Greg Olsen breaks the silence on how he feels about Tom Brady taking his job

Tom Brady is set to replace Greg Olsen as the lead analyst for NFL broadcasts on Fox. On Wednesday, Olsen expressed his feelings on being replaced.

Carolina Panthers v New England Patriots
Carolina Panthers v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

Tom Brady is no stranger to taking snatching the starting role. He began his football journey as the backup quarterback for Serra High School. At Michigan, Brady was buried as the seventh-string quarterback. By his last collegiate game, the 2000 Orange Bowl, he had established himself as the team's unquestioned leader.

Brady began his NFL career as the third-string quarterback on a team that had just made quarterback Drew Bledsoe the highest-paid player in league history. Still, Brady took the starting role by midseason in his second year.

In many ways, Brady is the ultimate underdog story. On the other end of his inspirational story, however, is the harsh reality of sports: there is a long list of players who lost their starting jobs to Brady. In some cases, those players would have kept their starting roles if the person they were competing against wasn't Brady. Bledsoe, for example, was not a bad quarterback by any means — he just wasn't the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

It's a similar story for former tight end Greg Olsen, the latest name to join the list of players that have been replaced by Brady. This time, it's not on the field, but in the broadcasting booth.

Greg Olsen speaks out about being replaced by Tom Brady as lead analyst

Since retirement, Olsen has been the lead analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt for Fox's NFL broadcasts. The coveted position, which was once occupied by the late John Madden, ensures that Olsen is assigned to the network's marquee game each week, which happened to include Super Bowl LVII last year.

Olsen rarely faced any threat to his starting position during his 14-year NFL career. As a first-round draft pick, Olsen established himself as one of the best tight ends in the league. Yet, just two years into his post-football career as a broadcaster, Olsen is suddenly looking over his shoulder.

Shortly after Olsen joined Fox, Brady signed a 10-year, $375 million deal with Fox to take over as the lead in-game analyst and serve as the network's ambassador.

It's a timeless tale of professional sports: the incumbent starter finds himself in competition against his impending replacement. While Brady prepared to join the broadcasting booth for the 2024 NFL season, Olsen spent the season auditioning for the job. Olsen said he had a simple mantra heading into the 2023 NFL season: "Make it hard as hell for them to replace you."

Olsen has been lauded by both fans and critics for his commentary. His best attributes included an ability to dive deeper than the surface-level talking points and explain the game to his audience in a digestible manner. In 2023, Olsen won Outstanding Sports Personality and Emerging On-Air Talent at the annual Sports Emmy Awards.

“I thought if given the opportunity and the chance I could show people that I could do it and I got the opportunity and Fox was kind enough to give me that," Olsen said during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. "I think over the last two years, we’ve really changed the narrative. We’ve changed where, ‘This is just a placeholder’ to, ‘This guy can do it.’"

In reality, Olsen never stood a chance to retain his job with Fox after the nine-figure contract Fox signed with Brady, who is expected to be more than just a lead analyst. As the ambassador for Fox, Brady's responsibilities are likely to extend beyond those of a typical color commentator.

On Wednesday, Olsen made it clear that he wants to be the lead analyst somewhere.

“I want to call top games,” Olsen said. “Two years ago when when everything unfolded, and obviously I’ve known Tom was coming for over two years, year and a half, whatever you want to call it, and that part of it we always knew. It was a matter of when. We didn’t know exactly when. He ended up not coming this past season, which gave me a second year with Kevin in the booth. with the A team, but going forward my goals haven’t changed.

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