SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The National Football League will release its 2014 schedule on Wednesday, with a two-hour national telecast on ESPN2.

John Madden joined the KCBS Radio morning crew and said it is part of what the NFL does. “That’s the show now, just look at the NFL Draft. You’ve known all along who you’re going to play. The only thing you’re finding out when the schedule comes out is when you play them,” he said. “As an organization, that’s always big for you. Who are you going to open with, and you can start getting ready for your opener. You work pretty hard on the first four games you’re going to play.”

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While some remain skeptical if there really needs to be a two-hour television special based solely on the announcement of the schedule, Coach Madden said the NFL is such a big business, it warrants the media coverage.

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“There’s a lot of special things in there. Who has the first Thursday night opener? Who has the first Monday night game? Who has the Thanksgiving games? An interesting thing to me is the Thursday night schedule. What is it going to look like the first eight games of the season, when it’s going to be on CBS, compared to the end of the season, when it goes back to the NFL Network. I think it’s really going to be front-loaded for CBS.”

Madden said it’s also of interest to fans of the Bay Area teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders. “As a local 49ers fan, when do the 49ers play Seattle? When do the Raiders play Denver? Those kinds of things are the stories within the stories.”

The 2014 NFL schedule will be announced and released at 5:00 p.m. PT.

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(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.)