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Saturday, June 23, 2007

(ESPN's) "Tony (Kornheiser) Is Extremely Neurotic" - Joe Theisman On New “Monday Night Football”

Wow. I can understand that he's upset, but calling someone -- specifically ESPN's Tony Kornheiser "extremely neurotic" is a bit much. Well, it's one thing to say that in private conversation, but another to just hall off and make the comment before a media person. But Joe had a lot to say in this interview covered by MetroBostonNews.com . He dished more on Kornheiser saying "“Monday Night Football” cannot be an extension of “Pardon The Interruption,” because the game is too important."

The entire article by Christopher Price of Metro is below.....

Theismann Unplugged

Analyst sounds off on the Pats, Belichck and “Monday Night Football”
Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann has never been shy about expressing his opinions. So when Metro caught up with him yesterday, it was no surprise the former Redskins quarterback and “Monday Night Football” analyst let fly on a number of topics, including what he thought about the Patriots’ offseason moves, Bill Belichick’s management style, whether or not Donovan McNabb should be worried and his feelings about being replaced on the “MNF” broadcasts by Ron Jaworski.

What are your thoughts about the Patriots’ moves this offseason?
I love them. It all starts with Mr. Kraft — I don’t think there’s anyone like Mr. Kraft. I have the utmost respect for him as a man, for the way he runs his organization. The way he entrusts his people with the responsibility of keeping this organization at the top … I look at the 49ers and the way they handled that situation. I think New England is the modern equivalent of that. You’ve got the best if not one of the top two or three coaches in the league in Bill [Belichick]. He’s the best at what he does.

You lose a Willie McGinest, you add an Adalius Thomas. You basically get a younger, bigger version of Willie. You have Junior [Seau] coming back healthy. Tedy [Bruschi] coming back healthy, hopefully, Rosevelt [Colvin] coming into his own. You’ve added the defensive linemen a few years ago. And even with Asante [Samuel] and his situation, the secondary is pretty solid, because that’s what you do. Bill believes that he can put the right people into the right situation and make them a Pro Bowler. You aren’t necessarily a Pro Bowler that has come to save a system.

Offensively, there isn’t anybody in football who doesn’t believe that this wasn’t a tight end offense a year ago. And that was the way it was going to be to be successful. The thing that really got Tom [Brady]… for six weeks, Tommy Brady was in a funk. As an aside, I’d like to congratulate him on fatherhood. I think it’s wonderful. Being a dad, this will be the greatest year of his life. I congratulate him and his girlfriend. But you look at what they’ve added. They added Kelley Washington, a big receiver who’s proven. You add Randy Moss … Randy gets a bad knock. Randy doesn’t deserve the criticism that he gets. I’ve known him since Day 1. I would have loved to have played with him. I would have lined up alongside Randy Moss any day, and twice on Sunday. You add Wes Welker, the leading receiver for the Dolphins a year ago. He fits the role of Troy Brown. And then you add Donte Stallworth. You’ve added size, you’ve added red zone production and you’ve added speed.

The biggest travesty of the 2006 season was the fact that Tom Brady was not selected to the Pro Bowl. Are you kidding me? I felt like he had — and had to have — his best year for them to get where to they got to. People forget they were four points from another Super Bowl — and they were going to win that one. I just feel like — and you have to put the qualifier out there that if everyone can stay healthy — I think they offensively become very, very difficult to defend, because offensively, they have the young running back. They have the best quarterback in football. Probably, there isn’t a receiver on that team that will catch more than 55 balls, the way I look at it. They’re probably going to be between 45 and 55, maybe five of them. They’re probably going to be in the low 60s, but they’re touchdown production will go up in the red zone.

What stands out the most about Belichick and the way he approaches the game?
Bill Belichick believes in his system and he puts it on his players to deliver, and if you don’t deliver, you won’t be here. If you’re not a New England Patriot type of player, you will not be a New England Patriot. He has a very specific idea as to what he’s looking for in that type of player.

I just think that defensively, there isn’t anybody better than him. As a head coach … the two things he does as a head coach is discipline and direction. And he cuts to the chase. There is no sugarcoating with him and his ballclub. He’s upfront. He tells you what he expects from you and he tells you how you’re going to do it.

How would you react if you were in Donovan McNabb’s situation? What if the Redskins came in and drafted a quarterback?
They did. I have walked in Donovan’s shoes. Tom Flick was a No. 2 pick when I was there. In 1981, we went 0-5, and they go out and get a quarterback. I was going to be traded to the Detroit Lions. The Redskins went out and drafted Tom Flick in the second round. Joe Gibbs was a second-year head coach. They were after his job.

The only thing that Donovan has to concern himself with is staying healthy, because there isn’t anybody who can threaten Donovan McNabb. He’s one of the great quarterbacks in this game. I don’t throw the term “great” around lightly. He has really earned the moniker of greatness. His problem over the last two years has been injuries. Andy [Reid] has built the offense around Donovan’s ability. There are always areas he can improve in — throwing the ball over the middle. The shorter passes, he tends to jump and rush them a little bit, and he’s not as accurate as he can be. But he’s a great threat. I think they’ve added some weapons on the outside. And to go draft a young quarterback, that’s smart. That’s business. It’s what you have to do as a football team. In Donovan’s case, there’s so much being made about nothing, in my opinion. The addition of a young quarterback … this is a non-story. Donovan McNabb is the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. He’ll be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles until such time he chooses not to.

What’s your opinion of the new “Monday Night Football” crew?
I love Ronnie. We’ve been friends for a long, long time and I think the world of Ron. [But] I’m not happy with what happened. When you sit down in a meeting and they tell you that you’ve had your best year ever, and the ratings have gone up 50 percent and the executives don’t even talk to my boss and tell me that they didn’t like the fact that I talked about football, you have a little trouble trying to process how you could have done better. For Mike [Tirico] and Tony [Kornheiser] and Ron, it’ll be a learning process again, because Ron hasn’t done television. Tony is extremely neurotic. And I think Mike really settled in. I felt like the last six games we really settled in as a real solid team, all of us. And now, they’ll have to re-create that chemistry again. I’m disappointed, certainly I never expected it. But the people at ESPN understand how to deliver a product. I will say this — I believe, 100 percent that you cannot insult the football fan. “Monday Night Football” is about football, and I hope that they continue to deliver that product to the fan. “Monday Night Football” cannot be an extension of “Pardon The Interruption,” because the game is too important. That’s just the way I feel.

Why are you here in Boston?
About five years ago, I was diagnosed with a what’s called an enlarging prostate. Fifty percent of the guys over 50 have it and 90 percent of men over 80 have it. If you’re getting older, there’s a real good chance your prostate is going to grow. When somebody mentions something about the prostate to a guy — bang — cancer is the first thing that pops into your mind. My dad had the surgery about two years ago, so I talked to my doctor with my PSA test and asked about my options. About that time, GlaxoSmithKline came to me and said they have a drug called Avodart that shrinks the prostate. There are drugs that make you feel like you don’t have to go to the bathroom. There aren’t a lot of drugs that shrink it. And this is one that actually shrinks the prostate. And the size of my prostate is down, based on the exam, because I get a physical every year. I just had my last one 2½ months ago. So it’s something that I’ve become very conscious of. I’m encouraging guys to take the time to go to the doctors and get examined. That is what it is. You owe it to your family, you owe it to yourself and you owe it to the quality of your life.

I’d go to Foxborough, and the first thing I’d have to do is time myself from the booth to the bathroom and back, because through the course of that game, I knew I’d have to at some point run out during a commercial. And since I started taking the drug, it’s worked for me. That’s why I’m such a big advocate for it.

It’s the kind of thing that every guys, as he grows older, will probably end up facing. Everybody says, ‘Oh, Jeez, I don’t want the exam.’ I say, ‘Look. If I can talk about this thing publicly and openly, I would hope that a lot of guys out there would be able to go to their doctors, and in the privacy of their doctors office and have an examination.’ So if there is a problem, it can be detected early on. If there isn’t a problem, it puts your mind and your family’s mind at ease. If you wait, what’s the alternative? It’s not very pleasant. That’s why I got involved in the campaign. It’s time for guys to be very conscious of their health and go to the doctor.

I get a chance to talk to some of the urologists and some of the doctors in the area from a patient’s standpoint and tell them that maybe there are some other ways that they can ask the people to ask the question. When people go to the doctor — and we do it with the doctor, we do it with accountants and we do it with lawyers — we assume that they’re the supreme authority and we assume that they have all the answers to all our problems. What I say is that if I’m not feeling good and I don’t ask you to look at something, maybe you can say ‘Hey, maybe we should take a look at this too.’ So it’s an opportunity to be able to share, maybe from a patient’s perspective information with the doctors.

My Dad and I, when I was a kid, we used to sit around and talk about how my Little League game went, or my Pop Warner game or high school game. Now, we talk about our prostates. [laughter] That’s how time has moved on.

For more information on prostate education, check out www.prostatecare.com.

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