Seattle Is Missing Zorn
Steve Kelley's column in the Seattle Times this morning, which muses about how the Seahawks missed the boat by letting Jim Zorn go, might be the most positive thing that's yet been written about the Z Man. To start 4-1 is one thing, but to be the subject of "we miss you!!!!!" hosannas is something else entirely. Kelly writes:
Last year Zorn was the Seahawks' quarterbacks coach. He was Matt Hasselbeck's muse, a bundle of kinetic energy and sound coaching principles. After seven seasons as a Seahawks assistant, he was ready to become a head coach. And it could have happened here.
Instead, Zorn, a Washington outsider, has become the ultimate Beltway insider. He has won the hearts and minds of fans there, not an easy task....
Losing makes a town feel whimsical. And no city in America feels more pain and knows more about losing in 2008 than Seattle. And now losing Zorn hurts as much as losing games.
Hey, D.C. gave you Bill Lazor. I mean, fair trade, right? But jeez, that's some serious "what might have been" angst. You can still watch him on TV, if it makes you feel better, or unrestricted on this fine Web site. Seahawks fans, what say you?
Jim Zorn is an inspirational, creative coach. No one should be surprised at his success. The Hawks were nuts to shoo him out the door.
he is an awesome coach we shoulda made him head coach and fired holmgren and mora, look what he's doin for the redskins.
For the record, the Seattle media was entirely supportive of Zorn when he left--both as a player and as a guy--but there was no hint that the franchise had made a massive mistake. Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer praised the hiring, but was extremely cautious:
At the end of Snyder's blooper-reel coaching search (picture a blindfolded rich man violently swinging at a pinata), Zorn was granted a promotion before he even started work....Zorn signed a five-year, $15 million contract, but there are predictions that he will last only a year in Washington. Here's hoping Zorn defies those low expectations.
In The Times's list of 10 Big Questions before the season, the coaching changes were listed sixth, and Zorn's departure was listed after the departure of receivers coach Nolan Cromwell. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer did a story in June on Lazor's arrival and Zorn's departure. "What's the biggest difference between the two?" the paper asked. "Bill is younger, maybe," Matt Hasselbeck cracked to the paper.
Or how about Art Thiel's P-I column from February, which began like this:
Many of us privileged to have known and enjoyed Jim Zorn in Seattle, whether as a player, coach or all-around excellent human being, shared a shudder and a single word when we heard he was unexpectedly appointed to a new job.
Not that we didn't wish him the best. To have $15 million guaranteed over the next five years means generations of Zornites will never go hungry. And to have reached the pinnacle of the profession while having sold his soul to no one but his God, well, its' a restoration of faith in humanity and divinity.
But. Working for Daniel Snyder, one of the worst owners in pro sports? For the Washington Redskins, the most highly valued franchise in American pro sports? In a ruthless fan and media market that has seen three Super Bowl champions and expected 12 more? In a job whose complications and subtleties he has never known in his 54 years? Ohjeezno.
Which is not to say he can't succeed. And if he does, no one will be more thrilled than me to repudiate my own skepticism. But the odds oh, the odds.
The end of that column is especially mint, with Thiel wonderfully describing Zorn like this: "as sincere as the wag in a puppy's tail."
"Will that work in the NFL?" Thiel asks. "What can be said for sure is that everyone who knows him in this corner of the world is pulling for Jim Zorn. But as is often the case when people go starry-eyed to the wrong Washington, bad things happen."
Well. Sometimes, I guess.
October 8, 2008; 1:49 PM ET
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