When “Monday Night Football” returns this fall, there will be a big change in ESPN’s broadcast booth: Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will be calling the games.
Ron Jaworski, who signed a five-year contract extension, will move to what the network says will be a “new, expanded multiplatform NFL analyst role.”
Jaworski will appear on the Sunday and Monday NFL “Countdown” shows, “NFL Matchup,” “SportsCenter,” “Pardon the Interruption,” “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” and whatever other shows and platforms ESPN comes up with.
“I am grateful for having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of working on ‘Monday Night Football’ the past five seasons with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and so many other talented people behind the scenes who make the show so great,” Jaworski said in a statement released by ESPN, “and I look forward to bringing my passion and knowledge of the game to more fans in more places than ever before on any and all football topics.”
Gruden’s comment on the matter was...interesting. “I understand there are times when players have to put their faith in the coaches and other decision-makers who are trying to position a team for success, and that’s what I’m doing here,” Gruden said. “I have faith in the people I’m working for here at ESPN. Jaws has taught me so much about broadcasting and nobody works harder. He also watches as much film as anyone. I’ll miss working with him on Monday nights, but I’m glad we’re still on the same ESPN team.”
Is moving Jaworski out of the “MNF” booth the right move? Frankly, he or Gruden seemed expendable, given that their voices were so indistinguishable (except when one of them was uttering a curse word). The one to leave what was, at times, one crowded booth wasn’t likely to be the guy the New Yorker dubbed “America’s football coach.”
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