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Notebook: Theismann canned as 'Monday Night Football' analyst

| Monday, March 26, 2007

• Joe Theismann will no longer be part of the network's "Monday Night Football" booth and will be replaced by Ron Jaworski, the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.

"This new lineup will enhance our presentation of 'Monday Night Football,' our most important property," Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president for studio and remote production, said today. "Ron has covered the NFL from many different perspectives, and he is totally tied into the issues and trends from around the league."

Theismann, a former Washington Redskins quarterback, will be offered another analyst job with the network, Williamson said.

Jaworski is known for his studio analysis and ability to break down game tape for viewers. He will join play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Tony Kornheiser in the booth. Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya will handle sideline reporting.

NFL games on Monday night moved from ABC to ESPN last season.

• The NFL set a paid attendance record for the fifth straight season, surpassing 22 million for the first time. Total attendance was 22,199,712, up more than 400,000 fans from the 2005 season. That includes playoff games; the regular-season numbers for 2006 were 17,340,879, another record. The 12 postseason games produced sales of 775,551, including 74,512 for the Super Bowl in Miami won by the Indianapolis Colts.

• Roger Goodell's first full NFL meeting as commissioner is beginning with one item at the top of the agenda: a crackdown on players who get in trouble with the law. The meetings formally begin today with Goodell's state of the NFL address to the owners. But everyone was on hand Sunday for committee meetings. Goodell is likely to say the state of the league is good. However, he is also expected to announce, most likely Tuesday, new and strengthened rules for discipline for what is perceived as an increasing number of players with legal issues.

• The biggest rule change being discussed is moving the kickoff in overtime from the 30-yard line, the spot in regulation, to the 35. Atlanta general manager Rich McKay, the competition committee's co-chairman, said last week that the group believed the kickoff spot was the major reason 62 percent of teams winning the coin toss won overtime games last season -- it gave them better field position throughout the overtime. McKay said it stemmed from the change in 1998 that moved the kickoff back to the 30 and added the "K-ball," a kicking ball harder to kick deep.

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249 - Sacks against Former Texans quarterback David Carr

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