News circulated last month that Drew Brees and NBC were parting ways after just one season of Brees in the booth, but confirmation from NBC never came. However, Thursday night, a report from the NY Post surfaced that NBC is targeting former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as Brees’s replacement on Notre Dame games along with his current partner on USFL games on NBC, Notre Dame alum Jac Collinsworth.
According to the Post:
NBC is eyeing Jason Garrett, the former Cowboys head coach and Giants offensive coordinator, to replace Drew Brees as the game analyst on Notre Dame football and possibly on its prime time NFL pregame studio show, “Football Night in America,” The Post has learned.
Garrett, 56, is already working with NBC on its USFL coverage. He has been teamed with Jac Collinsworth, who could be Garrett’s partner on the Fighting Irish games, according to sources.
Ok, let’s start with the good in this report. For as long as Notre Dame games have been on NBC, Notre Dame fans have clamored for a Notre Dame alum to be a part of the broadcast. But instead, NBC paraded alums from USC (Pat Hayden), Boston College (Doug Flutie and Mike Mayock), and Michigan (Mike Tirico). Of that bunch, only Flutie was insufferable, but the optics of all of the rival alums was never well received by the Irish faithful.
Collinsworth did work as part of the broadcast for NBC during his time at Notre Dame (2013-2017) on the sidelines and most recently on the Peacock post-game show. So a move to the booth feels like a logical progression for the budding broadcast star. It would also be a fitting move, given his father, Chris Collinsworth, worked in the booth as a color commentator for Notre Dame games in the early 90s before he was the big name he is today.
NBC hasn’t confirmed that Tirico would no longer call Notre Dame games, but after being promoted to the play-by-play for their crown jewel – Sunday Night football – it’s been assumed Tirico would no longer call Notre Dame games simply because of the logistics.
Ok, now let’s unpack the Jason Garrett component of this story. I’ll be honest, I have not watched a single second of a single USFL game, so I have no idea whether or not Garrett would work well in the Notre Dame booth. However, I just know that one of the last things I want to hear during Notre Dame games is the voice of a failed coach of the Dallas Cowboys – a franchise I have loathed since childhood. That is, of course, unless he talks a lot about all of his failures in the playoffs because that would just be fun for everyone.
Come to think of it, maybe I should be more of a fan of Garrett. He made the Cowboys a punchline for a decade and in his one season as offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, another team I grew up hating, he was equally as ineffective.
For real, though, is there anything about Jason Garrett that we’ve seen over the years that makes one thing he’d bring some excitement to Notre Dame broadcasts? Given how close we are to the season, NBC might not have many other options than Garrett at the moment, considering he has some, albeit very limited, experience and is already employed by NBC. The only silver lining is if it is Garrett and he bombs, we’ve seen NBC move on from commentators after just one year after each of the last two seasons.
As for Brees, I actually liked Brees in the booth last year. I like Tony Dungy during the 2020 season, but to be fair, the bar was so incredibly low coming from the year of Doug Flutie cheering with glee during every Notre Dame turnover that it might have been impossible for me to not like anyone else.
NBC hasn’t exactly invested in Notre Dame broadcasts in a long time, so it would be fitting for them to replace Brees with a very boring and dull replacement.