On a recent edition of ESPN’s NFL Live, analyst Matt Hasselbeck queued up plays from the Indianapolis Colts 2016 season. One showed Andrew Luck being pummeled by a defender. The next clip, just one play later, was of the Colts quarterback failing to connect with a wide open T.Y. Hilton.
That’s a throw, honestly, the quarterback from Bishop Chatard could have hit, Hasselbeck told IndyStar on Wednesday.
Hasselbeck, Luck’s former backup, wasn’t taking a shot at his friend. The 17-year NFL veteran was only trying to convey a simple message: Taking a beating takes a toll. Even the very best quarterbacks in the NFL, a class in which Luck absolutely belongs says Hasselbeck, can take only so much punishment before it begins to affect their game.
If Bradford can stay on the field, he might be an upgrade over Carson Palmer, Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton, but an aged roster got worse for the second consecutive offseason after losing Tyrann Mathieu, John Brown, Jaron Brown and Jared Veldheer.
Because they somehow went 8-8 last year, the Cardinals don’t even have a premium draft pick (No. 15). The record could also have them believing they can make a playoff push with a healthy Johnson in the backfield. But that’s unlikely because the defense and receiving corps have become too thin and Bradford doesn’t stand much of a chance behind a subpar offensive line.
ESPN now plans to broadcast the first two nights of the draft on both ESPN and ESPN2, and to simulcast Saturday’s draft coverage on both ESPN and ABC, according to the New York Post. The joint ESPN-ESPN2 broadcast will apparently give viewers a choice of two different broadcasts, an approach ESPN has previously used with big college football games.
The NFL has made the draft the signature event of its offseason, and no one has done more to help the league build it up than ESPN. But NFL Network has been chipping away at ESPN’s audience share the last few years, and when FOX agreed to put the draft on broadcast television, that looked like a serious blow to ESPN.
The decision to beef up its draft coverage is a statement from ESPN that it wants to remain viewers’ first choice as the home of the NFL draft. And it’s good news for fans, who will have more alternatives than ever for watching the draft.