Basically every New England Patriots fan knows how great Field Yates is and how invaluable he is to ESPN Boston’s great coverage of the Patriots. The ESPN Patriots Report is a staple site for all Patriots fans, and I would be proud if Musket Fire was an ounce as good as the coverage on that amazing site; it could very well be the best thing that ESPN has to offer.
Although Mike Reiss is the big name on that site (and for good reason, he’s one of the best beat writers around), Yates and Mike Rodak also do amazing work. Not only has Yates been instrumental in reporting big news stories, but he also has an excellent scouting background and brings something different to the table with his breakdowns of game film, draft prospects, free agents, and top players on other teams. Yates is a great reporter, an excellent evaluator of talent, a hard worker, a fantasy expert, and a great guy and NFL writer in general. It’s funny looking back and remembering used to write for this very network, as he was a key contributor on our NFL blog NFL Spin Zone (a site that I now serve as co-editor of).
Let’s just say that Yates is one of the greatest rises in sports media, and his rise is continuing. He went from being a guy writing for various smaller sites around the web to being one of the best and brightest stars on the biggest network in sports. Now, Yates has been given another huge opportunity, and it is one that he definitely deserves.
ESPN is releasing a new show called “NFL Insiders”, and it allows some of the best sports journalists and writers to spit their take without players in the booth. Although there are some excellent analysts who were former players (most namely Ron Jaworski), there are also several former players who spit the same, ran-over stuff, and this is a fresh, new approach to a show. Great stuff from ESPN, and they have announced that the show will start on the 5th of August.
The regular panel of four on the show will be comprised of Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Bill Polian, and host Suzy Kolber. Ace reporter Ed Werder and senior writer John Clayton will also have heavy roles on the show, but it is unsurprising that Schefter and Mortensen will be the two main guys running the show. Not only is Schefter arguably the best insider in the business (Ian Rapoport is my guy), but he has a vast working knowledge of the NFL that would surprise a few people; I want to hear from him.
The interesting thing is the group of guys supporting them as contributors who will drop in on the show to further supplement the coverage. Former Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage, ESPN’s Ashley Fox, NFC East blogger Dan Graziano, USA Today columnist Jarrett Bell, former St. Louis Rams GM Bill Devaney, ESPN Boston’s (and other places on ESPN) Field Yates, and radio host and NFL Insider Adam Caplan.
Yates is a terrific addition to the crew, and I expect him to do an amazing job there. He will bring the eye of a journalism, the eye of a scout, and the eye of a tiger (OK, sorry) to the NFL Insiders show. I can’t say enough about this addition, and it’s great to see ESPN noticing one of their best up-and-coming talents by constantly rewarding him. I’m not a fan of some of the radio hosts and columnists in the Boston media, but there is no way you can diss the beat writers (especially the Patriots guys). Reiss, Greg Bedard (was, Ben Volin is next), Tom E. Curran, Christopher Price, Yates, and Jeff Howe are some of the best in the business. Plus, we also saw current NFL Network insiders Rapoport and Albert Breer move up from gigs on the Patriots beat, so the national media has definitely taken notice of the talented guys in Boston.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.