I wrote the other day about Boomer Esiason being the hardest-working football player in the media these days, but Boomer's been at it for a while. If you want a rookie-of-the-year candidate for that title, try Anthony Becht.
Yes, Anthony, the 11-year tight end who began pro life as a first-round Jets draft choice and five-year wearer of the green and white, is a hot prospect to be in some network's NFL game rotation in the near future. I caught up with AB at Jets House this afternoon and he filled me in on his budding post-football career.
"It's been good. It's a hustle. I've really been working hard and trying to take advantage of my opportunities," Becht said. "I'm counting on my intellect, my personality and my knowledge of the game and just kind of weave my way up. And it's been fantastic."
How has Becht been weaving? Let us count the ways:
■ He had his first year of a full slate of games as an ESPN college football analyst this past season.
■ He switched analyst hats to the NFL for the NBC Sports Network also this season.
■ He was the pre- and postgame host on WDAE 620 AM in Tampa for the Buccaneers, the second team of his pro career, and also does a weekly show down south.
"And the last thing I'm doing," he said with a flourish, "is the Home Shopping Network."
How's that again, Anthony?
"That's down in Florida also. They have a football fan shop that's the official licensed supplier of NFL apparel and gear, and I just go on there as the NFL liaison and talk to the fans, talk about the teams. It's just a real casual type of on-camera event and we do a bunch of those shows throughout the year."
Becht, always a hustler as a player, may just hustle his way into doing some Jets playoff games the next time we're in the postseason. Until then, he's an expert guest analyst for us on this year's Super Bowl XLVIII matchup between Denver and Seattle.
"I think it's a great matchup," Becht began. "The Seahawks have a great defense, a very disciplined team. I think Pete Carroll's done an outstanding job in Seattle, he's gotten the most out of Russell Wilson, who's played spectacular his first two years.
"Denver on the other hand, offensively, they've got the genius behind center. I kind of look at it as when Belichick was going to Super Bowls and you give the guy two weeks to really pick apart a defense. Peyton Manning is a guy who's trying to win the game today, tomorrow, so when he's there on Sunday, it's a little easier. I know he's going to be on top of his game. It's just will everybody else be on the same page?"
Becht makes an alliterative pick to win the Bowl.
"I think Denver's going to do a lot of things to create mismatches and get guys in different spots so Sherman's not on their best receiver every time. And they have a plethora of weapons. I think it's going to be close I think in the end the Broncos will score that late touchdown and will be that 7-, 8-, 10-point winner.
"I like the Broncos."
So do we. And we also like Becht to break through in the TV game in a short time.
Jets House Jottings
Becht already has a photo of him and former teammate Wayne Chrebet from Jets House on his Twitter account, @Anthony_Becht. ... Isaiah Trufant and Ellis Lankster followed Mo Wilkerson, Wayne Chrebet and Becht in as the first day of Jets House at 1 Penn Plaza right across the street from Madison Square Garden got revved up.
Thursday's two sessions are packed to the rafters. For the day session, CB Antonio Cromartie and FB Tommy Bohanon are on the schedule, as are former Olympic gold-medal figure skater Sarah Hughes and chef Mario Pagan. At night, it's RBs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, WR Jeremy Kerley, K Nick Folk and CB Kyle Wilson, alumni Wesley Walker — our Ring of Honor wide receiver — and LB Victor Hobson.