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Deion Sanders, NFL Network analyst

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Deion Sanders joins NFL Network


(Aug. 21, 2006) -- Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Deion Sanders has joined NFL Network as an analyst.


Sanders, who holds the NFL record for career return touchdowns (18 by kickoff, punt, interception and fumble), will offer a fresh-from-the-field perspective as an analyst for NFL GameDay on Sunday nights and the On the Field pregame show for NFL Network's eight regular-season games. Sanders retired after spending the 2004-05 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Previously, he was an analyst on CBS' The NFL Today pregame show from 2001-03.


NFL GameDay will take fans on a 360-degree, 90-minute spin around the league at 11:30 p.m. ET each NFL Sunday, putting the exclamation point on the day's action. Sanders joins fellow analyst Steve Mariucci and host Rich Eisen on NFL GameDay, which will be the best and most extensive NFL highlights show on television with unlimited use of highlights of all Sunday games plus postgame press conferences, interviews and analysis. GameDay will run in a continuous loop on NFL Network with the final airing at 1:30 p.m. ET on Mondays.


Eisen, Mariucci and Sanders will also partner for On the Field, the three-hour pregame show for NFL Network's eight regular-season games beginning on Thanksgiving night.


"Deion is one of the most engaging, entertaining, and opinionated personalities in sports who will provide a unique perspective to our shows," said NFL Network executive producer Eric Weinberger.


Sanders joins an impressive roster of NFL Network analysts including Brian Baldinger, Cris Collinsworth, Butch Davis, Terrell Davis, Jamie Dukes, Marshall Faulk, Mariucci, Mike Mayock, Jim Mora, Sterling Sharpe, Dick Vermeil, Solomon Wilcots, and Rod Woodson.


An eight-time Pro Bowler, Sanders played 14 NFL seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. He has 53 career interceptions -- 21st all-time -- and his 25.1-yards per interception return average ranks first in NFL history (minimum 30 interceptions). Sanders is tied for second all-time with nine interception-return touchdowns, ranking behind only fellow NFL Network analyst Woodson (14).


In 1994, Sanders helped the San Francisco 49ers win Super Bowl XXIX and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Among his six regular-season interceptions for the 49ers, he returned three for touchdowns and became the first player in NFL history with two 90-plus yard INT-returns for touchdowns in a season. He also had INTs in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XXIX.


A year later the versatile Sanders won his second consecutive championship, helping the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl XXX victory. During that postseason, he caught a 47-yard pass in the Super Bowl, had a key 35-yard third-down reception in the NFC Championship Game, and scored on a 21-yard reverse in the NFC divisional playoff.


A two-time All-America at Florida State, Sanders was a first-round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons in 1989. He is the only person in professional sports history to play in the World Series and the Super Bowl.


In 2006, NFL Network will air 170 football games, including eight regular season NFL games and 52 preseason games, 75 game re-airs of NFL regular-season games, 31 NFL Europe League contests, the Insight Bowl, the Houston bowl game, the Senior Bowl and the All-American Classic.


NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the first television network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football.


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