Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo now works for CBS as a broadcaster. He’s been terrific – Sports Illustrated named him their 2017 Media Person Of The Year – and he recently sat down for an interview to discuss his first season in the booth.
One of the most interesting things was his view on which coaches really understand what they’re talking about and how he can see it right away in a meeting.
“I really enjoy the interaction with the coaches because in some ways I enjoy asking them questions,” Romo said, per Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch. “I just know what I thought was really boring in those meetings [with TV personnel when I was a player], and I always knew when someone knew football. I want to gear the conversation toward football talk and not just, ‘Well, tell me how have you guys been doing lately?’ I want it to be deeper. I want it to be like, ‘OK, you guys have been very successful running out of ‘11’ personnel, which is three wide receivers and a tight end, but I see this team plays a lot of ‘Bear’ front, which means they reduce the front so they take three of their four lineman and cover the guards and center so now you can’t pull any of those guys. What can you do to run the football because there are a lot of challenges against that.’ Well, you will find out real fast if a coach knows what he is talking about or not. So in those specific situations, I think it is enjoyable to have that back and forth interaction. I just like talking football and for the guys that really know it, it is really enjoyable for me.”
So, who really knows it? You’re not going to be surprised. It’s New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
“You get into a meeting with Bill Belichick, it is really fascinating,” Romo said. “I am asking him about the flex defense or things about Tom Landry’s system. We are both football junkies, it makes it really enjoyable to meet and talk football and schematics. I know the rest of our CBS staff might be bored for an hour, but it is fascinating for me. This is why you have to be prepared, so you can talk to those guys that way.”
Romo and Belichick never worked together, but the kinship there is obvious. Belichick has always been known as a cerebral coach who has been one step ahead for nearly 20 years. When Romo is breaking down a play in a split second on CBS, that same next-level grasp of the game is what sets him apart.