Position: Quarterback Height: 6’2″ Weight: 200 Birthdate: March 23, 1951 High School: Lackawanna High School in Lackawanna, New York College: Youngstown State University NFL Experience: 17 Years Drafted: Selected by the L.A. Rams in the 2nd round of the 1973 draft
After Ron’s 17 year distinguished career as a Quarterback in the NFL. Today he is coaching football fans on TV. You can see Jaws, talking about the game, as a Football Analyst on ESPN. (And boy does he Love to Talk!) Find Jaws weekly during the football season on the following shows: NFL Match-up show on ESPN Along with Merril Hoge and Sal Paolantonio Ron breaks down the plays as only a Quarterback can. Sunday Countdown on ESPN every Sunday morning during the NFL season breaking down the games like only Jaws can. Monday Night Countdown prior to the MNF game giving his insight on the match-up.
The son of William and Molly Jaworski, Ron Jaworski, was born and raised in the gritty steel town of Lackawanna, NY (a small town outside of Buffalo). When Ron was in high school he was a three-sport stand out. He played football, basketball and baseball. He had an arm most would admire, giving him many opportunities to play professionally. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals right out of high school. He wanted to go play baseball immediately, but his father pushed for college first.
“My dad worked in a lumber yard and he wanted something better for me. But you know how teenagers are. All I could see was a major league career. When you’re 17 years old, your idea of preparing for the future is looking at next week.” So his father arranged for an introduction to reality.
“The summer before my senior year in high school, he had me go to work in the steel mill. The Ryersons Mill. My job was straightening rods. Pull out a crooked rod, put it in the straightening machine. Pull out another crooked rod, put another one in. After a week I wanted out. He made me stay for two more weeks, just to make sure I got the point.”
Jaws never forgot those two weeks.
“I have so much respect for people who work at those jobs. Those two weeks in the mill will stay with me forever.”
Jaws quickly decided to pursue a college degree and chose to play football at Youngstown State University in Ohio. It was a small school, but he got to throw and throw. Ron went on to have an outstanding career at Youngstown, including an impressive appearance in the Senior Bowl and the Ohio Shrine Bowl games. Ron’s father was his biggest booster.
“My freshman year in college, all I did was hold for placekicks, but he’d drive three and a half hours each way just to see that. My biggest dissappointment in life is that he never got to see me play in the pros.”
His father died in 1971, when Jaws was about to begin his sophomore year at Youngstown.
The NFL Years
The Rams, impressed with his arm and his performance in the Senior Bowl, drafted Jaws in the second round of the 1973 draft. After spending four years with the Rams, the rights to Jaworski were traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in March of 1977. Under head coach Dick Vermeil and behind Ron’s ability and enthusiastic field leadership, the Eagles advanced to the NFC playoffs in 1978 and 1979. In 1980, Jaws led the Eagles to a 12-4 record, the NFC Championship and their first-ever berth in a Super Bowl (Super Bowl XV vs. the Oakland Raiders). Ron finished the 1980 season as the No. 1-rated passer in the NFC and was awarded the 1980 NFL MVP! In recognition of his brilliant 1980 season, Ron was selected to the Pro Bowl.
Along the way, Ron became known as Jaws. The name was hung on him by his next-door neighbor at the time, Doug Collins, who was a star guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, and would later be an NBA coach and television analyst. “He didn’t come up with Jaws because of that shark movie, though.” Jaws says, “Dougie said it was because my mouth was always open, talking.”
Until the time Ron suffered a broken leg at St. Louis during the 13th game of the 1984 season, he had started 116 straight NFL games, a record for most consecutive starts. Jaws held that record until 1999, when Brett Farve broke it.
During his 10 years with the Eagles, Ron’s career statistics include 28,190 passing yards and 179 touchdowns. Ron led the Eagles to the NFC play-offs four )4) times. He is the all-time Eagle leader in many passing categories, including career touchdowns and career passing yardage.
After becoming a free agent in March of 1987, Ron was signed by the Miami Dolphins. Ron played for the Dolphins in 1987 and 1988. In 1989, he signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs. Ron retired in 1990 after sustaining a season-ending knee injury.
HONORS & AWARDS
1980 – NFL MVP
1980 -Ron was named the UPI “NFL Player of the Year”
1980 – Ron received the Bert Bell Award, The Maxwell Football Club’s Professional Player of the Year.
1992 – Ron was given the honor of being inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Honor Roll.
In his first year of eligibility, Ron was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
1991 – Ron was inducted into the Polish American Hall of Fame.
1997 – Ron received the Pinnacle Award from the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce for his outstanding volunteer work and longtime service to South Jersey Chamber as well as the business community.
1997 – Ron received the Bert Bell award from the Eagles Fly for Leukemia, which is given to the person who had contributed significantly to the NFL.
1998 – The United Way honored Ron with their Volunteer Leadership Award, which is the highest award given by United Way.
2011- Inducted into the Lackawanna Athletic Hall of Fame