Former Pro Bowl quarterback and ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck will be calling the Pro Bowl as a potential “audition” for the vacant color commentator role on Monday Night Football, ESPN executive Stephanie Druley announced in a statement to USA Today Sports.
Druley admitted that the opportunity will serve as chance for Hasselbeck to try out for the gig, while already describing him calling the game alongside current MNF play-by-play man Sean McDonough as “a great fit.”
“The process for determining our new Monday Night Football booth is already underway,” Druley said. “We are looking at both internal and external candidates and expect to have a decision made this spring. This is one of the most high-profile and attractive positions in all of sports broadcasting so we want to take our time to ensure we make the best decision.”
Hasselbeck said he “can’t wait to call the Skills Showdown and the Pro Bowl game with Sean and Lisa [Salters]” in the same statement released by the company.
ESPN is looking to replace former color analyst Jon Gruden, who left the position after nine seasons after accepting the head coaching position with the Oakland Raiders earlier this week.
On Thursday, Odds Shark named former NFL and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning as an even favorite to replace Gruden, while Hasselbeck was listed as sixth with +900 odds.
While Manning may be the favorite, Hasselbeck’s Pro Bowl “audition” clearly makes him a top internal candidate for the position.