ESPN Speculates on Zorn's Successor
And so the weekly farce continues, with national shows openly discussing Jim Zorn's successor while the Skins front office takes a second swipe at the coach's manhood without actually firing him or endorsing him. Sunday night, right around the time his playcalling duties were being nabbed, ESPN put two of its top NFL guys on the tube to discuss who would take his real job after he's fired.
"There is no question that the clock is now ticking on Jim Zorn's future as the head coach of the Redskins," Chris Mortensen said. "Remember, he was hired by Dan Snyder, first as an offensive coordinator, [and] also to improve Jason Campbell's quarterback play, even though they tried to trade for Jay Cutler and move up to trade for Mark Sanchez. We should note that it was Joe Gibbs who drafted Jason Campbell. The bigger picture is , they're gonna have a new coach, they could have him by next Monday night on the ESPN game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Who would replace him?"
"Well, that's the issue right now Mort," Adam Schefter answered. "And I think when you look on the Redskins staff, you see Jerry Gray right away as the logical successor. If not Jerry Gray, Joe Bugel. Those are the two candidates that the Redskins would choose from. I think Jerry Gray right now would make the most sense, and you come back to the timing issue. They play next Monday night, Philadelphia Eagles, before their bye week. And if Dan Snyder's gonna make a move, that move would come either [Monday], or right after the Eagles game, if the Redskins suffer yet another loss."
"Even though we know Dan Snyder's gonna try and call Mike Shanahan, if he hasn't already, to see if he'd come out of his vacation, Shanahan's not doing that," Mortensen said.
"Shanahan's not coaching this year," Schefter agreed. "You never know if he could convince him to come in [next] year or not, that's another issue, but Mike Shanahan's not gonna coach this year."
As for the decision to remove his playcalling duties, others have said it quicker and better than I could, but what's left for Zorn? Helping the defense? Well, that seems to be covered. Continuing to tutor Jason Campbell, the man he just benched? Managing timeouts and clock management and challenges, tasks he's consistently bungled? Dealing with the media, which consists largely of simply flogging himself repeatedly nowadays? Why is this continuing? What's the point?
Some of the reaction:
* Player Hater's Ball has the definitive version of this argument, noting that "Snyder and Cerrato tried to do something about the situation tonight but, as usual, swung, missed and hit themselves in the crotch with the effort."
* Pro Football Talk stays with the crotch talk, writing that "If Zorn is going to get fired then, the team should have the decency to put him out of his misery now instead of castrating him before another miserable week." PFT also says that the fates of Zorn and Cerrato might be linked at this point.
* Matt Mosley of ESPN.com calls Zorn "the ultimate lame duck," writing that "I'm sort of hoping Zorn sleeps on this decision tonight and then decides to resign. It just doesn't make any sense for Snyder to keep him around now that he's stripped of everything except his dignity -- and I'm afraid that's next."
* D.C. Pro Sports Report says it's already gone, writing that "Zorn gave up more than play-calling by agreeing to this humiliating nonsense. He gave up his self-respect. It's the one thing Zorn will probably miss the most when this season is done and he's looking for work as a QB coach on another team."
* Doug Farrar of The Post, Football Outsiders and Yahoo!, on the other hand, was busy pointing out what a terrible job of playcalling Zorn did on Sunday. "As a head coach and play-caller," Farrar writes, "you know you're doing something very, very wrong when field goals are considered mammoth upgrades in the results department."
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