Jason Witten’s first year off the playing field and in the broadcast booth hasn’t always gone smoothly. Witten acknowledges that.
Witten has been mocked for, among other things, saying Aaron Rodgers “pulls another rabbit out of his head” and suggesting that the NFL had become “left wing” with its increased emphasis on player safety, and he said on an ESPN media conference call that he understands the criticism.
“Yeah, there’s been some flubs,” Witten said. “I mean I made mistakes. You try to own it, you embrace it. Hell, I’m not perfect, I’ve certainly had my fair share of mistakes on live television and more than anything else you try to embrace it, you laugh at it, you smile at it, I had the remark on Twitter that you don’t try to deny it. You know, I got a few texts from my wife and it’s good to see her laughing at it when I get home the next day and talking about it. So it’s a transition, I try not to take it too serious, I really try to embrace it, and focus on improving. I understood when I took this job that it was going to be hard, it was going to be a transition.”
One of the reasons Witten takes criticism is that he suffers in comparison with his old teammate Tony Romo, who went directly from the Cowboys to the CBS booth with rave reviews. Witten’s transition hasn’t been as smooth.
“Certainly with Tony and the success that he had, I really try not to live in that world and fully embrace it and continue to get better and evaluate it, but I think with the flubs I certainly do not deny it, I don’t try to hide it and as you said, that’s really all you can do in those moments is self-deprecate and move forward. So over time I hope to improve and get better at it, but yeah, that’s kind of my approach with it,” Witten said.
Publicly, ESPN has been supportive of Witten. Privately, they probably thought they were getting something closer to Romo.