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Ronald Vincent "Jaws" Jaworski (born March 23, 1951, in Lackawannamarker, New Yorkmarker) is a former American football quarterback and currently an NFL analyst on ESPN. He is also CEO of Ron Jaworski Golf Management, Inc., based out of Blackwood, New Jerseymarker, and manages golf courses in southern New Jerseymarker, northeast Pennsylvaniamarker, and West Virginiamarker. He also owned part interest in the now defunct Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League.

Childhood

Jaworski was raised in the steel town of Lackawanna, New York. A three-sport star in high school, Jaworski turned down a professional baseball offer from the St Louis Cardinals to attend college at Youngstown Statemarker. He was able to showcase his skills as a quarterback for the pass-oriented offense of the Guins, earning a selection in the Senior Bowl.

NFL Career

Drafted in the second round of the 1973 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams, Jaworski was originally an overlooked 3rd string quarterback. Thanks to injuries to John Hadl and James Harris, Jaworski saw considerable playing time in 1975, leading the Rams to a playoff win. In 1976, he lost the starting QB job to Pat Haden.

1977 season

In the spring of 1977, Jaworski was traded by the L.A. Rams to the Philadelphia Eagles for former All-Pro tight end Charle Young; the trade was technically 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 quarterback, and soon the Eagles became a playoff team.

1980 season

The Eagles made the playoffs in 1978 and 1979, but lost in the early rounds. Slowly, Vermeil built the Eagles into a Super Bowl team, and Jaworski was its leader on offense. 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. Jaworski had a stellar season. In 1980, Jaworski was named the UPI "NFL Player of the Year", and 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.

The Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional Round of the playoffs (31-16), and then defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game (20-7) to reach the franchise's first Super Bowl. Tom Landry's Cowboys had dominated the Eagles during the past decade, and the victory was seen as payback.

The 1980 Eagles went to Super Bowl XV, where they lost to the Oakland Raiders.

End of Eagles career

Despite compiling generally good statistics during his tenure with the Eagles (which lasted through 1986), Jaworski was never able to win a Super Bowl with the Eagles. Likewise, the Eagles did not return to the successes of the 1978-81 playoff years under their new head coach, Marion Campbell (the "Swamp Fox"). Following a shaky performance in the 1985 season-opener, he 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. After more injuries to Jaworski in 1986, new Eagles coach Buddy Ryan made Randall Cunningham his starting QB for the rest of the season. The team did not re-sign Jaworski at the end of the season and was released by the team in the offseason. He finished with 69 wins, 67 losses and 1 tie as the Eagles starting QB.

Miami Dolphins

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

Kansas City Chiefs

He moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989, starting a pair of games in a QB rotation that included Steve DeBerg and Steve Pelluer. At one point, he and center Mike Webster formed the oldest starting QB-center combo in NFL history. Following that season, he retired as an NFL player. Jaworski turned down appeals to return to the Eagles in 1991, when Cunningham was lost for the season due to an injury in Week 1.

Career statistics

Jaworski finished his 17-season career with 2,187 completions on 4,117 attempts for 28,190 yards, 179 touchdowns, and 164 interceptions. He also rushed for 859 yards and 16 touchdowns. He previously held the record for most consecutive starts by a quarterback with 116 having since been surpassed by Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. 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

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

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 Universitymarker. Along with former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Cliff Stoudt (inducted 1987 & 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 Famemarker in Canton, Ohiomarker (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 Award 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

Jaworski currently serves as team president of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League (owned by Jon Bon Jovi), an NFL analyst on ESPN, and owner/operator of Valleybrook Country Club in Blackwood, New Jersey and Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove New Jersey. In addition, Ron Jaworski Golf Management manages RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club, West Deptford New Jersey, Edgewood in the Pines Golf Club in Drums Pennsylvania and Wild Pines in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. 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-TVmarker from 2003 to 2006. In 2007, he replaced Joe Theismann as color commentator for ESPN's 2007 Monday Night Football broadcasts, where he partners with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden.

Personal

Jaworski and his wife, Liz, live in suburban Philadelphia. They have three children, Joleen, Jessica, and William.

References

  1. http://www.ronjaworski.com/
  2. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197512270ram.htm
  3. http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/history/recap/sbxv
  4. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/J/JawoRo00.htm?redir
  5. http://www.profootballhof.com/history/release.jsp?release_id=1345
  6. YSUsports.com- Hall of Fame Inductees By Class


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