Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Dropped Passes Made Zorn Turn to the Run



I don't think you could possibly get a better five-minute tutorial on the Zorn-Campbell in-game dynamic than by watching this NFL Films piece. It's just magnificent work. And it actually makes me more optimistic about the leadership skills of both men. Zorn--or, at least, the Zorn that's shown here--is decisive and calm, while Campbell has an intensity that we hardly see from his actions.

Highlights, since I can't embed. Really, you should go watch.

* Both men were frustrated after Mike Sellers's end zone drop.

"Hey there's two opportunities gone," Zorn says. "Well, you can't catch the ball for the guy."

And then, after the halfback option fails, "God," Zorn says. "Can we score. A. Touchdown."

"I don't think they've stopped us yet, that's what I think," he later says. "But I'll tell you what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna run the ball in the red zone right now, just because we seem to not be able to hang onto the ball in the red zone."

This is something I don't think has emerged in this week's review of the game. Zorn is consciously saying he's going to rely on the run in the red zone because of frustration over dropped passes.

* At some point, Zorn grabs Santana Moss on the sidelines while holding his play card. "Listen, I've got all these plays that I've got you in mind, I'll just start dialing them up and get you the rock."

Not sure the exact timeline, but the video then cuts to the bomb to Moss that has been much-discussed this week, a would-be touchdown that was foiled when guard Will Montgomery was overpowered at the line.

"There it is," Zorn says, as Moss breaks free.

"C'mon, man!" Campbell yells in frustration, as he's sacked.

"We just had a touchdown if we would have blocked that one," Zorn fumes on the sideline. "Man! That's too bad."

"Hey great call, that's a freakin' touchdown, man," Campbell then says to Zorn on the bench.

"That's all right," Zorn replies. "We just have to make sure we stay together as a team, we'll get that done."

* After a Campbell completion, Zorn says "That's the way to stand strong, son, that's the way to stand strong. Now be tough." Then he adds, to the coaches on the sideline, "Man, if he stands strong like that all day, we're gonna be good." After another completion, Zorn says "Hell of a job son. Awesome. That was awesome."

And later, "That's what I'm talking about right there, buddy. That's the kind of tempo that makes this offense go."

* In a bit of humor, Zorn rages at the refs for calling the roughing on Brian Orakpo.

"He just laid him down coach," Zorn yells at the official. " What are you guys doing? You've got to be able to hit him. i think you're going to kick yourself for calling that particular roughing."

Steven Jackson pops by to listen in; "Way to go Steven, you're awesome," Zorn tells the back. Which is awesome in itself.

* And the, the final fourth-down play.

"All right, hey talk this up now," Zorn tells Campbell. "Tell 'em this: if we get a first down here, the game is over. And tell Clinton, he's got to go make it happen now."

"Hey, get it Clinton, if you have to get jump and get it," Campbell says, between asides about "gut check time." "Hey, we get this, game over," Campbell tells the huddle. "But let's go score, forget that joint, let's go score."

"C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, big play here, men," Zorn mutters on the sidelines. The play fails.

"That was our best play guys," Zorn then says. "We couldn't get one point. i mean, we couldn't get one yard. One foot."

* The game ends, with the Skins downing the ball in front of the Rams goal line. Spags and Zorn shake hands.

"That was like an NFC East game," Spags says.

"UN-believable," Zorn replies.

"I appreciate what you did at the end," Spags adds. "I do, I really do."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 24, 2009; 6:34 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Portis: We're All on the Hot Seat
Next: The Burgundy Revolution, in Video Form

Comments

I expect more of this next week after the Detroit game! Great post, Steinberg!

Posted by: RedCherokee | September 24, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

This was a great video. If you have not watched it you must.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 24, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

this is why you are the true Redskins Insider!
nice post Steinz

Posted by: jonthefisherman | September 24, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Is this now officially a Redskins blog? Any thoughts about the Caps, Nats, Wizards, Orioles, or Ravens? Just another example of why this rag is dying: too close minded to see the big picture.

Posted by: killercue00 | September 24, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Interesting video. If this hadn't come from the league itself, am sure some would have called it Snyder-propaganda. At least we see some reasons behind Zorn's play calling. It was very conservative but when you've dropped 2 TDs, maybe running would be your only resort.

Posted by: tundey | September 24, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think that whole crap about only trying to run in the red zone because of dropped passes is lame as hell. First, why are you trying to throw it so Sellers who is a blocking fullback and has terrible hands??? Also, of the newbie receivers, Kelly is supposed to have the best hands, so why is Thomas in there? Also how is it possible that of all the trips to the red zone not once did you call a corner fade route to Kelly or Mitchell??? Oh, wait, let me guess...you tried a corner fade route against NY and JC threw a bad pass. So if it doesn't work once you give up.

Sorry, Zorn makes horrible decisions and is in over his head. He seriously says that that running play to Portis was "our best play"??? Does he actually believe that BS?

Posted by: gringoinmiami | September 24, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

MEMO to

In case you haven’t noticed:

-This is a football city. Second biggest football market in the NFL.

-Caps and Wizards aren’t even playing any games right now.

-The Nats are a minor league team.

-And the O’s & Ravens play in Baltimore. This is The WASHINGTON Post.


Perhaps you did not visit this blog often during the Caps run last season?? They received plenty of coverage.

Posted by: cj658 | September 24, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

MEMO was for KILLERCUE00 above.

Posted by: cj658 | September 24, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Steinberg, I wish I shared your optimism for the future, but I can't. Zorn is absolutely spoon feeding Campbell from things to say to show that he is the leader, to keeping tempo in the game, to words to say to the guys in the huddle to indicate situations. Jason Campbell is in his 5th year and these things shouldn't have to be fed to him. Leadership qualities are innate in most leaders, and in some instances it can be taught, but an NFL quarterback in his 5th year either has it, or doesn't, and I don't believe Jason has it. I don't think you'll catch the offensive coordinators for the Patriots and Colts, spoon feeding Tom Brady and Peyton Manning that they are the leaders and that they have to pick up the tempo or hey, tell them this in the huddle that this is the situation. Leadership has never been innate in Jason, and it shouldn't take 5 years to teach him.
I think Jason has the athletic ability to be a decent NFL quarterback. I love his work ethic and demeanor, but he is entirely to indecisive, which causes him to hold on to ball too long. Not a good trait for someone that doesn't possess a quick delivery.

Posted by: anw821 | September 24, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Saw this yesterday - it is a superior video and the timing is amazing for what this fanbase needed to see. Love Zorn again, always loved Campbell - murder the Lions please

Posted by: SupremeWu | September 24, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I think I like Jim Zorn a lot more after watching that video. He's the new Gibbs (please give him the rest of the season before attempting to refute that).

Posted by: stevorama1 | September 24, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

It is truly a must watch for any Redskins fan or fan of football. Jim Zorn definitely looks like he has the good to coach. Shows how much our O-line is holding us back and that Zorn is (1) having faith in Jason Campbell (2) Trying to get the ball to Moss and (3) treating Clinton Portis like a big time player who is supposed to go make plays. Lets go out and kill the Lions like we should and silence the doubters

Posted by: BC1963 | September 24, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Is this now officially a Redskins blog? Any thoughts about the Caps, Nats, Wizards, Orioles, or Ravens? Just another example of why this rag is dying: too close minded to see the big picture."

Seriously? Let me float this at you...

First of all, this is the WASHINGTON post, so BAL'MORE teams are not exactly a high priority. Secondly, the Wizards and Caps are not in season (I just cant wait for Steinberg's write-up on the third preseason wizards game!!!). Finally, the Nats are the worst team in baseball, do you REALLY want to hear more about them?

Posted by: KingLaserFace | September 24, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Any thoughts about the... Orioles, or Ravens?

Posted by: killercue00 | September 24, 2009 9:05 AM

Yeah, read the f***ing Baltimore Sun

Posted by: Kev29 | September 24, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Actually its Bawlmer....just saying...that's is all, carry on.

Posted by: fushezzi | September 24, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget when Dallas was 1-15 back in 1989, guess who gave them that 1 victory.

Posted by: ficadu | September 24, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The Caps aren't playing?

Damn. What the heck was I doing last night then.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | September 24, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Preseason hockey??? Really??? Has to be a cooking show or home improvement show on instead of preseason hockey......

Posted by: punchdaclock | September 24, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I love the "behind the scenes" In game look at Jason Campbell and Jim Zorn. Keep that fire going fellas, and make a big jump this week against the Lions.

Posted by: gcoles32 | September 24, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Response to gringoinmiami:

Have to disagree with your comment about Sellers. He does not have terrible hands. Every year he catches 10-20 balls and in '05 he caught seven touchdown passes.

Posted by: HighPlainsDrifter | September 24, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg is the man. And Campbell will acheive God-like status in this town in, oh, about 4 months.

That is all.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 24, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

you can't not call pass plays because you think your receivers are going to drop balls. If we're fair, the Thomas drop was a really tough catch - fast ball from 5 yard in which he was shielded by a defender. And Sellers is a fullback. Those drops should not determine whether Zorn dials up plays to Moss, Kelly, Thomas, Cooley or Davis numerous times in the redzone. And even if one of your WRs drops a ball, it doesn't mean he'll drop the next one. C'mon coach, you gotta have faith in your guys.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | September 24, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget when Dallas was 1-15 back in 1989, guess who gave them that 1 victory.

Posted by: ficadu | September 24, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget when Dallas won the Super Bowl in 1995 and the Skins were last place, guess who the Skins beat twice?

Posted by: Barno1 | September 24, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

All these reporters wanting to run their mouths talking and writing non-stop like they are in the know but know nothing. They are worse than the armchair bs'ers that fills the airwaves just to hear themselves and make their misserable lives seem important just for one minute. I have one thinig to say to you and those that also think is is PC to change the name of this great team. Hail to the REDSKINS! P.S. Thank you to the man that traded that loser Chump Bailey for the man Clinton Portis. He is this team! He saved the game Sunday by falling on one ball that was mishandled and does something every week that goes unnoticed and gives the team that chance to win. You are the man CP! F off the rest of you that want to bash the team, the coach, and the tradition. I say it again: HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! ...and they will always be the REDSKINS you bunch of PC a$$ kissing punk bches.

Posted by: Rappcounty | September 24, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"I don't think you'll catch the offensive coordinators for the Patriots and Colts, spoon feeding Tom Brady and Peyton Manning"

So...we should just keep trying new qbs until we finally stumble upon a Brady or a Manning?

JC is probably the best player on offense, and he does not need to be the 3rd or 4th best qb in the entire NFL for the team to achieve its goals. It's shortsighted to compare every player we have to the very best in the league at that position.

Give JC the Pats oline, and what do you want to bet all questions about him are suddenly over?

I agree he holds the ball too long in some circumstances..but you know what? So does Ben rothlesberger. And Romo makes horrible decisions and terrible throws often. Eli looks clueless 25% of the time. Carson Palmer throws 4th quarter picks constantly. The list goes on and on.

JC is plenty good enough and continues to get better

Posted by: divi3 | September 24, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

ZardsFan1,

You hit the nail on the head about that poor playcalling. So what if you had 2 dropped balls, keep dialing it up. AND TO BETTER PLAYERS

What has Devin Thomad done to deserve to be on the field ahead of Marko Mitchell? Excpet get drafted higher? I watched that replay in slo-mo after getting back from the game, and thought he should have caught that pass. But why even throw to him?

And at this point, Sellers has failed in the redzone more than succeeded over the past season or so...that well done dried up. Go to your real playmakers and get it done!

Posted by: divi3 | September 24, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

All Redskins fans should watch this video and stop pretending you know football. This clearly shows that Zorn knows football very well. It also clearly shows he hasn't "lost the team" as some in the media like to infer in order to sell newspapers and ads - and make a name for themselves.

Should Zorn tweak things as time goes on? Certainly. He could consult people like Danny Smith and the guys upstairs more for game management advice at all times. He also shouldn't base his gameplan on things like dropped passes - if it worked in practice, then stick with it!

The last thing I would do if I were Zorn is to have outside people scrutinize the Redskins and see if they are tipping their hands somehow in playcalling. Al Davis read our signals (possibly with lipreaders) in the Super Bowl, it should always be a concern(Oh, you didn't know that? Why do you think they used three people to signal in plays the next year?).

Posted by: TripleH44 | September 24, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

you can't not call pass plays because you think your receivers are going to drop balls. If we're fair, the Thomas drop was a really tough catch - fast ball from 5 yard in which he was shielded by a defender. And Sellers is a fullback. Those drops should not determine whether Zorn dials up plays to Moss, Kelly, Thomas, Cooley or Davis numerous times in the redzone. And even if one of your WRs drops a ball, it doesn't mean he'll drop the next one. C'mon coach, you gotta have faith in your guys.

Posted by: ZardsFan1

EXACTLY 2/3 of Campbell's passes are caught. Put the right guys on the field if you are going to throw it.

The Skins top 5 in receiving yards are ARE, Cooley, Kelly, Moss, Betts.

The throws inside the 10 went to ARE (who was being held so Campbell threw it away), Sellers, Portis and DT11.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 24, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I just looked at the Portis run a dozen times. WHY DIDN'T HE FOLLOW SELLERS!?!?!?

Posted by: TripleH44 | September 24, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

it did feel like a bit of propaganda. They should have included the 4Q interchange between Zorn and Smith over the time out timing. Zorn seemed a bit clueless there. Was he?

Posted by: druppe01 | September 24, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

great post Steinberg.

Posted by: tedunni1 | September 24, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"So...we should just keep trying new qbs until we finally stumble upon a Brady or a Manning?"

No, but Steinberg is referring to leadership and the future, and I don't think "JC" represents either of those for the Skins.

So what you're saying is that we should wait 5 years plus on the next quarterback we give away draft picks for, in order to draft in the first round? Everyone knows what the front office thinks of "JC" and his ability to be our future quarterback. How many times did we hear Mark Sanchez's name and Jay Cutler's name tied to the Redskins this past offseason? If the organization is so sold on him, then why haven't they offered him an extension? He's a free agent next offseason.

Posted by: anw821 | September 24, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Where's the Super Bowl this year? I'm gonna go ahead and book my plane tickets.

Posted by: grimesman | September 24, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I understand that this is the Washington Post and will therefore focus more so on Washington sports teams. But it is ignorant and naive to ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians are supporters of Orioles and the Ravens. By doing so, the Post is missing out on capturing readers. And we all know how badly the Post needs readers

Posted by: killercue00 | September 25, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Great video. I noticed one big thing: if you watch the 4th down play where CP runs to the left (as he always does), you'll see that Mike Sellers opened up about a 1.5 yd hole for CP. CP usually waits for the line to open a hole, but this time, he instinctively ran left.

Am I wrong? If so, I don't mind being corrected at all...

Posted by: LuvMySkinz | September 25, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company