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Why Danny Smith Was Yelling At Jim Zorn

During one of the fourth quarter's most memorable moments on Sunday, Jim Zorn attempted to signal for a timeout before a fourth-down play, and special teams coach Danny Smith just about jumped in front of him, trying to physically prevent him from doing so. Smith was trying to get Zorn to wait until the play clock got closer to zero, to run off the maximum amount of time.

I asked Zorn about the sequence today; here's his explanation, in full.

"He saw the 25-second clock and I didn't, because there was a pile," Zorn said. "Where I was, my vantage point, you can only go down so far. And so my vantage point, there were about four or five guys in front of the 25-second clock. He had looked at the other clock. And so we had time that we could take off the clock. He doesn't have a headset on, I do, I couldn't hear him. And you know how he gets going, 'YEEEEE-HUH!' You know, he just kind of got fired up about it, wanted to make sure. He saw me calling timeout, I didn't hear him, and so he came and got right in front of me. Because I was looking out onto the field."

I asked him whether he'd want an assistant to so forcibly control his actions during a game; "Absolutely," Zorn said. "We're all in it together. And he was helping the situation out, he wasn't hurting the situation. I wasn't hurt by him doing what he did."

Some players hadn't seen this sequence at all, but several had.

"I don't know exactly what happened, but Danny's a very smart coach," said Mike Sellers, one of the special teams captains.

"Danny knows the game and I think he was really into the game, so I think he made a good decision," Rock Cartwright, the other special teams captain, said. "And we were able to run some more time off the clock, so that's a good thing."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 21, 2009; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Breaking Down Jim Zorn's Failed Timeout

Comments

The growing concerns about Zorn's ability to coach this team are completely founded. He has no one's confidence - and for good cause.

Posted by: whughes1 | September 21, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Danny knows the game and I think he was really into the game, so I think he made a good decision," Rock Cartwright, the other special teams captain, said.

As opposed to Zorn who is completely clueless

Posted by: jonthefisherman | September 21, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Make D.Smith the headcoach and have Zorn polish Sonny's car.

Posted by: dstout3423 | September 21, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Is it to late to hire Jim Fassel?

Posted by: G20FdaCowboys | September 21, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Last I checked we were 1-1 with a loss in NY (NFC favorite) by less than a TD. A win is a win. Take your pessimistic complaints elsewhere.

Posted by: fushezzi | September 21, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Last I checked we were 1-1 with a loss in NY (NFC favorite) by less than a TD. A win is a win. Take your pessimistic complaints elsewhere.

Posted by: fushezzi | September 21, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse


I'm a little confused on your logic. So it's ok to have a moral victory in losing to a good team but not right to be down on a team for barely (and I do mean barely) beating an awful team?

I think that's called having your cake and eating it to.

Posted by: SeanTizzy2DaHizzy | September 21, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I remember Andy Reid inexplicably calling a timeout before the half in a Monday night game in which Gibbs II beat the Eagles. It allowed us to throw a TD to Cooley instead of rushing a field goal. I bet he wished his special teams coach had stopped him.

Posted by: mhaslup1 | September 21, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse


I'm a little confused on your logic. So it's ok to have a moral victory in losing to a good team but not right to be down on a team for barely (and I do mean barely) beating an awful team?

I think that's called having your cake and eating it to.

Posted by: SeanTizzy2DaHizzy | September 21, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't really "barely." Just like the Giants game was only by 6 but in reality was never that close, the Rams were completely outperformed by the Redskins yesterday and were kept in the game by some fluky dropped TDs, an ill-timed turnover by Moss, and a bad call roughing penalty on Orakpo that negated a turnover deep in Rams territory.

Posted by: mhaslup1 | September 21, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

No, what I'm saying is we are 1-1.

We are 1-0 at home.

The scores don't matter.

The sky isn't falling.

We don't need a new coach after game 2 - even if he is "clueless" or lacking the teams confidence.

And yes, I can have my cake and eat it too if I want. In the words of Bobby Brown - its my perogative.

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

"No, what I'm saying is we are 1-1.

We are 1-0 at home.

The scores don't matter.

The sky isn't falling.

We don't need a new coach after game 2 - even if he is "clueless" or lacking the teams confidence.

And yes, I can have my cake and eat it too if I want. In the words of Bobby Brown - its my perogative."

So a complete lack of logic is your perogative? Be my guest. If you want to look at things objectively, then consider last years record (since scores don't matter.) What was wrong with that team.

Some might wish to make improvements/corrections BEFORE the losing starts. At that point it's too late. But alas, that requires logic so we know you'll take a pass.

Posted by: blinders1 | September 21, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Blinders

Some may just want to let things play out.

You call it lack of logic. I call it rational thinking. It is Week 3 now. Very few teams have worked out all their kinks (see TN, NE, Pit, etc). Let the season take its course. You lack of patience reeks of a illogical, knee-jerk mindset. Loyalty like that is hard to find.

Posted by: fushezzi | September 21, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"You lack of patience reeks of a illogical, knee-jerk mindset. Loyalty like that is hard to find."

Knee-jerk mindset? How? By criticizing a poor offensive/red zone performance? Please, and the loyalty argument holds no water, I am not calling for anyone’s head just pointing out that what we’re doing obviously does not work.

You wouldn’t know a good argument if it walked up and bit you in the A$$

Posted by: blinders1 | September 21, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Score update:

Fushezzi 3 Blinders 0

Posted by: Barno1 | September 21, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The growing concerns about Zorn's ability to coach this team are completely founded. He has no one's confidence - and for good cause.

Posted by: whughes1 | September 21, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

But wait, last year at 6-2, Zorn was a genius. And if we're 5-1, he'll be a genius again.

Redskins fans have the shortest memories of any fanbase on earth.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 21, 2009 4:55 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.

____________________________________________

Wow!

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 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Sonny Jurgenson knows more about football than Mr.Medium, dashing though he is in maroon and black, will ever comprehend.
That's a fact,Jack. But still, Snyder is destroying a once beloved franchise,in real time,right before our eyes. He's the one. It's very sad.

Posted by: ridgely1 | September 21, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

This is another example of Jim Zorn's football awareness. I could not see the 25 second clock because of the PILE. OMG!
If this statement does not scare you then IDK.....
"Danny knows the game and I think he was really into the game, so I think he made a good decision," Rock Cartwright, the other special teams captain, said.
OMG! OMG!
I am a skins fan who is use to a relevant team!!!!

Posted by: zariah | September 21, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I think, when all is said and done, it will be revealed that a maroon is in burgundy and gold.

Posted by: minorthread | September 21, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

This subject line in an email that I received today from the Redskins/Stub Hub......

Redskins Opener Got You Hungry for More? Get Tickets on StubHub

The out of touch marketing machine rolls on...and the band plays on.....but I am not hungry for more.

Posted by: DownTownClown | September 21, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

isn't the clock 40 seconds?

Posted by: alex35332 | September 22, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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