Current ESPN football analyst Ron Jaworski will be replacing Joe Theismann in the booth during the networks Monday Night Football broadcast, the network announced today.
The game will now be called by Jaworski, Mike Tirico and analyst Tony Kornheiser in the booth while current sideline reporters Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya will stay in place.
There had been some criticism of the work by Theismann in the booth, with a lot of that criticism directed towards the lack of chemistry between Theismann and Kornheiser. However, Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president for studio and remote production, said chemistry wasn’t 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.”
Williamson went on to say that Theismann will be offered another football job with the network, adding: “We would be making a mistake if we cannot get that done with him”.
Jaworski had the following to say: “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.”‘
Theismann has not yet commented on the news.
The first Monday Night Football telecast will take place on September 10. It will be a doubleheader between the Ravens/Bengals (7:00 p.m. ET) and the Cardinals/49ers (10:15 p.m.).