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Gruden creates impression he didn’t agree with dumping Jaws from MNF

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The bizarre “Jaworski signs an extension!  He’ll be on TV more! . . . . oh, but not on Monday Night Football” release from ESPN contains a link to quotes from the three men who, until today, called the games.

The most intriguing comments come from Jon Gruden, who seems to imply that he didn’t agree with the reassignment of Jaworski.

“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.”

Apparently, that’s the best that ESPN’s P.R. team could come up with to throw water on the appearance that Gruden didn’t want Jaworski in the booth any longer, which would be the perfect bookend to the belief that Tony Kornheiser wanted Jaworski to replace Joe Theismann five years ago.

Though many TV decisions are made without the input or agreement from the on-air talent, Gruden occupies a special position with ESPN.  The powers-that-be assume he’ll eventually leave to coach again, and they’re likely doing everything they can to keep him around for as long as possible.

What better way to try to persuade Gruden to stay than to make Monday Night Football into, essentially, The Jon Gruden Show, with Mike Tirico?

Maybe that’s why ESPN is going out of its way to create the sense that Jaworski wasn’t fired.  Maybe the goal was to keep both guys over the long haul, with someone realizing that the best way to keep Gruden beyond 2012 is to make Monday Night Football all about him.

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50 Responses to “Gruden creates impression he didn’t agree with dumping Jaws from MNF”
  1. tfbuckfutter says: Feb 15, 2012 2:36 PM

    Gruden: “Jaws is just a heck of a broadcaster.”

  2. supermariojosh says: Feb 15, 2012 2:43 PM

    I love this guy Jon Gruden. This kid really gets after it. Look at the way he delivers those lines! The tone, the cadence, the timing – I’ve never seen any broadcaster talk as well as Jon Gruden does. There’s no other broadcaster in the game that talk a football the way Jon Gruden talks a football.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 says: Feb 15, 2012 2:50 PM


    Why doesn’t ESPN listen to the FANS who, you know… TUNE IN and create the ratings that generate that coveted money they want so badly?

    I barely know a dozen people who TOLERATE, much less actually LIKE listening to Gruden. The rest of us find him (and Tirico to an even greater extent) complete INTOLERABLE.

    Jaws was the one who was actually decent, except for genuflecting before his Brady/Brees shrine and hating on the Giants like he has since the days where LT beat him senseless.

  4. ttoptom says: Feb 15, 2012 2:50 PM

    Jaworski’s analysis was OK, but I always felt he went out of the way to put on a “radio voice”. The result sounded too much like an SNL caricature of a sports announcer. Was it just me?

  5. cup0pizza says: Feb 15, 2012 2:50 PM

    Tirico is the clown that needs to go. Little nerd NEVER shuts up. MNF & espn suck, anyway.

  6. noeffinway says: Feb 15, 2012 2:59 PM

    I can’t believe that I actually liked this Gruden fella at first…… I have just heard way too much of his crap. The guy is an irritant.

  7. rajbais says: Feb 15, 2012 3:01 PM

    What a bullcrap move!!!!!

    Now you know that ESPN is run by ass clowns!!!! Jaws was one of the few guys at that stupid network who actually makes sense!!!!!

  8. vanmorrissey says: Feb 15, 2012 3:02 PM

    cup0pizza is an idiot. Tirico is best play by play in football, and if you don’t like MNF, don’t watch dummy.

  9. lastl00 says: Feb 15, 2012 3:02 PM

    I couldn’t stand Jaws on those broadcasts!!! Thank you!!! All he ever talked about was the QB and how he has to “Look down the gunbarrel, plant that back foot and let it go.” We get it, you were a QB! Like nails on a chalkboard!!!

  10. rajbais says: Feb 15, 2012 3:02 PM

    Sorry, bad grammar!!!

    What a bullcrap move!!!!!

    Now you know that ESPN is run by ass clowns!!!! Jaws is one of the few guys at that stupid network who actually makes sense!!!!!

  11. jrspike says: Feb 15, 2012 3:03 PM

    Jaws got screwed, plane and simple.

  12. poprox13 says: Feb 15, 2012 3:05 PM

    And yet the left Miller and Morgan on Sunday night Baseball as long as they did. smh

  13. wlubake says: Feb 15, 2012 3:07 PM

    That statement sounds like the PR folks at ESPN trying to keep Gruden from looking like Jay Leno in this situation. If he seems to disagree with it, he clearly wasn’t lobbying for it. No controversy here folks, keep moving along, nothing to see.

    Isn’t everyone in broadcasting just warming a seat for Peyton Manning these days? Whenever Peyton retires, ESPN will be making Gruden get the coffee for their pitch meeting with Peyton.

  14. horsecore says: Feb 15, 2012 3:08 PM


    Bring back the old Sunday Night Football crew of Patrick, Maguire, and yes, even that tool Theismann. I loved that way that Maguire bagged on Theismann all the time. It was priceless.

  15. bosshogg3 says: Feb 15, 2012 3:12 PM

    Espn overrates gruden. What has he done to get this much pampering from espn. I don’t get it.

  16. hooterdawg says: Feb 15, 2012 3:17 PM

    It is a shame that is not more interactive. Readers are not allowed to comment on their often controversial articles. It is too easy for writers to pen these ‘anonymous sources’ articles when they know they can’t be challenged. However, I expect that Manning will get upset because it sure seems that Irsay is the source for Banks.

  17. hooterdawg says: Feb 15, 2012 3:18 PM

    oops….above comment was intended for a different post.

  18. georgebrett says: Feb 15, 2012 3:20 PM

    #1 where does it say or did Gruden ever say he didn’t want Jaws in the booth?

    #2, Laws is the best in the business at what he does

    #3 Gruden is great at what he does and they compliment each other greatly,

    Anyone that thinks Gruden doesn’t bring it doesn’t know or like football

  19. ampatsisahypocrite says: Feb 15, 2012 3:20 PM

    Ron Jaworski is the Joe Flacco of MNF announcers.

  20. jimair1 says: Feb 15, 2012 3:22 PM

    Gruden:”THIS GUY is no longer on MNF with me. THIS GUY is going to be with ESPN.

    Jaws: “And that is how you broadcast in the National Football League” Cue annoying Jaws snicker

  21. bigd9484 says: Feb 15, 2012 3:25 PM

    Wow. What a horrible decision. He was the most knowledgeable and unbiased guy they’ve had since the switch.

  22. sh4doww4lker says: Feb 15, 2012 3:31 PM

    You know I might be “old school” here….. but I really liked Jaws, on MNF and yes Theisman and even Maguire of old –like “yippie” skippie.

  23. briang123 says: Feb 15, 2012 3:41 PM

    Hey georgebrett,

    When Gruden said during an instant replay review that the ref should allow the catch (it was clearly out of bounds) because it was close enough and just was such a great catch, was that a good example of Gruden sharing his vast football knowledge with us?

    Gruden is a joke and I have no idea why ESPN kisses his butt so much. They must figure (wrongly) that he’ll draw ratings during those Rams-Seahwaks games.

  24. usetabe says: Feb 15, 2012 3:43 PM

    As Jeff Garcia can attest, believe little that Jon Gruden says.

  25. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Feb 15, 2012 3:55 PM

    You kidding me?? Gruden took shots at Jaws every monday night. It was insane, I like jaws more anyways. Gruden can get annoying when I have to listen to him longer than his predraft rookie qb specials are.

  26. n0hopeleft says: Feb 15, 2012 3:57 PM

    Jaws is still half brain dead from the hits that the Giants put on him 20 + years ago.

    Whenever the GMeN are on MNF, he can’t help but hate on our players. It’s like he sees Big Blue and craps his pants.

    Good riddance to the biggest blow-hard in the NFL.

    Jaws is and will always be a member of The Empty Trohpy Case Clan = LOSER.

  27. yyyass says: Feb 15, 2012 4:14 PM

    amapt….. “Ron Jaworski is the Joe Flacco of MNF announcers.” You gotta be kidding. Whether you like him or not, Jaws brings energy and enthusiasm to the broadcast. Flacco obediently calls three plays, returns to the bench and drinks a cup of water. In between he grows his eyebrows and moustache – and that’s about it.

  28. rcali says: Feb 15, 2012 4:23 PM

    Gruden made MNF hard to listen to. Every player can’t be great like he loves to overstate. ESPN moved the wrong guy out of the box.

  29. 1captain1 says: Feb 15, 2012 4:27 PM

    They could put a talking turd and a platypus in the booth and we would still tune in.

    NFL Drone for life!

  30. georgebrett says: Feb 15, 2012 4:29 PM

    You tell me how many color guys have gotten EVERY call right. ZERO, NIL, NONE, NADA,ZIPPO. Hell, the old Head of Refs gets most of them wrong.

    The joke is people bashing on someone because ethy don’t like them for whatever reason.

    Gruden is the best thing to happen to MNF since Madden, hands down.

  31. skinsrock says: Feb 15, 2012 4:30 PM

    I’ll take Brian Baldinger over these guys… LMAO

  32. brianbosworthisstonecold says: Feb 15, 2012 4:38 PM

    Colin cowherd to be the third man. Lol.

  33. 4ever19 says: Feb 15, 2012 4:38 PM

    Gruden’s epic fail as a broadcaster is surpassed only by his inability to build and coach his own football team. Why ESPN wouldn’t be holding open the door and handing him his hat is beyond me. I was so relieved my beloved Colts didn’t even glance his way.

  34. dhillca says: Feb 15, 2012 4:41 PM

    I had the privilege of seeing the 3 man MNF crew get on an elevator at Patriots Place hotel after a Monday night game a couple years ago at Gillette. Gruden was hammered and they had some nice young ladies by their sides too….blondes as I recall.
    They seemed to be having a great time!

  35. roadtrip3500 says: Feb 15, 2012 4:44 PM

    Monday Night Football has been a train wreck since ESPN took it over. Al Michaels is probably beyond happy he was able to join Madden at NBC at the time – he was originally slated to continue on MNF.

    Tirico is a good PBP, but he’d be that much better at Fox, CBS, or NBC since those networks aren’t trying to put on a show while a football game is going on.

    While he was at NFL Films, Jaworksi made his name as a film analyst. With the benefit of hindsight, he was able to dissect a play through all of its elements. That skill is lost on a live game broadcast because he doesn’t have the time to repeatedly review a play from multiple angles.

    I don’t find Gruden as intolerable as some, but he doesn’t have the polish as the other top tier analysts (Simms/Dierdorf at CBS, Aikman/Johnston-Siragusa at Fox, Collinsworth at NBC). Too often, Gruden sounds like that guy at every sports bar who has the knowledge but doesn’t know how to properly express himself.

    ESPN needs to get back to what made it popular in the first place – top-shelf sports coverage. I don’t need 2-3 hours of pre-game for anything, nor do I need the incessant glorification of highlights – set the game up, give me a technically sound presentation with competent, unobtrusive reporting, and let the games themselves draw the audience. My ideal team in the booth for MNF would be Tirico and Theismann in a two-man booth – and have them just tell me what’s going on without going overboard.

  36. purplekoolaid1 says: Feb 15, 2012 5:24 PM

    When will the day come when Mike, wig and all, end up in the MNF booth?

  37. themonster49 says: Feb 15, 2012 5:35 PM

    Is Gruden being serious?

    How many of you watched MNF and either laughed, cringed, or had some other reaction whenever Gruden would get heated during the standing discussions after the camera turned on in the booth, and how he would angrily interupt “jaws” on a regular basis, most of the time “jaws” would just stop talking and have an unhappy “come on man” look on his face.

    Is Gruden being serious?

    Maybe there is something I am missing, something painfully obvious that makes everything else make sense. There is! Maybe nobody else can stand Gruden when he does that, so he really truly honestly did not want them to reassign “jaws” because with a new person Gruden’s going to end up getting into a “fisticuffs” eventually one of these Monday nights.

  38. thehungariancrippler says: Feb 15, 2012 5:55 PM

    How in the blue hell do you fire Jaws from MNF? ESPN picked dickwad Gruden over Jaworski? Jaws was the only competent part of an otherwise slapdick trio.

  39. thehungariancrippler says: Feb 15, 2012 5:58 PM

    ESPN must be testing the theory of “it doesn’t matter how crappy the announcing is because you’ll watch the game anyway”.

  40. iowahbr says: Feb 15, 2012 6:54 PM

    Gruden is the master of both dull and always a subtle form of kiss-_ _ _ comments so that he won’t offend any future employers. He is the one who should have been shown the door back to coaching by ESPN.

    Will enjoy watching on Sunday and Thursday nights next year and hold my nose and turn off the audio for the important Monday night games.

  41. melikefootball says: Feb 15, 2012 7:05 PM

    Tirico is the one you get tired of really quickly. What ESPN sses in him is beyond me. The wrong guy in the booth is going.

  42. goforthanddie says: Feb 15, 2012 7:16 PM

    Shoulda dumped Gruden.

  43. georgebrett says: Feb 15, 2012 7:18 PM

    Build and coach his own football team?

    Do you realize that he not only won a Superbowl, but he was also the head coach of the Raiders just the year earlier and the Raiders were the losing team in that same Superbowl?

  44. vetdana says: Feb 15, 2012 7:18 PM

    They could put a talking turd and a platypus in the booth and we would still tune in.

    Not Me !…I listen to the radio broadcast. Every since Gruden arrived, it has been plain to see ESPN groom him, at the expense of Jaworski. Gruden has an ego complex & just plain cannot shut up. He feels a need to criticize and degrade his co-workers in the booth.I am not surprised by this move.

  45. georgebrett says: Feb 15, 2012 7:22 PM

    Nobody says that you have to watch anything but the game.

    I liked Theisman as well and that’s sort of odd because I didn’t like him as a player.

  46. georgebrett says: Feb 15, 2012 7:23 PM

    That would be nice because Gruden’s wife is a blonde.


  47. georgebrett says: Feb 15, 2012 7:26 PM

    You guys are reading a lot into this.

  48. effjohntaylornorelation says: Feb 15, 2012 7:57 PM

    If the assumptions in this article are accurate then MNF just became a little harder to watch than it already was.

  49. dhillca says: Feb 16, 2012 4:54 AM

    Georgebrett said:
    That would be nice because Gruden’s wife is a blonde.

    I was on the evelvator with them,trust me, none of them were their wives.

  50. bucfandango says: Feb 16, 2012 8:50 AM

    This is why MNF is best served cold in a Sports Bar with music and no sound. You don’t have announcers at the game when you go, so why do you need them on the tube? To thine own EYES be true.

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