Did Drew Brees replace Rodney Harrison on Football Night In America?

Joshua Rogers October 11, 2021
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The former Saints and Chargers quarterback is enjoying his new role on Football Night In America. However, did Drew Brees replace Rodney Harrison on the show? Here’s the shake-up explained.

Football Night In America gets shake-up for 2021 season

Football Night In America (FNIA) has had a shake-up heading into the 2021 NFL regular season.

At the end of August it was announced Drew Brees and Maria Taylor were joining the Sunday night show.

Why Not Us: FAMU Football | Trailer | ESPN+

Why Not Us: FAMU Football | Trailer | ESPN+

Maria Taylor will co-host FNIA and will often be paired with former NFL quarterback Chris Simms in Studio 1.

They will provide in-depth analysis of the day’s biggest moments.

Brees joins host Mike Tirico and Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy at the main desk.

Liam McHugh is no longer part of the line-up.

Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Did Drew Brees replace Rodney Harrison?

Thirteen-time Pro Bowler Drew Brees made the move to NBC official in March.

The network revealed the former Saints and Chargers quarterback was pencilled in for a role on FNIA and the network’s coverage of Notre Dame football.

“I’m excited about that journey,” Brees said at the time. “I’m excited to stay very closely connected with the game of football. It’s been such an important part of my life. I can continue to be able to talk about it and show a passion for it.”

Brees acts as a studio analyst on the show at half-time. He currently flies out to the NBC studio in Connecticut every week and will watch all Sunday games to comment on them on Sunday nights.

“We’re excited to have Drew join our team,” said Pete Bevacqua, chairman of NBC Sports Group, via NBC’s press release.

“We know Drew will apply the same work ethic and continuously positive attitude to everything he touches at NBC Sports and we know, as his new teammates, he’ll make us better.”

Some fans wondered whether this meant Drew Brees had replaced Rodney Harrison, but this isn’t exactly the case.

Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

So where’s Rodney Harrison now?

Drew Brees hasn’t replaced Rodney Harrison per se, but Harrison’s role has changed.

The two-time Super Bowl winner has spent the past 12 seasons in the FNIA studio.

However, he is now joining co-host Jac Collinsworth at the site of the SNF game every week.

He is there to capture the excitement of the crowd, provide on-field analysis, and conduct player interviews.

“It’s been a lot of fun being able to connect with the players and ask them about details I notice or am curious about as a former player,” Harrison told Boston.com

“I’m in my own element, my natural element – that’s being on the football field around the players, around the coaches, around the fans.”

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.