more memorable than getting to work with some of the biggest stars and talents in our business.

Any word on when you will work your first NBA game since this was also recently announced?
“[ESPN NBA producer] Tim Corrigan and I spoke about this recently. I am excited about working with the NBA team sometime after the NFL season ends.”

Have you received advice from other sideline reporters?
Lisa does a great job, as do all our sideline reporters in all sports. But for advice this week I went to [MNF producer] Jay Rothman. I asked him what I needed to know and do for Saturday. He said what I’ve always believed: The sideline reporter is in a unique position, in a place where anyone watching the game would love to be. It’s up to the sideline reporter to give the viewer a sense of what it feels like and looks like to be on that sideline. We have to try to take the viewers to places they don’t ordinarily get to go.

Your new weekly podcast debuts next week. Who’s your first guest and what will be discussed?
The two locked-in guests right now are [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones in Week One and [NFL Insider] Chris Mortensen sometime shortly after that. We recently recorded with Jerry and he was, as you would expect, excellent.

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