Jim Zorn Gets His Swag Back
Just last week, I wrote about how Zorn means never having to say you're sorry, and how even as pieces of the castle were crumbling around his feet, Jim Zorn remained true to his beliefs and steadfast in his confidence. Nice timing. By Monday, he was calling himself the worst coach in America.
But yesterday on ESPN 980's Jim Zorn Show, the old, violent, medium-well JZ was back. He talked about execution (only once, but still). He was asked whether he'd revamp any of his schemes to fit personnel, and said "gosh, I don't think so." He said he might still elect to receive opening kickoffs, because "we've got to put our stuff out on the field" and because "I can't be superstitious about what bad things might happen, because in every other ounce of my confidence, I think we're gonna go down and score."
And he retreated from the Worst Coach in America bit, saying despite having those feelings "I don't think I AM," and later explaining how he hasn't lost confidence.
"It's not a confidence thing, hopefully it's a smart thing," he said, "and that's why I'm probably not the worst coach in America."
That's swag. But his swag really erupted during a brief tiff with co-host Steve Czaban, after Zorn had said coaches "considered the direction that we're going in, and even without the wins we feel like we're going in the right direction and building a strong team and a strong foundation."
As a guy, I'm as in the tank for Zorn as anyone, but considering that current direction is straight into the mud pit, it was a hard argument to understand. Czaban agreed. Then the Jim Zorn Show went slightly off the tracks.
Czaban: You said you felt confident in the direction things were going and that you are building things. The numbers, especially on offense, don't show that. Is there anything more you can elaborate on as to, 'Here's why we feel good?'
Zorn: That's not really true. I think that's a false statement, and I'll tell you why. The ONLY issue is scoring the touchdowns.
[Not to be a perpetual crank, but the Redskins are in the bottom half of the NFL in points per game, yards per game, passing yards per game, third-down percentage and turnover differential. Anyhow.]
Zorn: But, you know, Chris Cooley last week, with two games still to go, has broken his all-time receptions record, his own record. One thing that's gonna be announced right now, we have four Pro Bowl players on offense, so some numbers....
Czaban: You'd put a lot of stock in that coach?
Zorn: I do. I do. I know YOU don't, because you're trying to continually be negative....
Czaban: Well, I'm just asking, because....
Zorn: No, you're not asking. You're always asking negative questions, and that's the way it's been with you. But that's ok. I think there's a ton of positive things that have come out with our football team, and...the only numbers that we don't like are the scores, the lack of scores. And that's been disheartening for all of us.
Again: in the tank for Zorn. But you can't possibly watch your team run an elaborate Pro Bowl ballot-box campaign, leading columnists across the country to make snide comments about the Redskins Effect, and then use your number of Pro Bowlers as evidence that things are moving in the right direction.
As for Cooley's career-high for catches, that's certainly true. As of this writing, it's also true that he has a career-low for touchdowns, a career-low for longest catch, a career-high for fumbles, and his worst yards-per-catch figure since his rookie season.
But whatever. Emo Zorn is gone, and Swaggy Zorn is back. He was also asked whether he regrets any of his candor this season; "I don't really believe I do," he said.
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