FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Some guests at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa spend in-room downtime taking in the sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. Ron Jaworski likes to watch more football tape.
"It's what I love," said the 60-year-old ESPN analyst who's so good at analyzing that some folks forget he's a former NFL quarterback once known as "The Polish Rifle."
An Orange Bowl perk for Clemson is a prime-time slot unopposed by any other bowl game and featuring top-notch TV talent -- Jaws, Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico.
"I'm kind of wondering why Sammy Watkins is at Clemson," Jaworski said Tuesday when asked about the Tigers' freshman wide receiver. "He could help one of the NFL playoff teams this weekend. He's that good."
Quite a mouthful, considering Jaworski is the best in the biz at breaking down NFL offenses. His NFL Films and "Edge NFL Matchup" work produced iconic lines such as, "The quarterback must process information quickly and deliver the football."
Unlike some "NFL guys" who parachute into college bowl coverage without doing dutiful homework, Jaworski studied Clemson and West Virginia and clearly had a good time.
Which brings up Clemson sophomore passer Tajh Boyd.
"No doubt, he will play on Sundays," Jaworski said. "I like
Tajh a lot. What I saw on tape was accuracy. The velocity was good, but that can be worked on. And Tajh has just enough escape ability to scare a defense."
Boyd also will benefit from an eyes-to-eyes chat with Gruden.
Jaworski kept going on about Watkins, he of the 77 catches and 11 touchdown receptions this season.
"I watched Clemson games on TV this season, and I was impressed with Sammy," Jaworski said.
"But when I went to practice this week, I was blown away by the guy. The fact that he is a true freshman … I mean, what a gifted receiver. Not only does he run routes smoothly and accelerate out of his break, but his body control is phenomenal. Sammy Watkins can control his body in space, avoid the contact and make the catch. And he has those soft hands. Plus, he can elevate."
Believe it or not, Chad Morris didn't write the book on football. But Jaworski last year published a terrific NFL strategy read, "The Games That Changed The Game" and likes the fast-pace play calls from Clemson's offensive coordinator.
Add extra time
"This has been fun for me," Jaworski said. "Quite honestly, in the NFL it's pretty consistent what you see week-in and week-out. However, you start watching the Saints, the Falcons and New England, and you start to see some of these concepts that Chad has and that (West Virginia head coach) Dana (Holgorsen) has. You know, this up-tempo style disorienting the defense. Sometimes these guys are on the cutting edge."
Yes, West Virginia can pile up points, too. The Mountaineers outgained LSU 533 yards to 366 in a 47-21 loss on Sept. 24.
While Boyd led the ACC in total offense (289.5 yards per game), West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith led the Big East (326.6).
"Geno has that quick release, and it's obvious he loves to play the game," Jaworski said of the 6-3, 214-pound junior from Miami. "You can see he wants to go through his progressions and he trusts his arm."
In other words -- and partly because of the defenses involved -- Jaworski agrees with people anticipating an Orange Bowl shootout.
"I'm an old quarterback," Jaworski said, "so I look at these two teams both averaging over 440 yards a game on offense and I say, 'This is the kind of game I want to cover.' "