Ron Jaworski

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Ron Jaworski
refer to caption
Jaworski in 2019
No. 16, 7, 17
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1951-03-23) March 23, 1951 (age 70)
Lackawanna, New York
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:196 lb (89 kg)
Career information
High school:Lackawanna (NY)
College:Youngstown State
NFL Draft:1973 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37
Career history
As a player:
As an administrator:
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
Career NFL statistics
TDINT:179–164
Yards:28,190
Passer rating:72.8
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Ronald Vincent Jaworski (born March 23, 1951) is a former American football quarterback. He was also an NFL analyst on ESPN. He is the CEO of Ron Jaworski Golf Management, Inc., based out of Blackwood, New Jersey, and manages golf courses in southern New Jersey, northeast Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. He also owned part interest in the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League, where he also served as Chairman of the Executive Committee for the league. Jaworski was nicknamed "Jaws" by Philadelphia 76ers player Doug Collins prior to Super Bowl XV.

Early years[edit]

Jaworski was born and raised in Lackawanna, New York. A three-sport star in high school, he turned down a professional baseball offer from the St. Louis Cardinals to attend college at Youngstown State University. Nicknamed "Rifle Ron", and the "Polish Rifle", he was able to showcase his skills as a quarterback for the pass-oriented offense of the Penguins, earning a selection in the Senior Bowl.[1] Jaworski set several school records, including most pass completions in a season (139), pass completions in a career (325), passing yardage in a season (2,123), passing yardage in a career (4,612), most touchdown passes in a single game (4), and most touchdown passes in a season (18). His 32 career touchdown passes ranked him second in school history. Jaworski was inducted into Youngstown State's athletic hall of fame in 1986.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Los Angeles Rams[edit]

Drafted in the second round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, Jaworski was originally an overlooked third-string quarterback. Due to injuries to John Hadl and James Harris, Jaworski saw considerable playing time in 1975. [3]

Jaworski made his playoff debut with the 1975 Divisional Round game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Jaworski would throw 12-of-23 for 203 yards and a touchdown while running for a touchdown score as the Rams benefitted from 28 first half points to win 35-23. The win sent the Rams to their second straight NFC Championship Game. [4] Despite the win, he was not the initial starting quarterback for the game (played at home in Los Angeles), as James Harris would throw the first two passes of the game for them, one of which resulted in an interception that would lead to Jaworski being put in. He would go 11-of-22 for 147 yards and two interceptions while being sacked five times as the Cowboys would roll the Rams 37-7. [5]

In 1976, Pat Haden was promoted as the primary starter, although Jaworski would make two starts and appear in three other games, winning both starts despite throwing a combined 20-of-52 for 273 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

In the spring of 1977, Jaworski was traded by the Rams to the Philadelphia Eagles for former All-Pro tight end Charle Young; the trade was illegal under NFL by-laws since both Jaworski and Young had completed their contracts, but no one raised any objection to the deal so it was permitted to stand. With a young Dick Vermeil as his coach, he was given the opportunity to start for the up-and-coming Eagles. Things were not easy for the young quarterback, but Vermeil stood by his developing signal caller, and soon the Eagles became a playoff team. In the 1978 season, the Eagles sneaked into the playoffs with the newly installed fifth seed, which meant they faced the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. [6] Jaworski would provide the first touchdown of the game on a 13-yard pass to Harold Carmichael that gave them a 6-0 lead at halftime. Despite leading 13-0 in the fourth quarter, Jaworski and the Eagles could not stop a Steve Bartkowski rally in the last five minutes that resulted in a 14-13 win for the Falcons despite them turning the ball over five times. Jaworski had managed to get the Eagles to being sixteen yards from the endzone with just thirteen seconds to play, but punter/kicker Mike Michel missed a 34-yard kick. For his part, Jaworski would throw 19-of-35 for 190 yards with one touchdown while being sacked three times. It happens to be the first and only postseason game as of 2021 to have both starting quarterbacks be of Polish heritage.

Slowly, Vermeil built the Eagles into a Super Bowl team, and Jaworski was its leader on offense alongside future Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael and Wilbert Montgomery. For the next season, Jaworski wiggled the team to a #4 seed that meant that they would host the Chicago Bears in the first postseason game at Veterans Stadium and first one in the city since 1960. While Jaworski did throw the first touchdown pass of the game to Carmichael, the Bears roared to a 17-10 halftime lead. However, he would throw both the tying pass and the tiebreaking score to Carmichael and Billy Campfield as the Eagles rallied to win 27-17. For his part, he threw 12-of-23 for 204 yards with three touchdowns and one interception while being sacked three times. [7] The Eagles travelled to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round. The Eagles could only watch as the Buccaneers ripped out to 17 points to start the game before Jaworski threw a touchdown pass in the second quarter to Charlie Smith to make it 17-7 at halftime. However, the Buccaneers kept firm (despite a final drive by Jaworski that got to the 45-yard line) and completed the upset win 24-17. Jaworski threw 15-of-39 for 199 yards with two touchdowns and sacks. [8]

In 1980, the Eagles started out 11–1 in the regular season, including defeating the eventual Super Bowl champions Oakland Raiders, and won the NFC Eastern Division for the first time along with their first division title of any kind since 1960. Jaworski had a stellar season and was named the UPI "NFL Player of the Year". Also in that same year, he received the Bert Bell Award, The Maxwell Football Club's Professional Player of the Year award, and the Professional Athlete of the Year award sponsored by Dunlop Rubber.[citation needed] Facing the Minnesota Vikings in Philadelphia, the Eagles trailed 14-7 at halftime, but Jaworski started the second half the same way he ended the first half with a touchdown pass that made it a tie game. From there, a wave of eleven combined turnovers from each team would lead to the Eagles winning 31-16. Jaworski was 17-of-38 for 190 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions while being sacked twice (including one in the endzone). In the NFC Championship Game, they would face their division rival in the Dallas Cowboys. [9] In 12 degree weather, the Eagles pulled off a rushing attack for 13 unanswered points in the second half after being tied at halftime to win 20-7, led by Wilbert Montgomery. Jaworski went 9-of-29 for 91 yards and two interceptions and sacks, but the Eagles advanced to their first ever Super Bowl.[10] In Super Bowl XV, Jaworski and the Eagles would run into a brick wall in the Oakland Raiders. Despite being slight favorites, the Eagles committed four turnovers in the game, including an interception on the opening drive that gave the Raiders the ball at the 30 for an eventual touchdown. A 40-yard pass from him to Rodney Parker would have led to a tying score, but Carmichael was penalized for illegal motion, while a late drive to end the first half led to a missed Tony Franklin field goal to keep it 14-3. From there, the Raiders kept on with their attack to prevail 27-10. Jaworski threw 18-of-38 for 291 yards while throwing a touchdown and three interceptions with a lost fumble. [11]

The following year, Jaworski would lead the Eagles to a fourth straight playoff appearance. The Eagles faced off against the New York Giants at home as a wild card. However, the Eagles could not overcome 20 first quarter points scored by New York despite their best efforts in a 27-21 loss. Jaworski went 13-of-24 for 154 yards for one touchdown while being sacked three times. [12]

Following a shaky performance in the 1985 season-opener, Jaworski was benched and replaced by rookie Randall Cunningham in Week 2; Jaworski subsequently regained the starter's role and performed well, earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in Week 7. He also tied an NFL record with a 99-yard overtime touchdown pass to Mike Quick in 1985 against the Atlanta Falcons. After Jaworski suffered another injury the next season, new Eagles coach Buddy Ryan made Cunningham his starting quarterback for the rest of the season. The team did not re-sign Jaworski at the end of the season and he was subsequently released. He finished with 69 wins, 67 losses and one tie as the Eagles starting quarterback.[13]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

In the spring of 1987, he signed with the Miami Dolphins as a backup to quarterback Dan Marino. Jaworski never took the field in 1987, and he saw limited action in 1988.

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

He moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989, starting a pair of games in a quarterback rotation that included Steve DeBerg and Steve Pelluer.[14] At one point, he and center Mike Webster formed the second oldest starting QB–center combo in NFL history.[15] He retired at the end of the season.

Career statistics[edit]

Jaworski finished his 17-season career with 2,187 completions on 4,117 attempts for 28,190 yards, 179 touchdowns, and 164 interceptions. He rushed for 859 yards and 16 touchdowns. He previously held the record for most consecutive starts by a quarterback with 116,[16] having since been surpassed by Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco and Matthew Stafford. His 170 regular season touchdowns with the Philadelphia Eagles were the most in franchise history until he was surpassed by Donovan McNabb on September 21, 2008, 22 years after Jaworski left Philadelphia.

Awards[edit]

In 1979, he and Joe Pisarcik received medals from Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his visit to Philadelphia. Like the Pope, both men are of Polish ancestry, with Jaworski being nicknamed "The Polish Rifle."

He was voted by his teammates as the Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 1985 for the Philadelphia Eagles.

While still playing for the Eagles in 1986, Jaworski was inducted into the YSU Sports Hall of Fame at his collegiate alma mater, Youngstown State University.[17] Along with former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Cliff Stoudt (inducted 1987 and Jaworski's successor on the football team, though playing for the Cardinals at this point) and recently retired St. Louis Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins (inducted in 2003), Jaworski is one of only three former YSU football players to be inducted while still active in the NFL.

In 1991, Jaworski was inducted into the National Polish-American Hall of Fame.

In 1992, Jaworski was inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Honor Roll, and in 1994 he was nominated for admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio (his first year of eligibility for this as he had retired five years earlier, in 1989).

In 1997, he received the Pinnacle Award from the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce for his outstanding volunteer work and longtime service to the South Jersey Chamber as well as the business community.

In 1997, Jaworski received the Bert Bell Man of the Year from the Eagles Fly for Leukemia, which is given to the person who had contributed significantly to the NFL.

In 1998, The United Way honored Ron with their Volunteer Leadership Award, which is the highest award given by the United Way.

In 2007, the Father's Day Council of the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the American Diabetes Association selected Ron to receive one of their "Father of the Year" awards.

Post-NFL career[edit]

Jaworski displaying his NFC Championship ring in 2008

Business[edit]

Jaworski was a part owner and team president of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. He also served as Chairman of the Executive Committee for the AFL. He is also among the primary investors and advisors for the Elite Football League of India. Other prominent American backers include former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, and NFL linebacker Brandon Chillar.[18][19] Jaworski is the owner/operator of Valleybrook Country Club in Blackwood, New Jersey,[1] Downingtown County Club in Downingtown PA, Ramblewood country club in Marlton NJ and Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove, New Jersey. In addition, Ron Jaworski Golf Management manages RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club, West Deptford, New Jersey, Honey Run country club in York PA, and Blue Heron Pines Country Club in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey.

Broadcasting[edit]

Jaworski's first on air broadcast experience came in 1976 as the sports director on the Bob Shannon morning show in Orange County, California while Ron was still an NFL player with the Rams. He also worked as a sports commentator for WIP (Ron Jaworski Show, 1988), co-host Celebrity Sports Talk and Eagles wrap-around shows, 1990, and the Eagles post-game show WYSP, 1992.[20] He was part of ESPN's broadcasting team for the second half of its opening-night Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 11, 2006, with Brad Nessler and Dick Vermeil. Jaworski was also the color commentator for Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason games on WFLA-TV from 2003 to 2006. In 2007, he replaced Joe Theismann as color commentator for ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcasts, where he and Mike Tirico teamed with Tony Kornheiser (2007–2008) and Jon Gruden (20092011). On February 15, 2012 ESPN announced that the Monday Night Football broadcast team would be reduced to just Gruden and Tirico in the booth. Jaworski signed a five-year contract extension with ESPN and would remain an NFL analyst on other programs.[21] In late April 2017, ESPN announced they would be laying off various on-air personalities from their channel. On May 2, 2017, Ed Werder, who was released a few days earlier from ESPN, even breaking the news of his release himself, hinted that Jaworski was also being let go after years with the network. "How is ESPN going to cover the NFL without all of the people who just lost their jobs? What happens without Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski to NFL Matchup? Are we really about to see a time when ESPN can no longer afford to cover its most valuable property in the way that historically it has?" Werder said. Jaworski has yet to make a statement on if Werder's comments are true or not.[22]

Jaworski is also a published author. In 2010 his first book, The Games That Changed the Game, was published. The book highlights seven games in NFL history which greatly changed the strategies and tactics used in NFL football.

Personal life[edit]

Jaworski lives with his wife Liz in Voorhees Township, New Jersey.[23][24] They have three children.

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ "Ron Jaworski homepage". RonJaworski.com. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  2. ^ https://www.ysusports.com/fan_zone/hof/bios/jaworski-ron?view=bio
  3. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams – December 27th, 1975". Pro-Football-Reference.com. December 27, 1975. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  4. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197512270ram.htm
  5. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197601040ram.htm
  6. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197812240atl.htm
  7. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197912230phi.htm
  8. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197912290tam.htm
  9. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198101030phi.htm
  10. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198101110phi.htm
  11. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198101250phi.htm
  12. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198112270phi.htm
  13. ^ "Ron Jaworski NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. September 22, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  14. ^ "1989 Kansas City Chiefs Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  15. ^ Pierson, Don (October 1, 1989). "Vikings' Troubles An Inside Story". Chicago Tribune.
  16. ^ "Iron Man". Profootballhof.com. November 29, 2004. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  17. ^ YSUsports.com- Hall of Fame Inductees By Class Archived November 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Topic Galleries". chicagotribune.com. October 19, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "American football coming to India? | Sport". Dawn.Com. AP. August 6, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  20. ^ "Ron Jaworski." Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2007. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Document Number: K2017047902. Fee. Accessed December 21, 2009 via Fairfax County Public Library.
  21. ^ "Ron Jaworski leaving Monday Night Football". Northeast Sports Network website. February 15, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  22. ^ http://thebiglead.com/2017/05/01/are-ron-jaworski-and-merril-hoge-also-out-at-espn-ed-werder-says-so/
  23. ^ Garber, Greg. "WITH ADRENALINE GONE, THROWING WILL BE A PAIN", Hartford Courant, November 25, 1998. Accessed March 17, 2011. "'I broke every finger on my passing hand at least once – some of them twice and three times,' Jaworski said Tuesday night from his Voorhees, N.J., home. 'Let me tell you, it's awful hard to throw a football without all your fingers. Any other position out there, it doesn't matter. But for a quarterback, a broken finger is a killer.'"
  24. ^ Ron Jaworski speaker profile, Leading Authorities. Accessed March 17, 2011. "A proud family man, Ron Jaworski currently resides in Voorhees, New Jersey with his wife, Liz."

Bibliography

  • "Ron(ald) (Vincent) Jaworski." Almanac of Famous People, 9th ed. Thomson Gale, 2007. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Document Number: K1601045895. Fee. Accessed 2009-12-21 via Fairfax County Public Library.
  • Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines. Volume 12: September 1979-August 1982. New York: H. W. Wilson Co., 1983.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Joe Ferguson
(107)
Consecutive starts by a quarterback in the NFL
(116)

1984–1999
Succeeded by
Brett Favre
(297)