Ron Jaworski, the ESPN “expert,” takes a back seat to Ray Didinger and Brian Baldinger. He changes his mind as often as any other casual observer — one week the Eagles are an elite team and now they are not. Really, Jaws? How many bandwagons can you jump on and off of before you hurt yourself?
By Theodore N. Beitchman
Like many Eagles’ watchers, I have always deferred to experts like Ray Didinger and Brian Baldinger on all matters Birds.
Didinger, who is the best analyst on any sport on ComcastSportsNet, was one of the youngest NFL beat writers in history when he covered the team for the late, great Evening Bulletin, and he is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for a good reason.
Baldinger blows away the competition on 97.5 The Fanatic Tuesdays-through-Thursdays. He is an unafraid observer of the game, owing to his long playing career, his work watching college and pro football, and, most importantly, his judgment. He and Didinger watch the games, then watch the coaches’ film and they are like oracles.
So, where does that leave Ron Jaworski, the former Eagles QB and ESPN commentator?
He obviously knows his stuff, but he is in great danger of physical injury for one simple reason:
He jumps on and jumps off bandwagons so quickly that it is amazing he hasn’t hurt himself already.
Just the other morning I was listening to his post-game analysis after the Packers’ game on The Fanatic, and my neck still hurts from the whiplash effect of his comments.
Five weeks ago Jaworski called the Eagles ‘The best team in the NFL,’ but on Monday was singing a much different tune.
Following Sunday’s 53-20 blowout loss at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, Jaworski said that he saw something worrisome for the first time in the Chip Kelly era.
“It was a beat-down,” Jaworski said. “There’s no question going into that game I thought it would be a litmus test. A barometer game to see where the Eagles are. Obviously are not an elite team right now.
“They’re in that group of teams that will be a playoff team, but don’t show the overall team talent to be a Super Bowl contender. That’s my feeling right now.”
The ESPN analyst and former Eagles quarterback said he agrees with Kelly’s assessment that it was a team loss, but he lays a significant portion of the blame for Sunday’s debacle at the feet of the second-year head coach.
“I’ll say this; for the first time in awhile, the Eagles were outcoached in this game,” Jaworski said. “On both sides of the football. From a defensive perspective [Packers head coach] Mike McCarthy really knew what he wanted to do against that Eagles defense. He did a tremendous job with formation variation.
“He got Bradley Fletcher on stacked releases. They got him very uncomfortable. The Eagles decided they were going to play a lot of press man-to-man and that was a mistake. For the first time in awhile I saw Billy Davis make some mistakes. He’s normally very sound. I thought that in this game, that they decided to play single-safety high with press man-to-man against the very talented Packers wide receivers was a mistake.”
The result of the Packers’ game plan wasn’t just reflected on the scoreboard, but also in the 341 yards and three touchdowns tossed by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in three quarters of play.
“When you go up against a good football team and a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, you find out a lot about yourself as a football team,” Jaworski said. “The Eagles now realize that they have a ways to go before they are an elite football team. They have a ways to go, but they’re not there yet.
“They’ve lost three games to teams that are playing better than them right now. They have to find a way to turn that around.”
As a former quarterback himself, Jaworski offered up a critique of Mark Sanchez that he believes could go a long way towards the Eagles’ getting back on the right track.
“You cannot turn the ball over,” Jaworski said. “This has been the Eagles’ problem all season long. It bothers me. They’re careless with the football. I believe they are minus -9. That’s awful. There just seems to be this cavalier approach to protecting the football. That didn’t cost them the game Sunday, they were going to lose that game even if they didn’t turn over the football.
“They’ve been winning despite these turnovers. The season starts tomorrow. The Eagles come back after a day off. Their season starts tomorrow. They’ve busted their tail for three months to get themselves in a position they’re tied with Dallas at 7-3. When they get back to the Novacare Complex tomorrow, Chip Kelly’s first words have to be ‘the season starts today, we can do a lot of good things, but it starts right now and oh by the way, quit turning the damn ball over.'”
You cannot turn the ball over.
Billy Davis put Bradley Fletcher in a postion to make mistakes.
The Eagles are not an elite team.
We all knew that, Jaws.
The question is why are you in the position to jump on and off bandwagons like any normal fan and why is ESPN overpaying you do it?