ESPN unveils new Monday Night Football crew

ESPN announced its new Monday Night Football crew for the 2018 NFL season on Thursday.

Play-by-play voice Joe Tessitore will join analysts Jason Witten and Booger McFarland and reporter Lisa Salters for the broadcast’s 49th season. Tessitore and Witten will be in the booth while McFarland will serve as a field-level analyst, the network said.

The group will make its regular-season debut on Sept. 10 with a familiar face on the sideline.

Jon Gruden, who formerly was in ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast booth, will begin his second stint as head coach of the Oakland Raiders when he leads his team against the Los Angeles Rams in the late game of the season-opening doubleheader at 10:15 p.m. ET.

The early contest will feature the New York Jets against the Detroit Lions (7:10 p.m. ET) with the ESPN broadcast team for that game to be announced at a later date.

“Our new Monday Night Football team shares a passion and respect for the game that will be evident to fans,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN Senior Vice President, Event and Studio Production.

“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.”

ESPN moved play-by-play man Sean McDonough to college football shortly after broadcast partner Gruden left to return to coaching.

According to ESPN’s announcement in March, McDonough will call high-profile national games each week, a College Football Playoff semifinal and the CFP championship game on ESPN radio. He will also work college basketball games and The Masters Par 3 contest.

Tessitore, who will be making his first NFL assignment for the network, has been on ESPN for 16 years while calling boxing, college football and basketball, including calling the College Football Playoff semifinals the past two years.

Witten announced his retirement from the Dallas Cowboys last week. By choosing the broadcast booth as his new arena, Witten follows in the footsteps of his former quarterback Tony Romo, who is an analyst for CBS Sports.

McFarland won two Super Bowls as a player and has been an analyst for ESPN and SEC Network for four years.

Salters is returning for her seventh season as a sideline reporter.

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