Theismann Out, Jaworski In at Monday Night Football

joe theismann - monday night football
Critics panned the chemistry between Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser, a columnist for the Washington Post and the co-host of ESPNs "Pardon the Interruption" talk show. (Jim Mone - AP)
Associated Press
Monday, March 26, 2007; 10:05 PM

BRISTOL, Conn. -- ESPN is changing quarterbacks.

Joe Theismann will no longer be part of the network's "Monday Night Football" broadcast and will be replaced as an analyst by Ron Jaworski, the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, the network announced Monday.

Jaworski will join play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Tony Kornheiser in the booth. Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya will handle sideline reporting.

Critics had panned the chemistry between Theismann and Kornheiser, a columnist for the Washington Post and the co-host of ESPNs "Pardon the Interruption" talk show. But Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president for studio and remote production, said chemistry was not the reason for the change.

"I thought Joe and Tony got along very well, and I thought the dialogue was good and was conversational," he said. "I think we're going to build on last year. We had a fantastic first year. I was happy with the booth and I think we're in a position now of continuing to move it forward and to build on it."

Theismann, a former Washington Redskins quarterback, will be offered another football job with the network, Williamson said.

"We would be making a mistake if we cannot get that done with him," he said.

Phone calls seeking comment from Theismann were not immediately returned.

Jaworski, who has done analysis on NFL games in the past, is better known for his studio analysis and ability to break down game tape for viewers.

"I'm an 'Xs-and-Os' guy. I love breaking down the game. I love the strategy of the game," he said. "That's the beauty of what I will bring to the table is that insight of 'Xs and Os."'

Jaworski said he and Kornheiser have been friends for over a decade, and Jaworski has frequently appeared as a guest on Kornheiser's radio show and on "Pardon the Interruption."

"It's been a wonderful (relationship) thus far, but certainly now the stage is bigger and brighter," Jaworski said. "I think our role, people will see how well we do get along."

NFL games on Monday night moved from ABC to ESPN last season.


© 2007 The Associated Press