On Newsstands Today: ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft Issue

To download cover:  http://bit.ly/1FSsUnp

Behind-the-scenes with ESPN Front Row: http://es.pn/1cDHsAj

E-042715-COVERPROMO

On the cover:  ESPN The Magazine’s newest addition, Senior Writer Kurt Streeter goes all-access with the draft’s most polarizing player—and arguably the most controversial potential No. 1 pick ever—as he navigates the draft’s unforgiving evaluation process in Jameis Winston is on the clock.

He’s been called a Heisman winner, an alleged rapist, a BCS champ, a thief, a leader, a misogynist, an immature kid, and a transcendent talent. Ultimately, we hope to answer the question that, thus far, has been seemingly unanswerable: Who is Jameis Winston?

 

NFL Draft Issue Features

Beating the System

The NFL doesn’t quite know what to make of Marcus Mariota. But the film doesn’t lie: The kid is more than just a product of Oregon’s scheme. Mariota threw 91 more touchdowns than interceptions in college, set all sorts of school records and generally made playing QB look easy. So why do some draft pudits have him dropping out of the top five? The reigning Heisman winner played in the fast-paced, ultra-spread Oregon offense, which, critics say, didn’t force him to make many NFL reads or NFL throws. And when that’s the perception, pro talent evaluators often have trouble separating the player from the system. So, we’re going to take a look at the tape, and talk to college/NFL scouts, execs and coaches as a means of showing the true transition that Mariota faces at the next level. By Mike Sando

Kings For A Day

In The Mag’s eighth annual NFL Draft edition, we gave the quarterbacks not named Winston and Mariota their own Chicago-style draft party. This all-QB version including UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Alabama’s Blake Sims and Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson get the royal treatment in Chicago. By Morty Ain

Mock This Way

After watching hundreds of hours of tape, our draft experts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr, can agree on only five picks.

Additional NFL Draft Issue Highlights:

  • CBB: Senior Writer Wright Thompson’s Jason Rabedeaux was here documents the story of Jason Rabedeaux, once one of college basketball’s brightest young coaches in the U.S. In 1999, Coach Rab became the head coach at UTEP, replacing Don Haskins. He resigned abruptly several years later, after not winning enough games and a public scandal about him cheating on his wife. He eventually ended up coaching all around Asia, finally settling three years ago in Vietnam. Last fall he died mysteriously in Saigon, leaving his loved ones and colleagues to grapple with how far he’d fallen.
  • NHL: We’ve identified four categories that serve as great predictors for NHL playoff success –puck possession, goaltending, special teams/penalty kills and playoff experience. The team that ranks the highest among all the 2015 playoff-bound teams? The Chicago Blackhawks, our pick to win it all. By Ben Arledge
  • NBA: Columnist Peter Keating will be applying his signature Giant Killers method to the NBA playoffs and determine which upsets might be brewing in the first round. There’s a much smaller chance than an inferior team can win a seven-game series than a single game, but GK can still help determine which teams can play Goliath.
  • NBA: The Cavs are the popular pick to win this year’s title for…well, obvious reasons. But they’re not such a sure thing. We’re breaking down two reasons the Cavs will win it all this year—and two reasons they won’t.

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Media Contact: Carrie Kreiswirth at (646) 547-4686 or carrie.b.kreiswirth@espn.com

 

 

 

 

ESPN Commentators for the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago

Photos via ESPN Images

ESPN will present the 2015 NFL Draft – its 36th consecutive year televising the event – April 30-May 2 from the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, as the draft makes its Windy City debut. The first two days will air in primetime, and the first hour of Round 1 coverage will again air with limited commercial interruption.

On Thursday, April 30, Chris Berman (covering his 35th draft) will host Round 1 with NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. (his 32nd), Super Bowl winning head coach and Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden, and two-time Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis. NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report from another set inside the theatre and NFL Insiders host Suzy Kolber will conduct interviews on the gold carpet and inside the green room.

On Friday, May 1, NFL Live’s Trey Wingo will host Rounds 2 and 3 with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer, and NFL Draft analysts Kiper and Todd McShay. Mortensen, Schefter and Kolber will also contribute to the telecast.

On Saturday, May 2, Wingo, Kiper, McShay and six-time National Football League Executive of the Year Bill Polian, a 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, will cover Rounds 4-7 with Mortensen and Schefter.

ESPN will also dispatch bureau reporters to a handful of NFL team sites, and to be with two of the top prospects in the draft:

  • Florida State’s Jameis Winston in Alabama (Tom Rinaldi)
  • Oregon’s Marcus Mariota in Hawaii (Shelley Smith)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ed Werder)
  • Tennessee Titans (Sal Paolantonio)
  • New York Jets (Josina Anderson)
  • Chicago Bears (Bob Holtzman)
  • Louis Rams (Britt McHenry)
  • Cleveland Browns (Jeremy Fowler)
  • San Diego Chargers (Jim Trotter)

ESPN’s team of commentators will provide updates and analysis throughout the three-day event across multiple platforms, and editions of ESPN’s NFL Insiders, NFL Live and SportsCenter will originate from Chicago beginning Thursday, April 30. Schedule:

ESPN NFL Draft TV schedule (April 30-May 2):

Date Time (ET) Show Network
Thu, Apr 30 2:30-3:30 p.m. NFL Insiders ESPN
3:30-4:30 p.m. NFL Live Presented by NAPA ESPN
7-8 p.m. SportsCenter Special Presented by Golden Corral: Draft Countdown ESPN
8-11:30 p.m. NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Round 1) ESPN
Fri, May 1 2:30-3:30 p.m. NFL Insiders ESPN
3:30-4:30 p.m. NFL Live Presented by NAPA ESPN
7-11:30 p.m. NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Rounds 2-3) ESPN2
Sat, May 2 12-8 p.m. NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Rounds 4-7) ESPN

*Schedule subject to change.     

 

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SEC Network: Baseball Tripleheader; Five Teams in Spring Game Whip-Around Coverage

SEC Network will air seven baseball games over the weekend, two of which include Top-5 teams with No. 1 Texas A&M playing Sunday and No. 4 Vanderbilt playing Friday. In addition to live coverage of the No. 4 Vanderbilt at South Carolina game, the network’s studio shows will also be live from the South Carolina campus 3-11 p.m. ET on Friday with pre- and post-game coverage (full details).

The sports action continues on Saturday with a tripleheader of Southeastern Conference baseball on SEC Network and multiple viewing options for the Mississippi State, Auburn, LSU, Alabama and Missouri Spring Football Games. All of the spring football games will be live and in full as digital events on SEC Network + via WatchESPN. Additional coverage of each game will be available on television via the SEC Network Alternate channel.

This Weekend on SEC Network:

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network
Thu, Apr 16 7 p.m. Baseball: Tennessee at Kentucky
Clay Matvick & Chris Burke
SEC Network
Fri, Apr 17 7 p.m. Baseball: No. 4 Vanderbilt at South Carolina
Dave Neal & Kyle Peterson
SEC Network
Sat, April 18 Noon Baseball: Tennessee at Kentucky
Clay Matvick & Chris Burke
SEC Network
  Noon Spring Football: Mississippi State
Maroon-White Game
Tom Hart, Tom Luginbill & Kayce Smith
SEC Network Alternate/
SEC Network +
  2 – 5 p.m. SEC Spring Whip Around
(Aub, LSU, Ala)
SEC Network Alternate
  2 p.m. Spring Football: Auburn
A-Day
Dave Baker, Andre Ware & Maria Taylor
SEC Network +
  2 p.m. Spring Football: LSU
National L-Club Spring Game
Adam Amin, Marcus Spears & Kaylee Hartung
SEC Network +
  3 p.m. Baseball: No. 7 Florida at Mississippi State
Tom Hart & TBD
SEC Network
  3 p.m. Spring Football: Alabama
A-Day
Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy & Shannon Spake
SEC Network +
  5 p.m. Spring Football: Missouri
Black & Gold Game
Chris Cotter, Booger McFarland & Laura Rutledge
SEC Network Alternate/
SEC Network +
  8 p.m. Baseball: Alabama at No. 18 Missouri
Mike Morgan & Dave Perno
SEC Network
Sun, Apr 19 1 p.m. Baseball: Alabama at Missouri
Mike Morgan & Dave Perno
SEC Network
  4 p.m. Baseball: Arkansas at No. 1 Texas A&M
TBD
SEC Network

 

Additional Materials:

What is SEC Network +/ SEC Network Alternate
How to watch SEC Network +
SEC Network Channel Listings

SEC Network Spring Game Schedule

 

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NFL Network Analysts Charles Davis & Daniel Jeremiah’s 2015 NFL Draft Conference Call — Transcript & Audio

Provided below are the transcript and audio file of NFL Network analysts Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah’s 2015 NFL Draft conference call held on Monday, April 13:

Transcript: Charles Davis & Daniel Jeremiah Conference Call Transcript

Audio: 

Mary Byrne Joins ESPN Digital & Print Media as Senior Deputy Editor

To tweet: http://es.pn/1Dss1Fb

Will Oversee Editorial Operations for NFL, NHL and NASCAR Coverage

Mary Byrne, a leading journalist with 25 years in the news business, has joined ESPN Digital & Print Media as the new Senior Deputy Editor for NFL, NHL and NASCAR coverage. She will oversee editorial operations for Digital & Print’s daily coverage of these sports, including strategic and tactical planning, as well as cross-platform collaboration and integration with television, radio, fantasy and other ESPN entities.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mary, whose unique combination of energy, enthusiasm, experience and ability has made her a singular force,” said Patrick Stiegman, Vice President and Editorial Director, ESPN Digital & Print Media.

Added Chad Millman, Editor-in-Chief, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, “Mary is a powerhouse journalist with a passion for news and an eye for storytelling. Her love for the work she does is infectious and surpassed only by the exciting ideas she has about how to incorporate the many platforms important in our current world into everyday coverage.”

ESPN.com senior editorial director John Banks, who led the effort to build the NFL team into a nation of reporters, will assume an important new role tied to daily news and analysis. Banks will lead a team amplifying major on and off-the-field sports news with timely, original pieces and in coordination with the enterprise and daily breaking news and information groups.

Byrne will be based at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters and will report to executive editor Patricia Mays.

About joining ESPN, Byrne said, “I am thrilled to be joining the ESPN team. It’s a tremendous opportunity to give NFL fans exciting, innovative coverage on any and all platforms. I can’t wait to get started.”

Byrne comes to ESPN from USA TODAY where she served as sports managing editor for the past three years. She was just the fourth to hold the role in USA TODAY’s more than 30-year history. Prior to that, she was the deputy sports editor for The Associated Press for six years.

She also served previously as USA TODAY’s Olympics editor and has held positions with the Miami Herald, Charlotte Observer, Waterbury Republican-American and Oceanside Blade-Citizen during her career.

Byrne is serving as first vice president of the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and is an active member of the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM). A native of Michigan, she is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish.

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2015 Monday Night Football Preseason Schedule

Bills at Browns and Bengals at Buccaneers on ESPN

ESPN will televise two NFL preseason games as part of its 2015 Monday Night Football schedule. Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call the games with reporter Lisa Salters in anticipation of ESPN’s MNF regular-season opener on Monday, Sept. 14. Both MNF preseason games will begin at 8 p.m. ET and will be preceded by a one-hour Monday Night Countdown pregame show.

ESPN’s preseason kicks off Thursday, Aug. 20 when the Cleveland Browns host the Buffalo Bills under new head coach Rex Ryan. Johnny Manziel is likely to vie for the Browns starting quarterback position in 2015, while the Bills have added All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy this offseason.

The ESPN crew then heads to Tampa, where the Buccaneers host Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Aug. 24 at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and are expected to have a new franchise quarterback under center. The game will also be a homecoming for MNF’s Gruden, who coached Tampa to a Super Bowl during his seven seasons (2002-08) as the team’s head coach.

ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network, will once again offer a Spanish-language production of MNF preseason and regular-season games in 2015. All games will also be available on tablets, computers, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via WatchESPN, which is accessible in more than 93 million households nationwide to fans who receive ESPN’s networks as part of their video subscription.

The 2015 ESPN MNF regular-season schedule is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football 2015 NFL Preseason Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Game
Thursday, Aug. 20 8 p.m. Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns
Monday, Aug. 24 8 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

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First Look at Strong’s 2015 UT Football Team to Air on Longhorn Network

Orange-White Scrimmage will be live on LHN, with in-game commentary from Coach Strong

The 2015 Texas Football Orange-White Scrimmage will air Saturday, April 18 at 1 p.m. CT on Longhorn Network, ESPN’s 24-hour University of Texas network.  Live coverage begins with Texas GameDay at noon, hosted by Lowell Galindo with analysis from College Football Hall of Famer Ricky Williams and David Thomas, who won a national championship with Texas and a Super Bowl ring with the New Orleans Saints. Texas GameDay Final Powered by Chevy Silverado will be live from Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium immediately following the scrimmage. LHN Anchor Kevin Dunn will provide play-by-play, and lifetime Longhorn Ahmad Brooks will serve as analyst, with Jane Slater filling sideline reporter duties. Dunn and Brooks will also be interviewing Coach Strong live during the game.

Coach Charlie Strong signed the No. 9 class in the nation in February, and the Orange-White Scrimmage will provide the first game-action look at highly touted linebacker Malik Jefferson. The 31st ranked player nationally in the 2015 class, Jefferson enrolled early at Texas. Additionally, quarterbacks Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard will continue their competition for the starting quarterback job.

The Longhorns open the 2015 regular season on Sept. 5 at Notre Dame before returning to Austin for three consecutive home games: against Rice on Sept. 12, the University of California, Berkeley on Sept. 19, and Oklahoma State on Sept. 26.

Longhorn Network will also be participating in Fan Fest April 18 from 11am – 1pm CT before the Texas Football Orange & White Game kicks off. LHN will be onsite to interact with fans in the north end of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Fans will have the opportunity to get a photo taken from behind LHN’s Texas GameDay desk alongside Cheer and Pom, play a game of Texas Trivia, take photos in the “41st Acre,” and receive LHN giveaways.

 

Where to Watch

Longhorn Network is available on AT&T U-verse TV, DISH, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Suddenlink, and Verizon FiOS TV, as well as Bay City CableVision, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Consolidated Communications, Cox Communications, En-Touch Systems, E-Tex Communications, Google Fiber (in Kansas City), Mid-Coast CableVision and Texas Mid-Gulf CableVision. Longhorn Network is available on computers, smartphones and tablets via WatchESPN to AT&T U-Verse TV, DISH, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Grande Communications and Verizon FiOS subscribers. It is also available at no cost to U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.

 

About Longhorn Network

ESPN has a 20-year agreement to own and operate a year-round, 24-hour network dedicated to Texas athletics in partnership with UT and IMG College. Longhorn Network offers a variety of content, highlighted by more than 175 exclusive events annually from 20 sports, original series and studio shows, historical programming and academic cultural happenings.

Season Six of Gruden’s QB Camp Premieres Tonight on ESPN2

Three Consecutive Shows Featuring Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley and Bryce Petty

The sixth season of Gruden’s QB Camp premieres tonight, Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The debut includes three 30-minute shows featuring quarterbacks Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Brett Hundley (UCLA) and Bryce Petty (Baylor). In each episode, fans will see the NFL Draft prospects study film with Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden and go through an on-field workout at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.

On Friday, April 10, the series continues with Jameis Winston’s (Florida State) show at 11:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Garrett Grayson’s (Colorado State) show will debut April 18. Photos of Mariota, Petty and Winston are available via ESPN Images. Complete #GrudenQBCamp schedule.

Starting next week, editions of Gruden’s QB Camp will be part of ESPN’s Journey to the Draft Tuesday night programming block. Beginning April 14 at 7 p.m. Journey to the Draft will also include Draft Academy, a four-week series of one-hour shows that gives an up-close and personal look at some of the most high-profile players in the 2015 NFL Draft class.

Gruden’s QB Camp will also be available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and Google Play starting April 27, and select episodes will be on VOD as early as April 12.

Gruden QB Camp premieres:

Date Time (ET) Show Network
Tue, Apr 7 7 p.m. SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp – Marcus Mariota ESPN2
7:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp – Brett Hundley ESPN2
8 p.m. SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp – Bryce Petty ESPN2
Fri, Apr 10 11:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp – Jameis Winston ESPN2
Sat, Apr 11 2 p.m. SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp – Winston & Mariota ABC
Sat, Apr 18 4 p.m. SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp – Garrett Grayson ESPN
Tue, Apr 21 9 p.m. SportsCenter Special Presented by Experian: Gruden’s QB Camp (Compilation Show) ESPN

 

For more on Gruden’s QB Camp, visit ESPN Front Row: http://bit.ly/CampGruden.

 

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Tripleheader of Baseball Featuring Top 25 Teams on SEC Network; Four Teams in Spring Football Whip Around Coverage

SEC Network will air six baseball games this weekend, all featuring a Top 25 Southeastern Conference team. On Saturday, April 11, the network will air a tripleheader of games including the No. 2 team in the country, Vanderbilt, and a Top 25 matchup of No. 21 South Carolina at No. 10 Florida. Coverage will be led in-studio by analyst Ben McDonald with commentators Mike Morgan, Clay Matvick and Tom Hart alongside either Chris Burke, Kyle Peterson or Gabe Gross in the booth.

In addition, SEC Network will provide whip around coverage of spring football on the SEC Network Alternate channel from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The four hour special will have live look ins on South Carolina, Ole Miss and Georgia Spring Games, in addition to the final spring practice at Florida. Each spring football event will also air live and in full on SEC Network +.

This Weekend on SEC Network:

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators   Network
Thu, Apr 9 7 p.m. No. 23 Missouri at Tennessee
Mike Morgan & Chris Burke
SEC Network
Fri, Apr 10 7 p.m. No. 23 Missouri at Tennessee
Mike Morgan & Chris Burke
SEC Network
Sat, Apr 11 noon No. 23 Missouri at Tennessee
Mike Morgan & Chris Burke
SEC Network
  Noon SEC Spring Whip Around
(USC, Fla, Ole Miss, UGA)
SEC Network Alternate
  Noon South Carolina
Garnet & Black Spring Game
Dari Nowkhah, Booger McFarland & Kaylee Hartung
SEC Network +
  12:30 p.m. Florida
Orange & Blue Debut
Adam Amin, Chris Doering & Shannon Spake
SEC Network +
  1 p.m. Ole Miss
Grove Bowl
Chris Cotter, Greg McElroy & Kayce Smith
SEC Network +
  2 p.m. Georgia
G-Day
Dave Neal, Matt Stinchcomb & Maria Taylor
SEC Network +
  3 p.m. Ole Miss vs. No. 2 Vanderbilt
Clay Matvick & Kyle Peterson
SEC Network
  6 p.m. No. 21 South Carolina at No. 10 Florida
Tom Hart & Gabe Gross
SEC Network
Sun, Apr 12 Noon No. 21 South Carolina at No. 10 Florida
Tom Hart & Gabe Gross
SEC Network

 

Additional Materials:

What is SEC Network +/ SEC Network Alternate
How to watch SEC Network +
SEC Network Channel Listings
SEC Network Spring Game Schedule

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Florida Pro Day on SEC Network Tuesday

Top 25 Gator baseball matchup and the Orange & Blue Debut highlight network’s weekend schedule

On Tuesday, April 7, beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET, SEC Network will televise Florida Pro Day live. College football analyst Greg McElroy and former Gator wide receiver Chris Doering will report from on-site with SEC Network host Peter Burns and ESPN draft analyst Kevin Weidl in-studio. Twenty-one players are expected to participate. Tuesday’s special concludes SEC Network’s coverage of Southeastern Conference pro days.

Gator action continues on SEC Network with a Top 25 matchup of No. 21 South Carolina at No. 10 Florida baseball game on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon. In addition, the Orange & Blue Debut, Florida’s final spring practice, will air live and in full as an SEC Network + event on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com, in addition to being a part of the SEC Spring Football Whip-Around coverage airing on the SEC Network Alternate channel. Adam Amin and Doering will be on the booth in Gainesville with Shannon Spake reporting. The Orange & Blue Debut will offer the first glimpse at new head coach Jim McElwain’s 2015 team.

Date Time (ET) Program Network
Tue, Apr 7 10:30 a.m. Florida Pro Day
Peter Burns, Kevin Weidl, Greg McElroy & Chris Doering
SEC Network
Sat, Apr 11 Noon SEC Spring Football Whip-Around
(USC, Fla, Ole Miss, UGA)
SEC Network Alternate
12:30 Orange & Blue Debut
Adam Amin, Chris Doering & Shannon Spake
SEC Network +
6 p.m. Baseball: No. 21 South Carolina at No. 10 Florida
Tom Hart & Gabe Gross
SEC Network
Sat, Apr 12 Noon Baseball: No. 21 South Carolina at No. 10 Florida
Tom Hart & Gabe Gross
SEC Network

 

Additional Materials:

What is SEC Network +/ SEC Network Alternate

How to watch SEC Network +

SEC Network Channel Listings
SEC Network Spring Game Schedule

 

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Media contact: Gracie.Blackburn@espn.com