Behind The ScenesNFL

MNF spotter, Eagles fan expounds on “surreal” job working with Gruden

Tonight’s Washington Redskins versus Philadelphia Eagles matchup (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN) is a home game for Monday Night Football spotter Tony Granieri. As he has for 13 years working on ESPN primetime NFL presentations, the Linwood, N.J., native will be in the booth, acting as an extra set of eyes watching the field.

A former quarterback at Bryant University in Rhode Island, Granieri alerts MNF analyst Jon Gruden of player substitutions, helps identify schemes and the outcome of individual matchups. He also helps MNF director Chip Dean and ISO producer Evan Cohen, who is in charge of replays.

In 2003, Granieri started as a writer – working with eventual NFL Draft expert Todd McShay – for a football talent evaluating service that would become ESPN Scouts, Inc. In 2004, he landed a role of Sunday Night Football spotter when ESPN NFL producer Jay Rothman sought someone football-savvy.

“Coach Gruden was someone I idolized as an Eagles fan when he was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia,” says Granieri. “My brothers and I spent our Sundays cheering for him and the Eagles offense.”

He adds: “We loved him as fans and now I get to work with him inside the MNF booth. It’s a surreal experience. The fact that he trusts my opinion and respects my football knowledge is something I take great pride in.”

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