Tag:Ron Jaworski
Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:04 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 1:01 pm

Ron Jaworski calls leaving MNF 'bittersweet'

Ron Jaworksi gives up MNF but will  work on other projects at ESPN. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Monday Night Football was switching to a two-man booth. The odd man out: Ron Jaworski, who had been an MNF staple for five years. Instead, Jaws, who just signed a five-year extension, will have a "new, expanded multiplatform analyst's role."

"With him doing one game each week, we don't necessarily believe we were getting the best Ron Jaworski had to offer to the network," executive vice president Norby Williamson said.

ESPN president John Skipper added: “I thank Ron for the great contributions he has made to Monday Night Football. With two strong analysts in Ron and Jon, these moves will better utilize their strengths and benefit our entire NFL presentation.”

The Jon mentioned above would be Jon Gruden, who remains in the booth with play-by-play man Mike Tirico.

It's a peculiar situation for a number of reasons, chief among them: Gruden could leave for a coaching job and Jaws just got a new deal. But three-man booths are notoriously tough to pull off (see Tony Kornheiser's stint on MNF) even if Tirico, Gruden and Jaworski made it look seamless and easy.

Jaws, speaking to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, called the change "bittersweet" but said he was "excited and thrilled" about some other upcoming projects.

"I have an opportunity to do some things that can be creative, so in that regard I am excited about the future. The disappointment is I have worked with some incredible people, from Jay Rothman to [MNF director] Chip Dean to Mike Tirico to Jon Gruden and the entire crew that works on MNF. They are absolutely five star... Maybe it is a little bit of my makeup, but I have never been a guy to look back. I always thought it was a great thing for a quarterback to have amnesia. Forget the past and look to the future. It was an unbelievable experience to do five years of Monday Night Football."

Jaworski said that he was told of the decision Monday though he wasn't surprised. "Nothing comes as a surprise to you when you are in this business." 

One of those upcoming projects is a "QB Camp"-type show made popular by Gruden leading up to last year's draft. "I'm a football guy and I want to do more of that stuff," Jaworksi said.

Not sure why Jaws can't do both but this is a bottom-line business and sometimes the bottom line obscures what might be a good thing. Here's our theory on how things may have gone down. (And we can't stress this enough: this our a theory based on a hunch and not much else. We even talked about it on the latest Pick-6 Podcast.)

MNF isn't about appealing to football fans -- they're watching games no matter who's in the booth. MNF is entertainment -- it's about enticing non-football fans to tune in. That's why, several years ago, ESPN started bringing celebrities into the booth during the telecasts. The results ranged from boring to hilariously awkward.

Short of revisiting that debacle, maybe ESPN conducted focus groups and found that people with no interest in Xs and Os (or, more generally, football) liked Jaws the least. Again, this is just speculation ,but it certainly seems plausible given that ESPN is business of making money and the fastest way to do that is by increasing viewership. Or maybe the network really does plan to keep Jaws busy with all these new projects.

Whatever the reason the reality is this: Monday Night Football will be worse off without him.

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Posted on: April 3, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: April 3, 2011 11:04 am

Do today's players care about older NFLers?

Ron Jaworski thinks today's players don't care about those from yesterday (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Whenever I hear old-time NFL players talk about the benefits they should receive for their contributions in building the NFL into the most popular sport in this country today, I always feel a sense of bitterness behind the words that are spoken.

Not necessarily bitter that those players from the 1940, 50s, 60s and 70s didn’t receive the huge checks that many of those who play today get to cash on a monthly basis. But bitter in the sense that they feel their efforts to help create the game that we watch and cover today are ignored.

Especially by today’s players.

I could sense that during Super Bowl week when the NFL Alumni held a press conference to lay out the group’s platform for much-needed pensions and benefits. Although Cowboys RB Felix Jones was on the dais and was praised by the five or six former players who joined him, I could feel the underlying hurt that comes with not receiving the respect they feel they deserve.

Which brings us to former Eagles QB (and, obviously, current ESPN analyst and TV color guy) Ron Jaworski, who was asked by the Philadelphia Inquirer if he thought the NFLPA was keeping the former players’ best interest at heart.

Said Jaws: “That part does disappoint me. I've been around long enough to understand that present-day players, they don't understand what the guys went through in [the previous work stoppages of 1987, '82, and '74]. … Quite honestly, I don't think they really give a damn about the guys that laid the foundation for the game. I think it's a lot of verbiage, but I don't think they really care.”

What more can be done for those former players, though?

“I see these guys limping around and the physical handicaps they're now living under. These guys deserve something. . . . They deserve some compensation for that, and they deserve medical benefits, and they deserve treatment for all the issues that former players are now dealing with. We all know the life expectancy of former NFL players is less than a normal human being.”

Jaworski makes an interesting point about whether players give a damn about the guys that came before them. I’m not sure that’s exactly the case. With some exceptions, I think the players just don’t give a damn about the history of the game. The lack of interest in the former players is just a byproduct of that.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: October 28, 2010 7:20 pm

Manning will get his chance to confront Jaws

Posted by Andy Benoit
P. Manning
A few weeks ago, ESPN analyst and quarterback guru Ron Jaworski said that Father Time might be catching up with Peyton Manning -- at least just a bit. The Colts host the Texans on Monday, which means Manning and Jaws will cross paths in an ESPN production meeting this weekend.

On Thursday reporters asked Manning if he would give Jaws a hard time because of the comments.

“Probably no more than I don't usually have,” Manning said, smiling. “I think I know what you're referring to, only because someone's told me. To have fun with him would mean that what he said actually has an effect. It'd be giving him too much credit.”

For the record, Manning is completing 67.3 percent of his passes this season. He’s thrown for 1,916 yards in six games, with 13 touchdowns, two interceptions and just two sacks.

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:09 am
Edited on: August 27, 2010 11:11 am

New umpire positioning proving to be a problem

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Colts-Packers gave fans rare first-class preseason entertainment Thursday night, but what ardent football buffs took away from the game was just how disruptive the new umpiring position can be.

By now, you’ve probably had it explained to you 9 or 10 times that the NFL has decided to relocate the umpire from the linebacking area to the backfield. The main reason behind the move was umpire safety (there were 100 collisions and three injuries to umpires in 2009).

So far this preseason, the popular thing for television analysts to explain is that this relocation will lead to more offensive holding calls.
(This, by the way, will probably prove untrue before long; penalties always increase with rule changes, but ultimately, players adjust.)
NFL Umpire (US Presswire)
In ESPN’s Packers-Colts telecast, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden remonstrated about how the umpire’s new positioning slows down the flow of play. The umpire must spot the ball and then run 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The offense is not allowed to snap the ball until the umpire and referee are both deeper than the deepest back. This means a one- to two-second delay, which, in hurry-up time, is an eternity.

Because of this, the NFL decided that umpires will remain in their old linebacker position inside of two minutes. But this doesn’t help a team like the Colts, who run a hurry-up outside of two minutes. Indeed, Indy was flagged for two false snaps Thursday night. They were held up on several more snaps, with Peyton Manning constantly having to look to his left to get the side judge’s approval to snap the ball. As Jaws and Gruden stressed, this forces a quarterback to take his eyes off the defense, which goes against everything he’s taught.

Colts president Bill Polian is very powerful within the NFL (he’s on the Competition Committee). You can bet he’s going to ask (demand) that the league re-examine the execution of the umpire’s new positioning.

Gruden correctly pointed out that the difference in the flow of the hurry-up outside of two minutes and inside of two minutes was startling. Jaws suggested that, instead of worrying so much about the umpire’s safety, the league should find more athletic umpires and give them helmets. It’s not a bad idea when you consider that doing so would force only one person to make a drastic change (the umpire) rather than an entire offense to make a drastic change.

The NFL seems hesitant to make major changes, though. In an e-mail sent to ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky, NFL spokesman Michael Signora said, "The movement of the umpire to the offensive backfield will happen in the regular-season. We continue to analyze and review the impact of the change in the preseason, and we may announce some tweaks to the mechanics of the position prior to the regular season, but the move is a definite."

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 2:51 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 3:15 pm

Bulger denies 'defeated' talk from ESPN analysts

Posted by Will Brinson

When the Ravens and the Panthers met during a Thursday night preseason game on ESPN, the announcing crew of Jon Gruden, Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski intimated that Marc Bulger didn't really seem thrilled about his life as an NFL quarterback.

Okay, "intimated" might not be a strong enough word -- they referred to him as "defeated" (Tirico) and a guy who lacked "the passion, the enthusiasm you have to play at this level" (Jaworski). Pretty strong words, even for a guy who got the tar beat out of him his final years in St. Louis.

Over the weekend, Bulger refuted those comments , or at least what they portrayed about his attitude towards football now that he's with the Ravens.

"If that's the way (they interpreted it), that's really not the way I was intending," Bulger said. "They asked me a lot about my time with the Rams, and the last three years were difficult. So I was just being honest with them, and I just said that it's not a lot of fun winning five games in three years, and it's not fun going to work, and football wasn't fun.

"But it had nothing to do with passion. I asked for my release this year to go and win somewhere, and they asked me if this was a stepping stone to go somewhere else. I just said, 'I don't know what I'm going to do after this year.' I'm just being honest."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh came to Bulger's defense too:

"I see nothing but an energetic, competitive guy who loves football," Harbaugh said. "This guy has come out here every single day, and he's gotten after it. ... He's done a great job."

There's no debating that Bulger's last few years with the Rams were "difficult" -- the team went 5-30 while he was starting, which isn't even good to register a reading on the mediocre scale.

But as Gregg Rosenthal mentioned when originally posting the quotes at PFT, it's not like Bulger has done anything with his play on the field to absolutely warrant a refutation of those remarks.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com