Sound bites from MNF crew

On Thursday, ESPN hosted a media conference call with Monday Night Football commentators Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski, and senior coordinating producer Jay Rothman.

Here are some of the sound bites:

On the importance of the game for both teams:

Gruden: “The game is equally important for both teams but given the fact that it’s at New England and the Jets have already beaten New England this season, I think it’s a little bigger for the Patriots. I don’t see anybody sweeping Tom Brady twice in the same season in my lifetime. It’s going to be a tall order for the Jets. I think Brady is at the top of his game and the consecutive winning streak at home is unbelievable.”

On the significance of the Jets and Patriots holding 9-2 records headed into Monday’s game:

Jaworski: “What I like is the intrigue about these two teams and their coaches and how they act. They are kind of polar opposites, and I think that is going to make this game so very interesting not only to us but intriguing to people around the country. These are very unique organizations and really two different teams on and off the field and they clash on Monday night and make it very interesting.”

On Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s relationship:

Jaworski: “I can’t think of a quarterback and coach in history or this period of time to have what they’ve accomplished. They are literally joined at the hip. When I think about the success they’ve had, the one thing that jumps out at me is that … they are fierce competitors that hate to lose.”

On Jets head coach Rex Ryan:

Gruden: “He assembled a great staff and he’s very confident in his abilities. He is who he is. I think he’s funny, I think he’s a riot. I love watching his press conferences. I like watching it during the week, and I like watching his team back it up on game day. He has his own style and he’s consistent with that. I give him credit for that and he’s also got the players to back it up.”

Jaworski: “As a football guy, he’s outstanding with the X’s and O’s. Don’t let the fun he has on TV and way he jokes around fool you. The guy is brilliant when it comes to designing the X’s and O’s in the game. I find it very refreshing … We act like it’s brain surgery at kickoff. It’s still sport. It’s still fun. It’s still a game. It’s important to win, but I think Rex has a great understanding how the game should be played and never forgot it was a game.”