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Jaworski leaving 'MNF'; ESPN going to two-man booth

"Monday Night Football" is switching to a two-man broadcast booth.

Analyst Ron Jaworski has signed a five-year contract extension to appear on other programming on ESPN and will no longer join play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and color commentator Jon Gruden on Monday nights, the network said Wednesday.

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Jaworski, the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, will work with various ESPN studio shows year-round, often focusing on his specialty of breaking down game tape.

"They will be fantastic," Jaworski said of the new team to "I've done it for five years, and a three-man booth is difficult. It takes special people to make it work. I go back to (former analyst) Tony (Kornheiser). I had no problem with Tony. He was great to work with. But it is hard. There is a lot of traffic, and everyone has a lot to say. I think Jon will be phenomenal on the two-man booth, and Mike is the best in the business. Mike is still my mentor, and I believe they will do a terrific job."

Jaworski said he was informed of the decision Monday in a phone call from ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson.

"With him doing one game each week, we don't necessarily believe we were getting the best Ron Jaworski had to offer to the network," Williamson said.

Jaworski called "Monday Night Football" games the past five seasons. Gruden, the former Raiders and Buccaneers coach, joined MNF in 2009 and agreed to a five-year extension in October. This is the first time in 15 years ESPN has used a two-person lead team on its NFL game coverage.

"There was nothing broken about `Monday Night Football,"' Williamson said.

Gruden appeared to agree.

"I understand there are times when players have to put their faith in the coaches and other decision-makers who are trying to position a team for success, and that's what I'm doing here," Gruden said, according to ESPN. "I have faith in the people I'm working for here at ESPN. Jaws (Jaworski) has taught me so much about broadcasting and nobody works harder. He also watches as much film as anyone. I'll miss working with him on Monday nights but I'm glad we're still on the same ESPN team."

Williamson said network executives believed Tirico and Gruden worked well as a two-man booth and there was no need to add a third person.

"I fully expect Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden to be together for the foreseeable future," Williamson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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