Mike Tirico says there was no rift in 'MNF' booth

Mike Tirico says there was no rift in the ESPN “Monday Night Football” booth that led to the departure of Ron Jaworski after five seasons earlier this week.

Jaworski received a new five-year contract from ESPN but will no longer be involved in the broadcast of the Monday games. Perhaps there was some curiosity as to whether or not Jaws did not get along with analyst Jon Gruden, who will remain with Tirico. ESPN is clearly doing its best to push Gruden to broadcasting stardom.

I do know there’s no rift amongst any of us,” Tirico said during a visit with the Dan Patrick Show. “We’ve all been operating like we’ve been going ahead like us.”

Tirico said he would remain close with Jaworski and “I’m glad he’s staying with ESPN.”

As for criticism that Gruden is too positive when it comes to just about every player and coach he ever mentions, Tirico said he improved during 2011. Maybe we’ll have to listen more closely for that improvement in 2012.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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