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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."

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 18, 2009; 10:38 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: Revisiting Sherm Lewis's Hiring

Comments

I'd be happy to see Gray coach this team. And what about Danny Smith?

No Greg Blache. Buges would be amusing, but no way he does it.

Anyway, who would want to risk his good name coaching this bunch of losers, and working for Vinny Cerrato, the most incompetent man in pro sports?

Snyder, you moron: It's Vinny! FIRE HIM YESTERDAY!!!

Posted by: drischord | October 18, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Whoever gets to coach is going to be the ceremonial coach until Chucky or whoever else shows up next year.

So give the ceremonial position to Buges. He has the experience and deserves it for his dedication to the team over the decades. And I still credit him with the 6-2 start last season, as it was his running game powering the offense.

Heck, Tony Kornheiser's suggesting bringing in JoeyT b/c of his energy and passion for the Skins, and TK's only half joking. Buges makes more sense, and would make me interested in and feel good about the rest of the year. Heck, if Petitbon deserved a season, doesn't Buges deserve 12 games?

Posted by: WorstSeat | October 19, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Zorn has 15 million reasons not to resign. Just ride this freak show out, take the cash, and move on with the rest of your life. This is the script that has been developed and perfected over the past 10 years: The Snyder Flyby. Pop into DC, draw your millions from the Snyder cashier window, and get the heck out before the whole shebang implodes.

Posted by: rooster75 | October 19, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Coaches in the NFL almost never resign during the season. And they rarely get fired during the season, either. We're all assuming that Zorn is going to be fired imminently, but I wouldn't assume that.

More likely is that Snyder has already started a behind-the-scenes coaching search and will fire Zorn the day after the season ends and have a tacit agreement already in place with his successor.

Posted by: acoberst1 | October 19, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

At this point in the snyder nightmare, changing coaches means nothing, as long as the owner is using the team as his hobby. After 10 years, he's proven that he stinks in assembling a winning team. And he's great with milking (and suing) the skins' fans, to death

Posted by: Max231 | October 19, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

"PFT also says that the fates of Zorn and Cerrato might be linked at this point."

---

...and THAT my friends, is what we call "A Light at the end of the tunnel."

Posted by: VTDuffman | October 19, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"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?..."

Um, helping the equipment guys?: "Whose jock strap is this on the floor? We have a HAMPER for a reason..."

Posted by: nojunk4me | October 19, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Coaches in the NFL almost never resign during the season. And they rarely get fired during the season, either. We're all assuming that Zorn is going to be fired imminently, but I wouldn't assume that.

More likely is that Snyder has already started a behind-the-scenes coaching search and will fire Zorn the day after the season ends and have a tacit agreement already in place with his successor.

Posted by: acoberst1 | October 19, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse
-----------

Normally, with any other team and any other owner, I would agree with your assessment. But this is Dan Snyder. He fired Norv with a 7-6 record. No chance Zorn makes it out of the bye as HC.

I hope Zorn plays the a-hole on Monday Night and snatches back the playcalling and calls the wildest array of trick plays the league has ever seen. Flea Flicker, Statue Of Liberty, Hook and Ladder, Triple Reverse WR Option Pass, Fumblerooski. All in one offensive series.

Make it count Jimmy, go out wit a bang!

Posted by: walkdwalk | October 19, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

It can't get any worse.

Posted by: jmy999 | October 19, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Barno1... You are going be fired by Lord farquad SOON!

Posted by: riceldi | October 19, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Steinbergs writing is as about as good as the Redskin Offence. The Post should have left him in Italy where he wrote in Italian I think because I couldn't understand much of what he wrote. I refer to when he (so called covered the Olympics). Maybe the Italians understand him and think he's cuter than I do Or he does. Cause he really thinks He's CUTE

DUMB IS MORE LIKE IT.

Posted by: duckyjimpond | October 20, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Whose the next Coach you say???Is there someone out there who will coach for this JERKoff owner?? I doubt it ---not if they've got any sense. Certainly not any of the big name coaches currently sitting on the sidelines. They'D be out of there ever-loving minds!!!

Posted by: duckyjimpond | October 20, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

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