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Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison join NBC football TV crew

June 3, 2009 | 12:20 pm

NFL experts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, who will join NBC's Football Night in America. Recently retired Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy and three-time all-pro Rodney Harrison will join NBC's NFL football studio show "Football Night in America." They replace Cris Collinsworth, who is taking the place of the also recently retired John Madden as in-game analyst, and Jerome Bettis, whose contract was not renewed after last season.

Both Dungy and Harrison were part of NBC's Super Bowl pregame coverage last January in what turned out to be mini-auditions.

Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports and executive producer of the show, said he found Dungy a gifted storyteller." And about Harrison, Ebersol said, "He's a strong communicator and personality, and our initial thoughts about him were confirmed when he did a terrific job for us at the Super Bowl. We have no doubt that Rodney will be as hard-hitting with his opinions as he was with his body on the football field."

In a conference call this morning, Dungy said the job was perfect because it allows him to keep his week free to spend with his family and to stay involved in the ministry workhe has taken on. Ebersol said it was broadcast veteran Al Michaels, who also works the Sunday Night Football game, who suggested Ebersol needed to find a coach for the studio show. "Al told me it was a glaring weakness not having a coach in the studio," Ebersol said. "And Al said any idea of having a coach should begin and end with Tony Dungy."

-- Diane Pucin

Photos: NFL experts Tony Dungy, left, and Rodney Harrison will join NBC's "Football Night in America." Credit: AP Photo.