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Sterling Sharpe To Join New NFL Network As Analyst


NFL Network has tabbed three former NFL players, all with television experience, to anchor Playbook, the 10 PM ET/PT prime time show debuting on November 4.

Former NFL wide receiver Sterling Sharpe (Green Bay Packers) and offensive lineman Glenn Parker (New York Giants; Kansas City Chiefs; Buffalo Bills) will serve as the analysts for Playbook, while former defensive back Solomon Wilcots (Cincinnati Bengals; Minnesota Vikings; Pittsburgh Steelers) will be the show's host.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Howard Katz, COO, NFL Films.

Playbook will be produced at NFL Films headquarters in Mt. Laurel, NJ, and air on NFL Network, the new NFL television programming service launching November 4 nationally on satellite and cable.

"We are delighted to have the 25 years of NFL playing experience that these three bring to Playbook," said Playbook Senior Producer Bob Angelo. "They know the nuances of the game and of the television business, which will provide viewers with the most comprehensive information as it relates to the games."

Playbook will be a 60-minute show airing Tuesday-Friday at 10 PM ET/PT, which primarily focuses on the Xs & Os of NFL football.

Wednesday through Friday night, Playbook provides an in-depth look at the key matchups of upcoming games by analyzing pro football through the exclusive use of team-supplied footage - the same video that coaches and players use each week to prepare game plans.

As an exclusive series feature, these episodes of Playbook also focus on NFL Fantasy Football, giving fantasy football "owners" insightful tips and analysis as they formulate their weekly rosters.

Sharpe and Parker, two former NFL players with five Pro Bowl and Super Bowl appearances between them, will analyze all NFL games each week.

The Wednesday thru Friday shows will pick 5-6 games a night to breakdown and each show has a "Gamebreaker," reviewing a key moment from the previous weekend's action.

Tuesday night's 10 PM ET/PT Playbook will feature an all-access pass for fans to listen in as NFL Films' ubiquitous sound crew pick-up what is said in post-game locker rooms and press conferences around the NFL. This special Tuesday night version of Playbook is titled, Playbook: Point After.

Saturday from 7-10 PM ET, NFL Network repeats the Wednesday-Friday fare enabling all the weekend's games to be previewed in one evening.

Sharpe, a wide receiver from the University of South Carolina, never missed a game in seven stellar NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

He led the NFL in catches three times, touchdown catches twice, receiving yards once, was named to five Pro Bowls, had five 1,000-yard seasons and became the first player in NFL history with consecutive 100-catch seasons in 1992-93.

Green Bay's first-round draft choice in 1988, Sharpe also holds the Packers franchise record of 595 career receptions. The 38-year old Sharpe spent the past seven years as an anchor for ESPN's Sunday Night Countdown.

Parker, 37, a former offensive lineman, started at every offensive line position except center in his 12-year NFL career for the Bills, Chiefs and Giants. Parker played in five Super Bowls and this past season served as a studio analyst for NBC's coverage of the Arena Football League.

Parker grew up in Huntington Beach, California but did not compete in athletics until college. He was a two-year starter at the University of Arizona. An avid cook, Parker has had his recipes published in the NFL Family Cookbook.

Wilcots, 38, the former Bengals, Vikings and Steelers defensive back, has made the seamless transition to television since retiring from the NFL in 1992.

A former University of Colorado cornerback, Wilcots currently works as a game analyst as part of CBS Sports' coverage of the NFL. This is his third season calling NFL games for CBS.

Sharpe, Parker and Wilcots join Rich Eisen as on-air sportscasters for NFL Network. Eisen hosts NFL Network's signature show, NFL Total Access, each weeknight at 8 PM ET/PT.

NFL Network will be carried initially on DIRECTV's basic service that is seen in more than 11.56 million homes.

NFL Network will air seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and will be the first television network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football.

Original Programming (NFL Total Access, Playbook), NFL Films, Preseason Games (2004), High Definition programming, Video-On-Demand (VOD) services and other cutting-edge enhanced TV applications will all be a part of NFL Network.

NFL Network will provide millions of fans of the great sport of football and the National Football League with a network to call their own. It will take 84 years of NFL history and combine it with the latest technology to bring television viewers sports entertainment at its highest level.

NFL Network will be a destination for all that happens around the league, on and off the field - during the season and throughout the off-season.

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