Greg Olsen sounds skeptical of Tom Brady’s announcing abilities: No correlation between playing and broadcasting

Tom Brady
Credit: Kris Craig / USA TODAY NETWORK

After a 23-year playing career and one year off, Tom Brady’s ready to start his life as an NFL broadcaster for FOX later this fall. His arrival comes with a lot of fanfare. Everyone wants to see if the greatest quarterback of all time has the chops to become a good or even great broadcaster.

Several other former players have successfully made the transition from gridiron warrior to football broadcaster, including FOX’s Greg Olsen, who used to headline the networks’ top announcing crew. But now that Brady’s at FOX, Olsen has been knocked down a peg to the No. 2 broadcasting team. And that’s not all, Olsen has also seen his salary reduce from $10 million per season down to $3 million, a significant drop-off.

While many, including Olsen, are excited to see how Brady handles himself in a broadcasting booth, there’s no guarantee the former Patriots and Buccaneers quarterback will thrive.

Recently, Olsen discussed Brady’s pending FOX arrival with MassLive, where the former Panthers tight end revealed that Brady has already begun seeking advice on his new job. But Olsen also made an interesting statement that could raise some eyebrows, depending on how they’re interpreted.

“I had a chance to speak with Tom a couple of weeks ago, and he was just kind of picking my brain about the prep and the industry and what to expect. Every guy has their own journey in sports broadcasting. I think everyone thinks it’s easy. I think everyone thinks getting up there and calling a live football game for three hours off the cuff, and being able to get in, get out, deal with the flow of the game, the players, the schemes, the terminology — there’s a lot going on during a game, and I think some guys really transition to it well and take to it pretty quickly. And other guys haven’t. We’ve seen a mixed bag of results over the last couple of years.”

“His playing career and his resume and whatnot is an all-timer. So we’ll see how the year goes. I don’t think there’s any real correlation between being a great player or an average player, and how that correlates to being a great broadcaster or an average broadcaster. I think we’ve seen examples on both ends of that spectrum. So we’ll see how it all plays out.”

Greg Olsen on Tom Brady’s FOX broadcasting career

On the surface, Olsen’s comments about there being no correlation from playing well and being a good broadcaster are noteworthy. But he’s not taking a shot at Brady here, he’s simply admitting what we’ve all seen over the years. The fact is, some former players can naturally make the transition to the broadcast booth, like Tony Romo and Olsen, yet, many others simply don’t have what it takes. We’ll see which category Brady falls into soon enough.

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