Bill Parcells, Jerry Rice Join ESPN as NFL Analysts

National Football League coaching legend Bill Parcells and Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice are joining ESPN as NFL analysts. Parcells will bring his more than 30 years of NFL experience to Sunday NFL Countdown and other specials as a contributor throughout the year. Rice, arguably the greatest player in league history, will appear on such programs as NFL Live, SportsCenter and Audibles.

Parcells will make his return to ESPN on Monday Night Countdown (7 p.m. ET) this Monday, Aug. 15, before the New York Jets-Houston Texans preseason game. He will also be part of Countdown’s regular season kickoff show on Sept. 12 before two of his former teams – the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins – open the 2011 Monday Night Football schedule. Parcells will make regular Sunday NFL Countdown appearances and contribute a pair of SportsCenter Special shows, Super Bowl Confidential and Draft Confidential, similar to the 90-minute Bill Parcells Draft Confidential from earlier this year.

No stranger to ESPN, Parcells previously worked as a studio analyst on both Monday Night Countdown (2007) and Sunday NFL Countdown (2002) after spending part of the 2001 season as a guest analyst. The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach’s return will reunite him with host Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, and Chris Mortensen, among other members of theCountdown team.

Rice will make his debut on Audibles on Sept. 15 (7 p.m.) as the pro football-themed discussion show driven by fan-generated questions becomes a part of ESPN’s weekly Thursday night fall lineup. Rice will contribute to the show from ESPN’s Los Angeles production facility and work alongside with the likes of Trent Dilfer, Herm Edwards, Keyshawn Johnson and his former 49ers quarterback Steve Young – a duo that combined for 85 touchdowns during their record-breaking careers. In addition to Audibles, the three-time Super Bowl champion will make regular appearances from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn.

“Bill Parcells and Jerry Rice are two of the NFL’s all-time greats and have five Super Bowl rings between them,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “They are among the most respected names in the game, and we’re thrilled fans will have the opportunity to hear their insights as part of ESPN’s comprehensive NFL coverage.”

Parcells added: “Over my years in football, I’ve had the good fortune of building terrific relationships with some of the folks at ESPN. Some of them are familiar faces to the viewers and some are smart and talented people behind the scenes. I look forward to working with many of those same people again and sharing my opinions and perspective with viewers throughout the NFL season.”

Rice added: “I am excited to begin this new chapter of my life working for ESPN as an NFL analyst. Throughout my career, I recognized ESPN was the best place to go for NFL information and analysis and I am honored to join their great team. For my part, I am going to work as hard as humanly possible to bring viewers the best insights and opinions on issues around the league.”