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Sonny Jurgensen Jousts With Jim Zorn

Plenty of fans and analysts have questioned the 3rd-and-5 play call midway through the third quarter, when Jim Zorn dialed up a halfback option to Clinton Portis, whose pass fell incomplete in the end zone. The Redskins then settled for their third field goal. Legendary Redskins quarterback and radio analyst Sonny Jurgensen was among those who questioned the call, but he did so while talking with Zorn during the postgame show. (Audio courtesy of ESPN 980/Redskins Radio Network. Watch the video here.)

"Third down, I'm the quarterback, and you call the halfback throwing the ball for me, I'm calling timeout or calling an audible," Jurgensen said. "I'm not letting the halfback throw it. That's what you pay me for."

"Well then, I would have to take you out of the game," Zorn countered. "As soon as you called timeout, I'd say what's wrong with my play, because...."

"It didn't work!" Jurgensen interrupted.

There was a long pause.

"No, but I called it to work. Alright?" Zorn said. "We called it to work. It didn't work. There were a lot of plays out there that didn't work. And I'd take you out of the game. Sorry, Sonny."

Zorn was also asked about that play during his Monday press conference.

"It was a play we had in our gameplan, it wasn't a grab bag," Zorn said. "And we thought if we showed run...because we had been running edge runs with Clinton on the goal line. And I thought, 'All right, here it is.' And Clinton has thrown touchdown passes before. Well what happened was, when we came off the line of scrimmage, we came off backing up, and when the [Rams] saw that, they just played it right down the line. The safety felt that this was gonna be a pass....And so we had to kick a field goal."

Zorn was then asked if he was still happy with his play-calling in the red zone; "Yeah, I am," he said. "I mean, if I could see it now, if I could see every play that was gonna fail before it failed, I'm with you. I wouldn't call it. But I felt very confident, because we work on it. We have to execute it, and I use that word sometimes, but we work on it. It's not a grab bag situation. Now I'm gonna go back and study it more, and I'm gonna be hard on myself as well, which is what I do. And we'll see what happened."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 21, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: Why Danny Smith Was Yelling At Jim Zorn


zorn's starting to sound like GWB with his complete inability to acknowledge reality. not a good sign.

Posted by: ewww | September 21, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

He spent too much time mountain biking with W. I think its a fair analogy.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 21, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Zorn is in over his head. His play calling has been comical at best.

But so has the whole team - Snyder's little playtoy.

Laughing stock of the league at this point.

Posted by: Jaymand | September 21, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse


I'm not one of these people who wants Zorn's head on a platter anytime soon, but telling a Hall of Fame quarterback, not to mention arguably the most popular living Redskin, you would have pulled him for audibling out of a play that ended up not working?

Probably not the brightest line to go with.

Posted by: grimesman | September 21, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I really think Skins lose this weekend at Detroit. It's the perfect storm

Posted by: jpfterps | September 21, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Fire Zorn NOW!

Posted by: G20FdaCowboys | September 21, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone find video of this?

Posted by: OptimisticSkin | September 21, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If you grew up watching Sonny as I did, you know he would've audibled out of the play to something else and that something else WOULD HAVE SCORED A TOUCHDOWN!

That's what infuriated George Allen so dang much. Not only did Sonny disagree with George all the time, when he changed the play we scored! George always wanted to run the clock down on offense and kick field goals. Didn't work then and won't work now.

When Sonny played, it was a different era. The coaches didn't call the plays, the quarterback did. Now everything is so choreagraphed. The only QBs that could call their own plays today are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | September 21, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Zorn was originally hired to be an Offensive Coordinator for god knows who Snyder hired as coach. Than they made him a coach. In my eyes he is NEITHER. The guy looks confused calling plays. Opening the play book? Running every time on 1st down in the redzone. Get a clue. Some of us work on our weaknesses. The Redskins haven't improved one bit on offense...especially in the redzone. You can talk to me all day about yardage but this league isn't about yardage its about outscoring your opponent.

Posted by: oneft2dice | September 21, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I just wish Sonny would stone up and direct criticism at Snyder as well. Seems to me he's cozied up to Danny from day one -- Snyder has done far more damage to this teams chances of on the field success than Jim Zorn ever could.

Posted by: dbunkr | September 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Sonny is an idiot. That whole radio team should not be on the radio. Zorn needs help but it would also help if receivers would do what they are paid for.

Posted by: SmallPen15 | September 21, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's comment indicates that he just doesn't get it. If he wants Campbell to be the team leader, then he has to trust him enough to let him make the key plays.

The team can't rally around him if Zorn is asking ARE or Portis to throw the ball this early in the season before Campbell has been able to prove that his teammates can rely on him to come through.

That is what Sonny was trying to tell him (old quarterback to old quuarterback) and it is very disturbing that Zorn is so focused on the individual play call that he can't see the bigger picture that he is undermining Campbell with his play calling.

Posted by: hapster | September 21, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Zorn keeps defending this play, but I think the bigger problem is not the play call but rather the appearance that he's ruling by fear. He's constantly saying he wants Campbell to step up but how can the QB do that when he has a coach who threatens to take him out of the game if he doesn't do EXACTLY as he says? And it's clear that Campbell has gotten that message ... why else would he not audible out of that left side run with the defense stacked against it? The answer is because Zorn has told him not to do that inside the red zone, as reported earlier by the Post.

Sonny Jurgensen accomplished TONS more than Zorn ever has. Z Man start listening to wiser voices and stop defending his lousy play calling. Would Brett Favre or Joe Namath or Tom Brady or Jim McMahon or any other accomplished QB stand still for a coach who threatened him like this?

Posted by: Rational_Man | September 21, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The problem wasn't the play call, the problem was the execution. They didn't sell run to the defense so the defense was looking for the pass. Still Zorn's fault ultimately, but all this talk about play calling is mostly nonsense in my opinion. The reason you fake the run and try the option pass is because, as people are complaining, they run all the time in the redzone. They called passes earlier in the red zone and got a dropped pass by Sellars and a less egregious dropped pass by Thomas. Again, that points, not to play calling, but to execution.

Posted by: sonny2 | September 21, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Obviously the guy that called Sonny an idiot doesn't have a clue who Sonny is. We've got a QB with a big arm and plenty of quality at receiver. Thinking we're going to fake someone out in clearly a passing situation with a pass from Portis is crazy. Sonny would have stuck the ball on Cooley's (in his day Jerry Smith's) numbers between 2 defenders.

Posted by: Sonny9 | September 21, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Sonny is an idiot. That whole radio team should not be on the radio.
Posted by: SmallPen15 |

Whoa!! Them there are fightin' words.
Sounds like someone has their jockeys riding a little high. Sonny has forgotten more about the game and this organization than SmallPen**15 will ever know. While I have thought that he appears to be a little too close to Danny, he is deserving of nothing but respect. As for the show, kick Larry Michaels out and it would be just fine. Beats half of the announcers on TV.

Posted by: VaBroker | September 21, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

This was another play to try to keep Portis happy. I think Portis should go before Zorn or Campbell.

Posted by: wleffi | September 21, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

You run that play on 1st down.

Posted by: jmy999 | September 21, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

West Coast Offense = FAIL

Especially in the NFC East with the caliber of the defenses we'll face all year, and a quarterback with his feet firmly rooted in the ground.

Posted by: alecw81 | September 21, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

What is worse, defending a clearly poor play call, or admitting the play call was poor?

Posted by: cabraman | September 21, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree that Sonny and Sam should be removed from their current roles. Yes, I acknowledge their contributions to the organization, but if you ever listen to their game broadcasts they sound like old men slowly slipping into senility. Half the time they have no idea what's going on. Put them in a different role, like signing autographs at community events or rounding up some actual fans who don't boo their own team when it wins.

Posted by: mmeixler | September 21, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

JZ has the nerve to question the Great Sonny?

He won't have any votes from that both of guys they call announcers....

Posted by: ENJOYA | September 21, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Not that this post is about announcing, but Sam is the worst. He knows nothing about the modern NFL and worse yet he is unable or unwilling to do even a little home work to learn about it. Snyder should rightly get rid of the whole booth, but he would be crucified for it.

Posted by: wleffi | September 21, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the guy colling Mr. Sonny Jurgensen an idiot is an IMBECILE.
Zorn is just caving his own tumb. Fire Zorn NOW

Posted by: WillyJoel | September 21, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

There in lies the problem. No audibles allowed at the goaline?

Case in point, zorn calls for a predictable run to the left. Campbell sees the defense stacked to the left. Can't audible out of it nor does he want to waste a timeout. End result portis gets stuffed, and the skins have to eventually settle for a field goal.

Posted by: mungk | September 21, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Again, the truth this moment of clarity provides is not about Zorn's ineffective playcalling, it's his ego. Whatever gets the win is best for the team. Zorn and Campbell lead the team and while they're not exactly equals in the official hierarchy, there needs to be mutual trust and respect. I think Campbell is showing both but Zorn has great difficultly surrendering his ego, even if it results in a team win. It's almost as if he'd prefer a loss on his own terms than a win on his QB's.

Notice how Zorn's quote was "I'd say what's wrong with my play..." when he should have said "why do you think your play would work?" There is certainly plenty wrong with calling a halfback option, on third down, in the red zone, when it didn't work the week before with a better QB. I had given Zorn the benefit of the doubt in all these "execution" dust-ups where he calls players out in the press, but now it is pretty clear that this coach is not providing the trust and confidence his players need to win. I hope he can adjust his attitude and get this team to 10-6 before he's ridden out of town.

Posted by: oaxacavine | September 21, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Synder, Listen up to the fans.... Fire Zorn before its too late

Posted by: mabeo1 | September 21, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

First off, I love Sonny as much as anybody. But anyone knows that a coach is never going to admit to a mistake (except of course it is Joe Gibbs and he would admit to the Watergate break in if you talked to him long enough).

People have to realize that Zorn is a newbie and going to make newbie mistakes. Weren't we 0-8 in the first season of Gibbs v1.0? And then we turned it around.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | September 21, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Of course Zorn is in way over his head. I blame the owner. The only decent coach he's brought in was Schottenhimer and he fired him after 1 year. Gibbs was past his prime, Spurrier and Zorn are lost. How can you have a team where the head coach doesn't understand simple time management that a high school coach would understand. Danny Smith almost had to tackle him at the end of the game yesterday to explain to Zorn to let the clock run down prior to calling that timeout on 4th down. 3rd game in a row he has mismanaged the clock. The play calling is laughable as well as his schemes. I blame this mess of a team all on the owner. It's his fault Zorn is even here as the head coach. If he got fired today, he may get another job as a QB coach and that would be it. We are a laughinstock. Thanks Dan!!!!

Posted by: mschmall625 | September 21, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Sonny was here a long time before Zorn and will be here a long time after Zorn. That said, Zorn should have thought of a better way to respond to a HOF QB.

Posted by: bbride1 | September 21, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Right On alecw81. Only one team has ever done good agianst the NFC east with the west coast off. and that was the 49ers of the 80`s. West coast off. = Fail!!!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | September 21, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"I just wish Sonny would stone up and direct criticism at Snyder as well. Seems to me he's cozied up to Danny from day one"
-------------------------------------------Sonny and all the other TV sportscasters in DC are very much afraid of calling out The Danny. Cowards all of them. Cause if they do, no more yucking it up a Skins Park or access to the players. He won't let them back in.

Posted by: nowhine | September 21, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Philly took the west cost offense to the championship last year and the super bowl in '05

Posted by: oaxacavine | September 21, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Zorn CLEARLY isn't the primary problem with this mess of an organization. Anybody placing full blame on Jim Zorn for this teams falures is in complete denial of the AWFUL job as an owner Daniel Snyder has done in his decade at the helm. He has a right hand man who has no accountability in Vinny Cerrato. A man, who during his decade tenure, has shown ZERO ability to build a team in a competant fashion. We have Snyder/Cerrato hiring/firing head coaches every year or two. THEY have awful drafts. THEY give awful contracts. THEY are to blame. Give me a break.

Posted by: jeffbo_80 | September 21, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Hope they get trounced by the Lions just to make dannyboy sweat. What a waste of talent and money.

Posted by: mofares | September 21, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Say it out loud "Half back option pass" on 3rd and goal inside the ten. I don't care if you've worked on it for a year it's a bad call even if it works. It's just not smart. Refusing to throw on 1st and 2nd down only to come back with the RB making a throw? What a slap in the face for Campbell! Then compounding the problem Zorn gives a smart #SS comment toward Sonny. Wow!! Not Smart!! Not in Washington! Then never come to grips with how bad a call it was and even go out of your way to defend it. Again not smart. JZ You're out-thinking yourself. Can we see a fade to Malcolm Kelly next week thrown by Campbell? Just try it once.

Posted by: bakerjd | September 21, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter - the Skins are going to be 6-10 at best. Imagine what happens if they lose another starting offensive lineman?

Posted by: nativedc | September 21, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

If the Redskins win every game from here on out 9-7, Jim Zorn will have his statue on top of the Capital Building...

Posted by: SA-Town | September 21, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse


I'm not one of these people who wants Zorn's head on a platter anytime soon, but telling a Hall of Fame quarterback, not to mention arguably the most popular living Redskin, you would have pulled him for audibling out of a play that ended up not working?

Probably not the brightest line to go with

LOL. Sonny would have fired Zorn, if he was the then General Manager or owner - George Preston Marshall!

Zorn doesn't have to tell the public the following, which is why players know and we don't;

1. Injury list, and players borderline on being able to be activated to play, because they finally show they can handle a whole game, not just a couple of plays.

2. Game Plan

3. The exact words used in meetings and whom he has on the bubble as the weeks progress.

These determine outcomes of games a lot. Some players are doing their best in the first two months and nearly inept in the latter part of the season. Most can play all season with no problem.

Then the players that come to life, who had a few games to get some experience, and you see it often in the playoffs.

Well the team can't get to a point on offense where they care comfortable with the last quater or 5 minutes per game delegated to Collins, Mason, and Marco Mitchell.

We so locked into trying to STAY in a game that really shouldn't be so difficult, as much as we are not clicking when we need to. So until we break that ice, we preparing ourselves, at this pace for the offense, to being stagnant.

Hopefully, we can put together a good game, stomp the logos and build up with more prodcution from the #2's all around. It makes the team even stronger in late Nov and on.

Posted by: ByRon12 | September 21, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Idiotic! Yet another trick play!

The play was a bad call and very revealing after reading this. 3rd and goal from the 7 or where ever. Teams are NOT going to read and react aggressively on an unusaul run to the right. Note how they jump on the Portis running play left. why? Because you run the same two plays to the left each time you get in the red zone! The Redskin offense is predictable. A halfback option outside the 5 yard line on 3rd and goal should not work in the NFL, College or decent high school football.

Remember last year when the skins were down 2 scores and Zorn did not have them in hurry up offense. He argued for weeks that they had enough time, but they were down 9 or 10. they scored one but did not get the ball back. Same scenario here. the guy is so caught up into him and his way, he can't see things clearly. Portis is a butt hole but he was right when he said something to the effect that Zorn thinks he's a genius when they win, but it's our fault when we lose. Zorn can't always be right and everyone else be wrong.

Posted by: whomp1 | September 21, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Look, Zorn has no faith in Campbell, which is understandable, but my question is, didn't anybody (besides me) see that this guy didn't have it a year and a half ago?!

Posted by: SMWE357 | September 21, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Jurgensen is a boring, thoughtless and senile old geezer. I've been watching his 'analysis' since the early 1980s, and he's never had a single genuine lightbulb moment. Huff, either, for that matter. They are the 'old' Virginia version of what Jimmy the Greek was to the communities off the Jersey turnpike, a vaguely telegenic know-nothing who makes a career out of stating the obvious. To be honest, I don't know how those two still have a job... Northern Virginia and southern Maryland are not nearly as agrarian, southern-belt old-skool as they used to be. Jurgensen deserves to be taken 'out of the game' of broadcasting, has for decades now

Posted by: SammyT1 | September 21, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The skins are going to lose to the Lions this weekend. No doubt in my mind. The combination of poor execution, terrible play calling and a complete lack of intensity on the offense combined with the skins being the best shot for Detroit to end their losing skid is going to lead to a 10 point skins lose. You heard it here first.

Posted by: skinsfan1982 | September 21, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

telling a Hall of Fame quarterback, not to mention arguably the most popular living Redskin, you would have pulled him for audibling out of a play that ended up not working?

Jurgensen is a boring, thoughtless and senile old geezer. I've been watching his 'analysis' since the early 1980s, and he's never had a single genuine lightbulb moment. Huff, either, for that matter.


Okay first the above actually happened to Jurgenson. Jurgenson DID INDEED call every play including audibles! George Allen did not his "play calling" and removed him.

Odd thing is that old George Allen and his defense first, run the ball don't even try anything that could produce a fumble, interception of some other gaffe ... ultra conservative (and they complained about Gibbs???) to often led to the team finding themselves anywhere from 28 to 14 points behind.

Old Ice Cream, stubborn and decrepit as well, would wait ... and finally knowing that the game was a critical one (usually against a division rival) would trot out old #9. One time against Dallas, (in their superbowl every other year incarnation), George rolled old Sonny out. 4th quarter 21 points behind. Reportedly Sonny looked up at the score and said, "21 points? No problem". And proceeded to lead the offense exclusively USING SHORT PASSES like his trademark "look-in" mixing in some intermediate strikes. He was usually pretty effective, defensive coordinators were not happy when he was brought out after 3 quarters of Billy Kilmer.

SammyT1 you have no idea dude. He truly was a very, very tough guy (as was Billy) who never wore a "cage" and only had a single bar on his helmet. Still effective even after suffering a torn achilles. That's why guys like Huff and Petitbone tolerate him ... they knew that about him.

Point here isn't really to defend Jurgenson, but to call a spade a spade. Jurgenson could do the things Zorn wants his offense to do. Making it seem almost effortless. Franchise QB. Might be worth listening to the guy Zorn? Jurgy, suddenly you have opinions? Your offense probably would work today I bet? So, how about solutions instead of just criticisms? We know you are capable, we also know you like to practice "avoidance"?

Posted by: periculum | September 21, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Sonny is an idiot?....well no comment...
what is more tellin is how stubborn Zorn is....his QB calls a t/o to discuss the call and Jim says...its my play! I call the plays now go run it! sounds like he isn't open to hearing what the guy actually on the field has to share....seems to me that if he was directing a "dynamic" offense he could get away with that attitude, but this offense...could use direction from whomever might supply it!

Posted by: kcy123 | September 21, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I want Jon Gruden.......cut him loose on any and all under achievers--I Do NOT want him calling all the plays though as he did in tampa--think if he hired a good O-coordntr he'd do better this time around.........

oh, and I like Sonny

Posted by: tabtool | September 21, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

my gripe with zorn is his first two field goal calls. Show the team you believe they can score. If you don't get in, you don't get in, make the Rams march all the way down the field. But play like you want to blow them out, not like you're afraid you're going to lose to them again.

Posted by: druppe01 | September 21, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Sonny is one of the biggest Snyder apologists you will ever find. Him and that bonehead Larry Michaels should not be allowed near a radio microphone. More cheerleaders than broadcasters.

Posted by: loux24 | September 21, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

zorn's starting to sound like BHO with his complete inability to acknowledge reality. not a good sign.

Posted by: bestmick1 | September 21, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Sonny's right, of course. Jim Zorn wasn't much of a QB in his NFL career, and he's not much a play caller. Great and seems like a great person, but that doesn't mean he's a great coach. Of course he's under the thumb of the ownership and appears to be ever aware of that fact. He is stubborn with his calls and as we all know gadget plays and dumb 4th down calls don't win championships. The low score was on Zorn, and on receivers who can't catch. Campbell did a great job, he doesn't call the plays and he doesn't catch the ball. I hope we do well but am prepared that we'll make still another coaching change next season. I hate that we waste such good defenses like we have in recent years.

Posted by: bfjam | September 21, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

What championship has Sonny Jurgensen ever won? not one damn game! he and Billy Kilmer treated Joe Theisman like krap when Joey T was a rookie if Bobby Mitchell ever writes a book about his first few years with this team( Skins first black player) it will not reflect well on Jurgy,to be sure Zorn is in way over his head,but the fault lies with Snyder and Cerrato they should have drafted O-lineman instead of Kid & Play (Kelly and Thomas) Huff and Jurgensen's time has come and long gone time for them to go too and oh yeah they can take Larry Michael with them.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 21, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

At the risk picking on an apparent retard, and contrary to his assertions otherwise, this 9-7 win over hapless St Louis did not inspire much confidence in Jason Campbell or his offensive unit.

While I can almost tolerate Jason's habit of deflecting guilt and accept some other people's interests in digging deep to find some positive news in this otherwise dismal performance -- I can only vomit when Coach Zorn suggests that the offensive line's efforts to "protect Jason" stand out as one of the highlights of Sunday's play. It would have been better if they had let this loser take his licks -- if only to get rid of him sooner. For example, see Mike Sellers -- or are you so naive to think that he dropped the ball by mistake?

Maybe we should remember that this coach was also a hopeless excuse for a pro quarterback in his own right -- and now he seems to have an unhealthy tolerance for Jason Campbell's sustained poor performance. (Like father, like son?)

It shows again that while Zorn may be useful on occasion as a quarterbacks coach, he will never, ever be true head coaching material -- if only because he refuses to make the tough decisions like benching Campbell and getting someone -- anyone -- out there who can make some plays and score some points.

Posted by: Vic1 | September 21, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

have you guys seen the video of remy??? he's really funny

Posted by: nattylite88 | September 21, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Sonny Big armed QB.Ring of Honor.Hall of Fame.
The only thing wrong with the radio broadcast is that Frank Herzog is gone.
Zorn is not better than the 3rd string QB from that time. Joe T. SB 17!
Zorn career stats.
Best Year 79 4th full year as a starter.
No more than 56% completion rate.
Highest Rating 82%.
Zorn NEVER MADE the playoffs as a starter. Hmmmm......
24 passes before being replaced in Seattle by Dave Krieg.
Made his coaching bones by being a QB coach??? Really. YOU LIE!!! Are you sure?
This is not a smoke and mirrors organization, conference or league.
P.S. Let Riggins after a hot night out or Joe T. interview him. Flea Flicker anyone? Oh that is play action. Oh. wait. We don't have that play, but we have HB and WR options in KEY moments of a game?
I cannot beleive he is defending his play calling. He will soon be a lame duck coach for losing the locker room. Did you listen to DD after the game. WOW. No changes and we are 3-3 by the time philly comes to town and Zorn is still defending trick plays in the red zone; Zorn is toast.
We do not have an identity. We have not tried on fade route. Santana to the slot.
ARE still has falling down syndrome. No Run after catch. Send ARE to broadcasting to replace Trevor Matich.

Posted by: zariah | September 21, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The offense in general and the play calling in particular both stink. The flea flicker on the 2nd play of the Giants game (which fooled about 9 people in all of Giants Stadium) was almost as bad a call as the ridiculous half back option play. In a PR battle w/ Sonny, Zorn is certain to finish second...

Posted by: randysbailin | September 21, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Listen to what Zorn says. He blames the offensive line for the failure of the play, "They started going back" in pass protect, tipping pass. Ok, so either he's throwing Buges under the bus for not coaching them to fake run block, or somehow not accepting responsibility for coaching the line himself.

Posted by: minorthread | September 21, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Zorn can't call plays to save his life, he and Sherman Smith are both not very good at play calling. Zorn to me seems way to alouf to be an NFL head coach. We need someone with grit that won't take any $**t.

Posted by: joeboggs | September 21, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

it will take an act of congress to get rid of huff and jurgensen, and mr. sunshine larry michael should of been gone long ago. i heard somewhere that they were talking about mike patrick, joe theismann, and riggo for the broadcasts. as far as the team goes, face it, they are a very average team in a rugged division.

Posted by: miked4 | September 21, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse


Lions 14
Redskins 12

The Redskins will have the ball for 40 minutes, gain 390 yards of offense, kick four field goals, commit 3 turnovers (JC int; Portis and Cooley both fumble inside the Lions' 35). The defense will yield 220 yds of offense and give up two big pass plays. The "Zorn era" in a nutshell...And stupid me will have cashed in frequent flier points to bring my son to Detroit for the easy walk-up tickets

Posted by: NickFairfax | September 21, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Sonny is the messenger from management to tell Zorn that his play calling "Sucks"! However, Zorn is too egotistical and arrogant that he does not get the hidden message from Sonny. Sleep well, Zorn, because who knows when you will wake up with the head of a horse next to you!

Posted by: JohnWWW | September 21, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

it is becoming painfully obvious that Zorn is trying to prove he's in charge rather than adjust to win games. Those plays are not HIS they are the teams. It seems to be all about Zorn, Zorn is out to prove that Zorn can call plays, and when they fail he blames execution. Well Coach very few teams can show their hand and still succeed. Not one fade pattern the whole game.

Posted by: russelljharris | September 21, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Sonny tells it like is is and ZORN's a DUFUS!!!



Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | September 21, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Robert Henson your real smart! Enjoy being a Redskin now..LOL!

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- Washington Redskins rookie linebacker Robert Henson has apologized for calling the team's fans "dim wits" on his Twitter feed.

He says Monday he updated his Twitter and Facebook accounts to apologize "not because I'm scared, but just because it was the right thing to do."

Henson, a sixth-round draft pick from TCU, has been inactive for both games this season.

Home fans booed the Redskins often Sunday during a 9-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Afterward, Henson tweeted: "All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won't go there but I dislike you very strongly, don't come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!!"

Henson also tweeted: "The question is who are you to say you know what's best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds."

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | September 21, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Zorn is in over his head. His play calling has been comical at best.

But so has the whole team - Snyder's little playtoy.

Laughing stock of the league at this point.

Posted by: Jaymand | September 21, 2009 3:03 PM
No, I'm sorry, I can't fault the rest of the team for lousy play calling in the Red Zone. They do great, then inside the 10, its deep handoff left to Portis EVERY FRICKIN time!!!!Then Portis up the middle, then a pass on 3rd down then FG. Its like getting the same bedtime story read to you EVERY night!!!

Posted by: kenboy1 | September 22, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Zorn was originally hired to be an Offensive Coordinator for god knows who Snyder hired as coach. Than they made him a coach. In my eyes he is NEITHER. The guy looks confused calling plays. Opening the play book? Running every time on 1st down in the redzone. Get a clue. Some of us work on our weaknesses. The Redskins haven't improved one bit on offense...especially in the redzone. You can talk to me all day about yardage but this league isn't about yardage its about outscoring your opponent.

Posted by: oneft2dice | September 21, 2009 3:29 PM

I think the guy is just too prideful and stubborn, he is gonna keep running that G damned deep handoff to Portis on 1st down every time we get inside the 10 till we finally get a TD, just to show he's right

Posted by: kenboy1 | September 22, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Jim Zorn's offensive concept is high school prep level at best. And just like Jurgy implied, his play calling is ridiculus. Not showing confidence in his starting QB's ability, by having the HB's throwing passes inside the twenty yard line shows flawed strategy. Suppose the Skins had Brady, or one the Manning boys at QB. Does anybody think they wouldn't have audibled out of most of Zorn's silly play calls and would be disgusted and frustrated with Zorn's time management by now? And suppose Mr. Snyder had gotten Jay Cutler or even Mark Sanchez this spring. Now imagine if Zorn yanked one of them for audibling out of "his" HB option pass from the five yard line? What a joke! Mr. Zorn would be packing his suitcase on Monday morning! Sonny's a Hall of Fame NFL QB and he was right! Zorn is out of his league as an NFL head coach, and maybe even as an offensive coordinator. That's the Skin's real problem.

Posted by: Doowadiddy | September 22, 2009 3:13 AM | Report abuse

What we're seeing here is another effect of what Dan Snyder's running of the team has done. Remember that the only reason Jim Zorn -- a man who hadn't even been coordinator and was hired as the quarterback coach -- got the job was because no one halfway competent wanted to come here since the coaching staff already was in place. That's a backwards way of putting together your coaching staff. Thus, Zorn got the job by default because Danny was out of options. He's not ready to be a head coach and he's really in over his head. All of this thanks to Danny's meddling.

Posted by: stwasm | September 22, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

How many playoffs games did the great Sonny win? Sonny played in a different era
and had had of fame receivers that were the best ever in the game. Bobby Mitchell and Charley Taylor were the best ever and Jerry Smith at tight end wasn't the protype for modern tight ends. No sexual innuendo intended. Please Rice, Moss Irvin et al never had the skill set of Taylor and Mitchell.

Posted by: vaherder | September 22, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

skins fans are definitely entertaining. they know very little about football because they haven't seen it played in 13 years. but they are willing to offer their opinion on it without being asked. lol.

Posted by: funkey | September 22, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

To those of you bashing Jim Zorn as a mediocre QB, you obviously have no clue about football..Zorn played on teams that were absolutely horrific..Remember, in 1976, Seattle was one of the original expansion teams along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers..Yeah, I'd love to see what Jason Campbell would have done on those teams!!..RLMAO!!!..Zorn has been in the game 30 years and played QB in the NFL for 14 years, you don't last that long if you don't have game...So please give it a rest, Jim Zorn in his prime (the QB, not the coach) would have won at least 3 SB's if he was on our team with the hogs, riggo, and Monk, Clark, Sanders, etc!!!..Let's keep things in perspective and real!

Posted by: ekaras3 | September 22, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"Third down, I'm the quarterback, and you call the halfback throwing the ball for me, I'm calling timeout or calling an audible," Jurgensen said. "I'm not letting the halfback throw it. That's what you pay me for."
What Zorn was REAALY thinking when Sonny said that. "Well Sonny IF you were my QB of course i wouldn't have called that play. I'd give the ball to you. But I don't have you I have JC who is afraid to make a mistake. I can't count on him to make that throw. So I tried deception instead.. it didn't work but look at JC's history throwing in the red zone.. giving him the ball doesn't usally work either."

Posted by: sovine08 | September 22, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

The Skins will CRUSH the Lions..Mark my word!!!

Posted by: hanimal03 | September 22, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I feel like if Snyder has been here for 10 years and the only times we actually made a repeat appearance in the play-offs was when Gibbs had a strangle hold on the team...That says something. Snyder has over and over again shown that he does not have the capacity to call the shots on the team, so he thinks Vinny can do better?? If you treat the symptoms you wont be cured of the disease. firing Zorn or Campbell is like doing that, different personnel who bow down to Vinny and Snyder will only amount the same things. Snyder needs to get a coach who can do just that not only be a coach but also a manager. And if he feels Zorn is capable of that, then LEAVE HIM TO IT!!! and stop wasting money on the free agency picking up over the hill players instead of developing talent in the areas we need talent!

Posted by: amohoni | September 22, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I'll say it, Zorn is another experiment gone wrong for Synder. It is time that we get a real owner and a real coach to this franchise. Until then we can all look forward to mediocre seasons, poor play calling and pathetic attempts to win.

Posted by: nicholas78 | September 22, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I think Sonny was a great QB, and still has a great mind for the game. But, remember that Sonny has really high expectations of head coaches -- he only really respected Vince L and Joe Gibbs. George Allen won a championship and sent the Rskins to the playoffs something like 5 times, and that wasn't good enough for Sonny. So, you have to take Sonny's criticism and roll with the punches.

Zorn should have said, maybe you're right Sonny, we'll review it. And, then what would Sonny say? If you are less than great, Sonny is going to have comments, and you know what, he's usually right.

Sonny should also remember that this is Zorn's first head-coaching job -- he has to learn a bit.

Arguing with Sonny is like arguing with a girlfriend... even when you are right, it will cost you. Just roll with it.... and try to learn something.

Posted by: stamatakosnick | September 22, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

For those who are criticizing Sonny for his radio commentary in general, the team of Sonny & Sam are entertaining and enlightening. A friend of mine who is not a Redskins' fan listens to the broadcasts just to hear them. Time after time on Sunday Sonny & Sam were either right about which play was going to be called (a screen for instance or a pass over the middle to Cooley) or which play shouldn't have been called.
If Zorn had benched Sonny for calling an audible from that horrible third-down trick pass play from the 5, HIS job would have been hanging by a thread, not Sonny's.
Sonny, along with Johnny Unitas, were the best quarterbacks of their time and he knows what he's talking about. Vince Lombardi said if Sonny had quarterbacked all those Packers teams of his, they'd have never lost a game. He added that Sonny was simply the best quarterback he'd ever seen.
When Sonny said that the QB is paid to pass in that situation, Zorn should have just said, "I hadn't really thought about it that way. I'm not sure the play was a bad one, although it didn't work, but I will make sure that Jason Campbell knows that I didn't mean any disrespect."

Posted by: williambainesjr | September 22, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I remember Sonny when I was 10 years old, and he skins were down by 3 scores against the Giants late in the 4th quarter, and Sonny completed something like 20 passes in a row, and the skins won. So, I have deep respect for Sonny!

I always wonder why he didn't take an offensive coordinators job. In effect, in the old/good old days of football, when he was the QB, he was essentially a player / offensive coordinator. Not only could he have drawn the plays on a chaulk board with X's and O's, but he probably could have shown how to runs the play himself as QB. (And, then throw Sam Huff in there as Defensive Coordinator... well, Sam's defensive teams would have had too many roughing penalties....)

It's fun listening to Sonny and Sam on radio. Like Ken B used to say "you have to remember that they are Hall of Fame talent and expect a lot from the Skins teams."

Posted by: stamatakosnick | September 22, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Didn't a HOF coach named George Allen bench Sonny for that reason, changing the plays?

Posted by: ju0034 | September 22, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think a better HOF coach, named Lombardi, let Sonny call the plays. (Although, George Allen was a great coach -- he had a blind side when it came to Sonny. GA's defenses were really good.)

Posted by: stamatakosnick | September 22, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

So if I'm reading this correctly most of you think that anarchy is the answer. Disregard what the coach calls and do your own thing, what an embaresment. No matter what you think Brady and Manning do not call plays off the top of their head. Plays are packaged together, usually 2 runs and a pass, and the QB must choose based on the defensive look. To suggest that players shopuld undermind the coach is the surest way to ensure defeat, if you do not understand that then you do not understand what it takes to win football games.

Posted by: bhickson | September 22, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Right On alecw81. Only one team has ever done good agianst the NFC east with the west coast off. and that was the 49ers of the 80`s. West coast off. = Fail!!!

Really, the Eagles went to 5 straight NFC title games and are currently still running a version of the West Coast Offense

Posted by: bhickson | September 22, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

3rd and 5 you let portis throw, 2nd play of the season after a positive play you let Randle EL throw,both of these plays are very low percentage plays,look at as if it was baseball or basketball would Phil jackson have asked shaq to shoot the game winning 3pointer would torre have asked Pettite to hit the game winning RBI NO!!!!!!!!how come Jets and Ravens get the hard Nose coaches that lay it all on the line and start a rookie and let if fly and we get the coach that wants to hold back the 5 year vet "CAMPBELL" those are very low percentage plays that i hope he never runs again.Take the chains off of campbell and let him put it in the air....belichek never runs trick plays.....

Posted by: bchristian1 | September 23, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Sonny can't even audible his analysis to his listening audience.He is an embarrassment as a voice for the skins.People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.I don't care what he has done in the past.That was then,this is now.As far as I am concerned his Redskins career/related career continues.I judge his Redskins career in total,including his skills as a Redskins announcer.I have been listening to him whine,criticize and second guess coaches and players for years.There is a very fine line between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.With all of his self proclaimed "football wisdom" he should have enough sense to realize that we have a relatively young coach,a young quarterback,and we are only TWO games into the season!?!What play do you audible now Sonny?How about a public apology?

Posted by: skinnerd | September 24, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I have to stick up for Sonny, last commenter. Sonny was a great QB, and he was good at calling his own offensive plays. Think about how many passing touchdowns he threw, and this was at a time it was much harder for receivers to get open (defenders could chuck receivers until the ball was thrown).

He also is a good commentator. Sonny's only problem is that he loves the skins so much that he gets critical of people (and esp. head coaches) who aren't as good as he was in calling offensive plays. Like the previous commentator said to me: "Vince Lombardi said if Sonny had quarterbacked all those Packers teams of his, they'd have never lost a game. He added that Sonny was simply the best quarterback he'd ever seen."

Sonny should have phrased his comment in a better way -- like "coach could you review your call -- don't mean to criticize, but I think you need to review that one." Zorn should have said something like "ok, Sonny, I'll look it over". Zorn has to keep in mind that Sonny was and is probably really sharp about offensive plays.

I do give credit for Zorn for trying to mix things up.... I don't think the skins are strong enough offensively to punch in for 7 points from the 7 yard line. However, Zorn needs to gain some experience in how to mix things up. Maybe he should listen to Sonny and think about how to mix things up. That's my 2 cents. (I wonder what Ken Beatrice is thinking now?>>>>)

Posted by: stamatakosnick | September 24, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Sonny's lifetime won vs lost record as a QB was 69 wins, 73 losses and 7 ties. Billy Kilmer's is 61 wins, 52 losses and 1 tie. Billy was also 50 wins, 23 losses and 1 tie in Washington, D. C. with the Redskins per Professional Football Reference. With the QB it does come down to one stat... Wins, Billy had a better won vs lost record than Sonny. Was Billy a better QB... NO, but, he did what he was told by George and the team won... BOTTOM LINE!!!

Bob Schnebly

Posted by: StarLyrara | September 25, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

And, how many of those games that Kilmer supposedly "win" did Sonny come in during the 4th quarter and bail out Allen and Kilmer?

And, even Kilmer said he learned a hell of a lot from Sonny.

Good grief -- a Sonny vs Billy discussion from 25 years ago....

Posted by: stamatakosnick | September 25, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

To stamatakosnick:

Well, wins are wins but, yeah, I'm sure Sonny "bailed out" or "saved" some of those wins Billy Kilmer had with George Allen's Redskins. Particularly in 1973 and 1974. Yes, Billy did learn a lot from Sonny and they were better friends for it. Billy knew his QB. talent wasn't Sonny's and he played the "good soldier" role for George... Nothing wrong with that. I do wish that the Professional Football Reference could also include saves for QB's. but it doesn't and we as a society judge QB's. and so many other things by wins. Are you trying to say that even though we judge QB's. by wins that somehow Billy Kilmer's don't count because Sonny should have them by virtue of the fact that Sonny was on the team? I sure hope not... Then the way we judge QB's (wins) would need to change because here in the Washington, D. C. area that just doesn't count... By the way, my car had both a Sonny and Billy bumper sticker on the back bumper... I liked them both for the jobs they did and did well in their time together: 1971~1974 seasons.

Bob Schnebly

Posted by: StarLyrara | September 26, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Where is this video??? I want to see the interview

Posted by: ctleach | September 28, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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