BOSTON (CBS) — The breakout star of this year’s NFL Draft? Easy. That would be Nike, Bill Belichick’s furry, lovable pup who manned the laptop when the future Hall of Fame head coach stepped away.

And now, if the NFL Network gets its wish, Nike is poised for a triumphant return to the country’s television screens on Thursday night.

With the league capitalizing on a rather soft spot on the sports calendar, NFL Network will be airing a three-hour special on Thursday night in order to announce, discuss, debate, celebrate, and whatever else people can do with the release of a football schedule.

Unsurprisingly, the night will be filled with many guests from around the league, checking in via video conference from their homes. Included on that list is Bill Belichick, and the network is hoping he’s not alone.

“Yes, we made a request for the dog,” NFL Media senior VP of programming and production Mark Quenzel told Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand. “We don’t know if we’re going to get the dog. That may be the most popular segment. The dog may be the star of the whole darn show.”

Ourand reported that the network is hoping for coaches and executives to show off their softer side, after fans enjoyed seeing them all in their home element during the draft.

“Coaches are generally conservative people and tend to be guarded,” Quenzel told Ourand. “What the Draft showed the coaches is that they can let their guard down a little bit and that’s not going to affect anything when they go onto a football field.”


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