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The Amazon Prime Video crew made a smooth transition to the studio

FILE - NFL Thursday Night Football crew members Ryan Fitzpatrick (left), Andrew Whitworth (center) and Chris Sherman speak before an NFL football game between the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers August 25, 2022 in Houston.  The three have made a smooth transition straight from the field to the studio this season, joining Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and presenter Charissa Thompson on Amazon Prime Video's Thursday Night Football crew.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, file)

FILE – NFL Thursday Night Football crew members Ryan Fitzpatrick (left), Andrew Whitworth (center) and Chris Sherman speak before an NFL football game between the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers August 25, 2022 in Houston. The three have made a smooth transition straight from the field to the studio this season, joining Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and presenter Charissa Thompson on Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football crew. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, file)

AP

Ryan Fitzpatrick is already looking forward to next Black Friday.

The well-travelled quarterback-turned-analyst is part of Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” crew, which will broadcast the first NFL game the day after Thanksgiving in 2023.

“It’s a great idea. It’s a great time to have a game. Everyone will be huddled up and ready to watch more football,” Fitzpatrick said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “I think that’s a huge win for Amazon, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to which city we’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving in next year and which city we’re going to make the game in.”

Fitzpatrick, three-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and four-time Pro Bowl tackle Andrew Whitworth made a smooth transition straight from the court to the studio this season, joining Hall of Famer tightend Tony Gonzalez and host Charissa Thompson in pregame affiliated with Amazon, half-time and post-game coverage.

Veteran Al Michaels credits the games with Kirk Herbstreit in the dressing room and reporter Kaylee Hartung on the sidelines.

Fitzpatrick, Sherman, Whitworth, Gonzalez and Thompson are on hand for most games. They developed the on-air chemistry by spending a lot of time together off the set, including Wednesday night dinners before games.

“I think that was a really important part of just getting to know everyone as an individual,” Fitzpatrick said. “Yes, I knew Tony Gonzalez the football player, but as I was learning a little bit about his family, I heard dad joke after dad joke, had to kind of learn his personality and then poke him a little bit about some of his quirks and then pick it up right back.” thrown me It’s like a dressing room in that way.”

Fitzpatrick, who played for nine teams in the NFL in 16 seasons, named Thompson the team’s QB.

“I think Charissa did a great job especially early on just keeping us on track,” he said. “We had three new people at the desk who had never done this before. And she did such a great job directing traffic and helping us figure it out. As the season progressed the chemistry has gotten a lot better, especially the on air chemistry, who speaks when and what points can be made, how quickly a point has to be made. And so Charissa is definitely still the quarterback but has a little less admin and a little less babysitting than she did at the very beginning of the season.”

Sherman, who has played 11 seasons for Seattle, San Francisco and Tampa Bay, has enjoyed forging new relationships with his new teammates.

“It shows that we like being together,” he says. “We enjoy getting to know each other, getting to know each other’s families. And I think that translates on camera.”

Whitworth, a Super Bowl champion with the Los Angeles Rams last season, had the least experience speaking in front of cameras of anyone on the crew.

“If you’re an O-lineman, my version of the media is someone with a tape recorder and the entire locker room cleared out and just me and the person with the tape recorder asking me a few questions,” Whitworth said. “There’s no pressure, no stress, and no one really cares unless you say something flashy. If you talk about being raw, I literally had zero experience. I think my biggest press conference ever was the day I retired.”

Whitworth quickly caught on for its authenticity.

“I’ll just literally be who I am,” he said.

This includes wardrobe and looks. FitzMagic has the big beard. Whitworth wears hoodies under his jacket.

“I’ve always loved wearing hoodies. I think it’s that big ol’ neck that sometimes makes me look awkward in collared shirts,” Whitworth said.

Marie Donoghue, vice president of global sports video at Amazon, named Whitworth the crew’s trainer.

“At our production meetings, he makes speeches in the locker room,” Donoghue said before the Ravens played the Buccaneers in a Thursday night game last month. “He almost brought us to tears.”

When Amazon and the NFL signed an 11-year deal — the first time the league sold a game package to a streaming service — Donoghue set about assembling a crew with unique perspectives.

“We’ve spent a lot of time with a lot of different talents,” she said. “We wanted energy, enthusiasm and good teammates, people who work really hard and enjoy it. We wanted to offer the fans something new. We quickly focused on getting people off the field. These guys have gotten better by the hour, they’re getting more comfortable. They had chemistry from day one. It was spectacular. We have a really high bar. We’re excited about where we are and we’re getting better and better.”

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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