On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Sep. 04, 2014 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM CDT Packers at Seattle Seahawks Packers at Seattle Seahawks
  • Fri., Sep. 05, 2014 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Jared Abbrederis appearance Packers WR Jared Abbrederis is scheduled to make an appearance at PBIS Sunrise School in Appleton, Wis., on Friday, September 5, from 2-3 p.m.
  • Tue., Sep. 09, 2014 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Brandon Bostick appearance Brandon Bostick is scheduled to appear at Walmart (located at 2440 W. Mason Street, Green Bay) on Tuesday, September 9, from 5-7 p.m.
  • Sun., Sep. 14, 2014 11:25 AM - 3:25 PM CDT Coats for Kids collection The Salvation Army will be collecting new and gently used winter coats as well as cash donations in the parking lot and at each of Lambeau Field’s gates.
  • Sun., Sep. 14, 2014 3:25 PM - 6:30 PM CDT Packers vs. New York Jets Packers vs. New York Jets
  • Sun., Sep. 21, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Packers at Detroit Lions Packers at Detroit Lions

News

Print
RSS

A.J. Hawk tackles “Broadcast Boot Camp”

Posted Jun 21, 2013

Veteran Packers linebacker explores the media biz at NFL Films

GREEN BAY—Attending the NFL’s “Broadcast Boot Camp” this past week was an eye-opener for A.J. Hawk.

It also has sparked an interest in a possible post-football career for the eighth-year linebacker.

Along with two dozen current and former players, Hawk spent 3 ½ days at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, N.J., getting an introductory crash course in the broadcast business and trying his hand at various duties.

He wrote a script, loaded it into the teleprompter and delivered it. He tried studio analysis, giving opinions and debating topics in a talk-show setting. He also conducted interviews.

“That was really different for us,” Hawk said. “I’ve never been the one asking questions. It’s not easy, I know that much.”

Hawk said he talked in advance with former Packers teammate Brady Poppinga, who has attended the camp in the past, so he had some idea what to expect. He was impressed with the number of big-name network personalities and producers who served as the “faculty,” led by CBS studio host James Brown.

“They tell you that giving interviews does not help you,” Hawk said. “Just because we’ve given hundreds of interviews over our careers, that’s nothing. That doesn’t compare to when you’re on the other side and you’re the one asking the questions and trying to give intelligent opinions on things. You have to really prepare, and they made sure to let us know how much they prepare.”

The professionals didn’t hold back in their evaluations of the novices’ work, which Hawk appreciated.

“Whenever we filmed something, we’d come back as a group and watch it, and they’d critique us just like we do when we watch a game,” Hawk said. “They weren’t nice all the time with their critiques. They were brutally honest, and we need that.”

Hawk’s favorite part was stepping into the booth as a color analyst alongside a play-by-play announcer and calling the action. He wore headphones, had a producer in his ear and gave it his best shot.

Even though most of the week Hawk felt out of his comfort zone, he said being a color man in the booth felt the most natural. It has him seriously thinking about honing that craft and seeing where it leads when he’s done playing.

“As football players, we’re used to talking about football, and you’re trying to convey what’s happening and why teams are doing certain things,” Hawk said.

“Watching the Heat (in Game 7 of the NBA Finals) last night, they’re pros. The announcers make it look easy. They make it sound like a conversation going on during the game, but it’s tough to make it natural.”

Hawk, the Packers’ first-round draft pick in 2006, has no plans to hang up his cleats anytime soon, but he wanted to attend the boot camp while he was still playing to make some contacts and start planning ahead. He’s very glad he did.

“It’s something I was pretty passionate about going into this week, and then now that I’ve been in it and seen how much work it takes, I think I’m more into it,” he said. “I’m inspired to try to get better and explore all the different opportunities there are.”

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Big test ahead in Seattle for rookies

    (1:49) Posted 43 minutes ago

    Hear from Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, TE Richard Rodgers, C Corey Linsley, and WR Davante Adams as they talk about the 2014 rookies making their regular season debut agains the Seattle Seahawks.

  • Bryan Bulaga eager to make his return in Seattle

    (0:47) Posted 48 minutes ago

    Hear from Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and T Bryan Bulaga as they talk about Bulaga's return to the field in Seattle after 2013's season ending injury.

  • Jarrett Boykin aims to play dominant

    (4:09) Posted 2 hours ago

    Packers WR Jarrett Boykin was available to the media on Tuesday, September 2.