You hear them every week. They are the few, the proud, the analysts who break down everything on NFL telecasts.
All of them have played or coached professional football at one point. So, you know they should know what they’re talking about.
Some, however, like the man pictured to the left, do it better than others.
That’s what this list is for—to recognize the best of the best, those who truly add to the game instead of just watching it.
To be considered for the Top 10, an analyst had to meet one criterion—they had to be fully active color commentators on one of the four major carriers during the 2009 season.
That means you won’t find Joe Gibbs or Mike Golic (or even NFL Network’s Matt Millen) on here, nor are you likely to find part-time eighth-string guys like SI’s Ross Tucker (who did a handful of games for FOX last season) or ESPN Deportes’ Raul Allegre (who is actually decent from what I can understand).
It also means you won’t find Steve Young, Bill Cowher, Terry Bradshaw, or Tony Dungy, nor will you see a TIki Barber or Michele Tafoya.
As important as they are to the game, they either exist in snippets or have to battle for time on a pre-game show, which makes it unfair to rank them (especially since they’re all pretty good, Bradshaw’s penchant for rambling notwithstanding).
That left roughly 20 analysts vying for 10 spots (plus an honorable mention)…so where did they fall?