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Brian Griese: ESPN got a bigger fish in Troy Aikman, I get a new opportunity with 49ers

With DT Akiem Hicks joining the Bucs on a one-year deal, Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss who the best non-quarterbacks are in the NFC South.

Brian Griese landed on his feet when he left ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth, becoming the new quarterbacks coach of the 49ers. But he acknowledges that as much as he looks forward to that new opportunity, ESPN also wanted to move on from him.

Griese recognizes that when ESPN was able to attract Troy Aikman as its new analyst, that meant he was out of a job. Fortunately for him, he found a good one.

“I got to a point where I needed a new challenge,” Griese said. “That, coupled with the moment where ESPN decided to go in a different direction -- I’m not saying they didn’t -- but they got a bigger fish. I understand the dynamics of that. I always knew that that possibility and probably likelihood was out there. But I did get to do it at the highest level for two years, and I loved every minute of it. So I had a decision to make at that point. This opportunity came up, and it was a challenge that I wanted to run towards and not away from. I’m excited about it. I’m rejuvenated by the opportunity to get back in the arena to compete, to win and lose and lead and be part of something bigger than yourself. That’s a real gift.”

Griese had never coached before, but he said he’s all-in on coaching the 49ers’ quarterbacks and has no higher aspirations to try to get a bigger coaching job in the future. After losing his last job, he’s satisfied in his new job.