MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — ESPN’s Evan Kaplan knows how important it is to be there for your team in big moments.
As an NFL research specialist, he’s helped Chris Berman, Steve Young and Randy Moss recap the Patriots’ 28-3 comeback in Super Bowl LI; worked 15 hours of live TV alongside Trey Wingo during the highest-rated and most-watched NFL Draft ever, provided statistical support to Suzy Kolber and ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown team the night Drew Brees broke Peyton Manning’s touchdown record; and collaborated with New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Sam Ponder and the Sunday NFL Countdown crew on a record-setting show Championship Weekend.
“Evan is like a Pro Bowl offensive lineman for our group,” senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter said. “You don’t hear his name a lot, but we can’t do our jobs without him.”
“Evan has been a godsend for all of us, and surely for me, from the moment he joined our signature NFL shows.”
In preparation for Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Feb. 2, Kaplan has spent the past two weeks generating content ideas, writing research elements and building graphics for ESPN’s four-hour Postseason NFL Countdown pregame show (10 a.m. ET, ESPN) and the postgame NFL PrimeTime (10:30 p.m., ESPN).
He also continues to serve as a trusted resource for ESPN’s vast team of NFL hosts, analysts, insiders and field reporters – both on and off the air.
“One of the things I’m most proud of in my role is always being available, regardless of how big or small the question may seem,” Kaplan said. “I’m constantly doing mental checklists to make sure we’re not only covering the right storylines, but doing so in the appropriate way.”
A veteran of six Super Bowls and seven NFL seasons at ESPN, the UConn grad relishes his role and responsibilities.
“Working on the NFL at ESPN has given me opportunities I never dreamed of having in my career,” said Kaplan, a Mountainside, N.J., native. “But more importantly it’s allowed me to build relationships that I’ll have for the rest of my life.”