INDIANAPOLIS —ESPN has picked a winner — quite literally — for its brand new Monday Night Football crew.
The network today formally announced its four-person MNF commentator team for the 2018 season, which includes Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Jason Witten (analyst), Lisa Salters (reporter) and former Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Anthony "Booger" McFarland (field analyst).
The crew makes its regular-season debut Sept. 10, when they call the Los Angeles Rams/Oakland Raiders contest at the Oakland Coliseum.
"Our new Monday Night Football team shares a passion and respect for the game that will be evident to fans," Stephanie Druley, ESPN's Senior Vice President, Event and Studio Production, said in a press release. "Joe brings an unrivaled excitement to each broadcast through his play-by-play style. Jason leaves the game with the respect of the entire league. His knowledge and insight will quickly make him one of the most respected analysts in football. Booger's ability to share candid opinions and insightful observations has made him one of our best analysts. Together, with Lisa, our Emmy-nominated reporter, this team will deliver a fantastic broadcast. We are thrilled to introduce this new team to fans as we begin the latest chapter in MNF's storied history."
Salters returns for her seventh season on the MNF sidelines, while Tessitore, Witten and McFarland replace play-by-play man Sean McDonough and analyst Jon Gruden, who teamed together in the booth the past two seasons.
McFarland was a favorite of Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy with both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Colts. A first-round pick by Tampa Bay back in 1999, McFarland played with the Bucs for parts of eight seasons — winning a Super Bowl title in 2003 — before being sent the Colts at the trade deadline in 2006.
McFarland made an instant impact on the Indy defense, and in 11 games he had 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He was also a key piece to the Colts' impressive run through the playoffs that season, earning two postseason sacks, including a takedown of Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman in Indy's 29-17 victory in Super Bowl XLI.
In all, McFarland played in 109 career games and collected 188 tackles and 22.5 sacks.
With his playing days behind him, he moved on to a career in broadcasting, and has served as an ESPN and SEC Network college football analyst the past four years. He said he's excited to make this huge jump with Monday Night Football.
"As a football analyst, Monday Night Football is the pinnacle of what we do," McFarland said in the release. "It is a platform that has been held by some of the greats in our industry. I am both honored and humbled to be a part of it and look forward to bringing the Booger that everyone has grown to know during my years of covering college football to the NFL."