Ron Jaworski on D&C: ‘Nothing ruffles’ Tom Brady
|12.03.10 at 7:33 am ET|
ESPN NFL analyst and former quarterback Ron Jaworski checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning and talked about Monday’s showdown between the Patriots and Jets. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Jaworski said the Patriots defense should be OK Monday, as the Jets are a more conservative, run-oriented offense. However, New England’s defensive issues are an obvious concern in the long run.
“When you watch this defense giving up close to 400 yards, it’s not typical of a New England Patriots defense,” Jaworski said. “As I say, this is a defense continuing to be tinkered with by Bill [Belichick] and his entire defense staff. I’m looking at tape this week and I see just all kinds of rotations. It is somewhat amazing what I see as far as personnel packages and who is on the field. I don’t think they have found themselves yet. So, I think yes, it will be a problem as you move into the playoffs, where you’re going to see some juggernaut offenses. I know they make turnovers at opportune times, they make plays at opportune times. But I don’t think in this league you can give up 400 yards on the average in games and be a playoff and Super Bowl contender.”
On the other side of the ball, Jaworski said he could see the Patriots offense developing as far back as the draft, when New England selected a couple of tight ends in Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski who now are contributing. “Bill knows what he’s doing,” Jaworski said. “I would say he’s always got a vision of where his team is going to be down the road. And you could see the evolution of this football team, what was going on. They had fast, speedy tight ends, as well as guys that could block. So, you could see where this team was going.
“I thought that the acquisition of Deion Branch was really a stroke of brilliance, to bring him back,” Jaworski continued. “This is now a possession style of offense. Yeah, you’re going to get some plays down the field with [Brandon] Tate, and he’ll stretch the field. But Tom [Brady] is so good at spreading the field sideline to sideline. Sometimes we think of the spacing of offenses, and people think of the vertical game all the time. But where the Patriots are so good is sideline to sideline and finding the voids between people rather than over the top of people.”
Jaworski spent some time handing out compliments to Brady, especially for his mental toughness. “What I notice about Tom is nothing ruffles him,” Jaworski said. “There’s been a lot of player changes on that offense this year, and nothing seems to bother him. He’s like Father Time and just keeps moving along very smoothly.” Jaworski added that he rates Drew Brees as the third-best quarterback in the NFL, behind Brady and Peyton Manning.
Jaworski said he’s happy that Jon Gruden will remain with the network after rumors that the University of Miami was pursuing him for its coaching vacancy. However, Jaworski said he expects Gruden will eventually return to the sideline. “I think somewhere down the road, Jon will get involved in coaching, because he’s that good,” Jaworski said. “Working with Jon for three or four days every week now for the last couple of years, I realize now what an amazing talent he is as a coach, and way beyond that, what a motivator he is, what a hard-worker he is, how he prepares. … Jon is a teacher, and he loves that part of the game.”