SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Brian Griese had established himself in a second career that had been more successful than his first as an 11-year quarterback in the NFL.
Griese had followed up more than a decade analyzing big college football games each week with two years in the prized role as an analyst on “Monday Night Football” when he decided he was ready for another career change.
With ESPN looking to go a different direction in the booth, Griese went an entirely different direction in his career, leaving the work of a broadcaster to get back into the grind of the NFL as a quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
“I got to a point where I needed a new challenge,” he said. “That coupled with the moment where ESPN decided to go in a different direction, I’m not saying they didn’t, but they got a bigger fish. I understand the dynamics of that. I always knew that possibility and probably likelihood was out there. But I did get to do it at the highest level for two years, and I loved every minute of it. So I had a decision to make at that point. This opportunity came up, and it was a challenge that I wanted to run towards and not away from this. ”
Griese has a big challenge in his first opportunity at coaching at any level, tasked with helping last year’s No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance develop into the franchise quarterback the Niners believe he could be after trading three first-round picks to get him.
Griese’s path to San Francisco was forged in part by his relationship with Coach Kyle Shanahan’s father, Mike, who coached Griese in Denver for his first five seasons. Mike Shanahan set up the initial meeting that led to Griese taking the job in San Francisco.
Griese comes into the job having played at the highest level, winning a national championship in college at Michigan, being a backup to John Elway on a Super Bowl-winning team as a rookie, then replacing a legend the following season.
In all, Griese started 83 games in his 11 NFL seasons, with highs like a Pro Bowl bid in 2000 to lows like getting cut or benched multiple times. He brings that perspective to his new career.
Griese said in one of his first meetings with Lance and the other quarterbacks, he asked his players why they were NFL quarterbacks. He said that in order to succeed through tough times, it’s important to have priorities of playing for your teammates instead of more personal goals.
Griese said he’s been impressed by Lance’s attitude as much as his immense skill.
“I’m excited that he comes to work every day and he’s humble and he wants to get better,” he said. “I view it the same way I have my entire life, whether I’ve been playing or broadcasting or now being a coach, I come here with humility and we’re going to get better together and we check the ego at the door. He does that every single day. He comes to work. That gives him a chance to be successful. ”
TV: Fox Sports completed its lineup for the 2022 season by announcing Greg Olsen as its lead NFL analyst. During its upfront presentation for advertisers two weeks ago, Fox announced that Kevin Burkhardt would be the top play-by-play announcer.
The move was expected for a couple of months after Joe Buck and Troy Aikman moved to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”
How long Olsen will remain in the top spot remains to be seen. Tom Brady has signed with Fox and will move into the booth after he retires for good.
Fox has two of the next three Super Bowls, including the game in Phoenix at the end of the 2022 season.
BUCS: Not eating a veteran presence while rookie Logan Hall develops, the Bucs are signing Bears Pro Bowl defensive lineman Akiem Hicks to a one-year deal worth as much as $ 10 million.
Hicks, 32, essentially replaces veteran Ndamukong Suh on the defensive line. Suh is still a free agent and apparently no longer in the Bucs’ plans.
STEELERS: Wide receiver Diontae Johnson returned to work, joining his teammates for the second week of organized team activities.
Johnson, a Pro Bowler last season, did not participate during last week’s three OTA sessions. The sessions, as Coach Mike Tomlin has noted repeatedly, are voluntary. The 25-year-old Johnson is ready to enter the final season of the rookie contract he signed after the Steelers selected him in the third round in 2019.
Pittsburgh as a rule does not negotiate contracts during the regular season, meaning the Steelers have a little more than three months to get an extension done with Johnson if they consider him an important part of the club’s future.
LAWSUIT: The former longtime partner of ex-NFL quarterback Mark Rypien has filed a personal injury lawsuit against him alleging years of physical and emotional abuse.
The Spokesman-Review reported that Danielle Wade filed the lawsuit in Spokane County Superior Court.
The couple have spoken publicly in the past about violence in their home believed to be a consequence of head trauma Rypien experienced during a 14-year NFL career after playing in college at Washington State.
The lawsuit contains new allegations of violence, beginning as early as 2008 and lasting until September 2020.
Mary Schultz, the attorney representing Wade, said the lawsuit acknowledged Rypien’s diagnosis of traumatic brain injury.
“That doesn’t give him a license to assault his wife,” Schultz said.
Rypien released a statement through his attorney in response to the allegations in the lawsuit.
“Mr. Rypien categorically and unequivocally condemns domestic violence, ”the statement reads. “He had a relationship with Danielle Wade that ended recently.
“During this relationship, Mr. Rypien acknowledged and apologized for actions that were harmful to Ms. Wade for which he is truly sorry, ”the statement said. “He has full faith in the judicial system and hopes the parties can reach just resolution so that they can move forward living their separate lives.”
In June 2019, Rypien was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence during an incident at a Spokane intersection. Rypien told the arresting officer he had punched Wade after she’d covered his eyes while driving, the lawsuit said.
A judge dismissed the domestic violence charge against Rypien.
The abuse allegedly continued after the dismissal of the charges, including an incident where Rypien shoved Wade into a car door for “saying too much” during the February 2020 premiere of a documentary related to chronic traumatic encephalopathy featuring Rypien, the lawsuit said.
Rypien, 59, was drafted by Washington in the sixth round of the 1986 NFL draft. He was named Super Bowl MVP after leading Washington to victory over the Buffalo Bills in 1992.
BRONZES: At the request of prosecutors, a suburban Denver judge dismissed charges against wide receiver Jerry Jeudy stemming from a dispute with his girlfriend that landed him in jail.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Chantel Contiguglia closed the case after the county district attorney’s office filed a motion to dismiss the charges, said Eric Ross, a spokesman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Contiguglia also vacated a court hearing to enter a plea that had been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, Ross said.
That allowed Jeudy to attend the Broncos’ OTA practice Tuesday afternoon.
NBA notebook: Joel Embiid has surgeries on hands