Network News

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

Tony Dungy: "This is Not a Good Thing"

Soon after word broke that Vinny Cerrato asked Jim Zorn to relinquish playcalling duties, Tony Dungy reacted to the arrangement on NBC's Football Night in America. At the time, Dungy didn't know that Zorn had already agreed to give up his pride and joy as an offensive coach, but I still think Dungy's comments are worth a look.

"I went through this in Tampa," Dungy said of the playcalling switch. "This is not a good thing. I made a mistake and I acquiesced to that. I think if you're Jim Zorn, you have to say, 'Hey, I'm in charge of this team on the field. If I'm not, then get rid of me.' "

Dan Patrick asked Dungy if he thought Zorn should give Daniel Snyder an ultimatum to that effect.

"I absolutely do," Dungy said. "Hey, this is the way I'm gonna do it, this is the way I'm gonna run the team. You hired me to be the coach, this is what I think is best. Otherwise you're just fighting uphill."

Patrick then asked Dungy why the Redskins, under an offensive mind like Zorn, are so boring and predictable on offense.

"Well, they really just are not moving the football," Dungy said. "They've got a lot of talented players. Clinton Portis is a good player, Santana Moss, these guys can make plays, but they're not making 'em. So I see management's point, but if you're the head coach, you've got to be responsible for that. You can't have people telling you, 'Here's what you need to do.' "

"You can't coach scared," Patrick said.

"You can't," Dungy agreed.

A few moments earlier, Peter King had given his take on this news.

"Just got off the phone with the Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato, and Cerrato told me that they had just had a meeting, Cerrato, Dan Snyder and Jim Zorn the head coach, and Cerrato has recommended to Zorn that he give up his playcalling duties during the game," King said. "And so he'll design the game plan, coach the quarterbacks, but Cerrato told me, 'Look, we're just not scoring points, our coach has too much on his plate, and I want him to concentrate on head coaching stuff, not all this other stuff like playcalling.' "

Keith Olbermann observed that this makes it look like they want to give Zorn another chance.

"No question about it," King said. "And I believe that Dan Snyder, although he believes now in retrospect that he should have hired somebody else other than Jim Zorn as his head coach, I believe that he'd like to give him another week or so to try to get himself out of this funk. Will he? Stay tuned."

Earlier on the show, Dungy had said Sherm Lewis's hiring was "the beginning of the end" for Zorn, while Rodney Harrison said this about Jason Campbell: "I thought he was a backup quarterback that should be on the bench, and today he worked his way right over to the bench." And perhaps most importantly, King--who clearly talks to Cerrato--had said this about the future.

"A lot of people have said, 'Ok, look, they fire Jim Zorn, they give the job to defensive coordinator Greg Blache.' Not so fast. I think it's probably more likely that they would go to secondary coach Jerry Gray. He's 14 years younger, and I just think he's more of an energetic presence for this team right now. But Dan Snyder I believe has decided that he hired the wrong guy when he got Jim Zorn."

This last supposition would certainly explain why Jerry Gray has been given the weekly duty of speaking to the media on behalf of the defense, I guess.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 18, 2009; 9:03 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Scenes From the Burgundy Revolution: Chiefs
Next: ESPN Speculates on Zorn's Successor


No surprise that Vinny has asked Zorn to give up the play calling. But, isn't Zorn the offensive mind Vinny hired originally as the Offensive coordinator. When does Vinny relinquish has day-to-day duties so someone else can concentrate on the mundane football stuff. has a pretty good idea for dealing with Vinny -

Posted by: andvines991 | October 18, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Nothing changes as long as Snyderrato is in charge. Bring in a real football man.

Conflicting reports though, was Snyder in the room for the conversation with Zorn? Meddlesome at best, no way JKC would be in that meeting

Posted by: jpfterps | October 18, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

It was obvious from the start that Zorn had wanted to be an HC and an OC so bad that he was willing to make a deal with the devil to get there.

And now he's paying for doing so by dying the death of a thousand cuts. Slowly, Snyder is eviscerating him in public. The coup de gras will come all too late to salvage the Redskin's season. More important to Snyder is the punishment dealt to ensure Zorn's humiliation.

With that, an interim coach (Jerry?) will be announced and a deal will be worked out for a headline coach currently in retirement. If Snyder is desperate enough, don't be surprised if he brings in a Shannahan or Holmgren with a deal to allow them to also affect personnel decisions. Without such a deal on the table, none of those players will even talk to Snyder because of the Front Offices (well earned) reputation of talent-selection failure.

Meanwhile, Zorn will twist slowly in the wind like a Nixon Plumber until Snyder is done playing with him.

Or, Zorn could just commit suicide by standing up to Napoleon Snyder as Dungee recommended. It would at least cut out a lot of the drama and trauma that Snyder feasts on.

Posted by: skinssox01 | October 18, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of hearing people say Vinny should be fired.

Firing is too good for him.

Let me be the first to say he should be drawn and quartered, beheaded, disembowelled, and his head stuck on a pike in front of the stadium.

Posted by: farstriker | October 18, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

My brother in law called me 4 3 free tix. I have been a skins fan 4 all my life (30) years. I figured this might be my only chance 2 see the skins in a game that counted after all these years all the skins glory. As a life long skins fan I don't blame all the haters. I really don't know no who to blame....snyeder maybe vinny. The only thing I do know is that we need a new owner who is willing to give control to a very smart gm ie the patriots ie nyg ie pittsburg. Skins fans are the best nfl fans that is why there is so much negativity read everywhere coz we only want what's best 4 the burgundy and gold! When you consider our glory days mainly the 80s and early 90s it was because we knew how to draft (good gm bobby beathard charlie casserly) and we had an owner who knew when to hold em and when 2 fold em jack kent cooke). Throw in guys that weren't overpaid and hungry and that equals 3 superbowl champions.. I do believe campbell will succeed just not in a west coast offense. I do believe zorn is a good coach just not a head coach only more along the lines of what he was..a qb coach. The redskins are years away from being good again because of 10 years of not drafting or not having any picks. Who is to blame 4 that?? Hmmm. Snyder cerrato. Just look at the picks the nyg s have made the past decade and u will understand why they are a success and why washington is not. I am not a giants fan in the slightest I bleed burgundy and gold but just look at the way they are run from top to bottom.. coughlin is not the best or brightest coach so it obviously starts from the top!! Anyways thank god I didn't drive 6 hours 2 see my beloved skins get another shi#$y loss that we can blame on the higher ups...oh yeah what the f happened 2 the beloved band?? Probably another great snyserato move! Hail 2 the redskins

Posted by: davetoobs146 | October 18, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

@ skinssox01

You nailed it. I hope Zorn takes a stand - though he would never be hired in the NFL again. Not that he really has a chance of that anyways. Go down swinging, I say.

Posted by: ThisGuy | October 18, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have Mark Cuban email add?

Posted by: fushezzi | October 18, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

As Al Pacino's character said in Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday" (one of the best football movies ever): "The question is, can you win or lose like a man?"

Zorn has to man up if he wants to have a chance. At this stage, with him taking it like a whipped dog instead, the players won't play for him.

Sure, the offense may talk it up like they are behind him, but their play on the field contradicts their words. It has become painfully obvious from watching them and from the numbers that they are putting up that the offense has thrown in the towel.

Man up Zorn. Go out with your boots on. You owe it to the fans, to the players, and, especially, to yourself.

Posted by: skinssox01 | October 18, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

We suck! Does it really matter who calls the plays. Cerrato hired Zorn to call the plays to begin with. It's time for Vinny to go!

Posted by: mole | October 18, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Snyder is right that he hired the wrong guy. But it wasn't Zorn, it was VINNY.

Look, we can all see that Zorn is overmatched, but that was Vinny's hire. Also on Vinny's list of acquisitions: Thomas, Kelly, Davis, Mike Williams, Heyer, Will Montgomery, Jason Campbell and every other joke player that's on this awful team.

If Snyder had a REAL GM in here, it would be that guy's job to pick a head coach and we'd go from there. Look at how they do it in Indy. Look at how they do it in Pittsburgh. Look at how they do it in New York.

What do those teams have in common? How about that they won the past 4 Super Bowls!


Posted by: drischord | October 18, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: SOLVBACK | October 18, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Bring The Titans next, we'll show them how they can get their first win.

Posted by: Patch | October 19, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Snyder should be a happy man now with a fluffer as GM and a eunuch as Head Coach

Posted by: mdrockjock | October 19, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Zorn is a nice guy but is not qualified to be a head coach or offensive coordinator in the NFL. He should do whatever he has to get as many paychecks as he can. It might be awhile before he gets another gig.

Let Bugel be interim headcoach if they fire Zorn. He's got the experience and is the only one really doing his job in the organization. Fire Blache and everyone else. Keep Bugel. Its not like we are going to win any more games this season. Let's get the first pick in the draft next year.

Posted by: neil64 | October 19, 2009 4:11 AM | Report abuse

Not a bad move in my mind. As I've said before in these blogs, the head coach should concentrate on game/clock management, oversight of the O- and D- coordinators, chain of command and communication issues, and game time adjustment issues.

When Zorn was given the head coach job, he vacated the O-coordinator job. That means hire an OC who can call plays!

And for God's sake, stop playing with the big blue balls in practice.

Posted by: hz9604 | October 19, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Once the $nyder Stink gets on you, ain't no amount of skunk removal potion can get it off you...Spurrier is still tainted, Pettibone no longer watches football, Robiske got as high as Interim HC twice but won't ever get a HC shot, Marty doesn't even get considered for jobs now, Norv has consistently been his shaky self and Gibbs left Football period for the less stressful sport of NASCAR!!

Coaches should avoid the Danny like the swine flu...D1S1 virus

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 19, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse


Sign the petition to get rid of Snyder!
Redskins Petition
and tell every Redskin fan you know to sign the petition.

Posted by: mattphillips | October 19, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

FIRE VINNY! How many times do we have to say it? That was God AWEFUL what I saw yesterday! I only bought NFL Sports Package so I can see my Redskins since I moved from the Wash. Metro area. No one(a real coach) is coming to DC until the Tyrant (Mr. Snyder) comprehends that He doesn't know anything about football just marketing which He does well. How else can you have the most humiliating team in the NFL and yet be the 2nd most lucrative? Hire a real GM Mr. Snyder and macromanage not micromanage. My 12 yr old son wonders how can anybody be a Redskin fan? I told him we were good; but it goes back to the 80's and early 90's; ofcourse He says that's ancient History! Again this isn't rocket science! We don't need to recreate the wheel just pattern, NY Giants, Pitt, N.E., Balt., (now ATL & NO), and Parcells is starting to build Miami who will eventually be a playoff team for years. Wherever Parcells has been He builds and leave a team set to be competitive or a playoff team for years. The GM are out there Mr. have the one of those front office and let them put a Superbowl product on the field and build for the future. Hopefully next year we won't have a salary cap and you can do it!

Posted by: anointedebony | October 19, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh Whoa is me. As an Iggles fan the Deadskins are the last team I want to see them play. When our QB is bad he's really bad like the Deadskins QB. If you saw the Raiders/Eagles game you know how bad the Eagles really are. McNabb calling timeouts when they don't have them, not being able to run a 2 minute drill. Our O'line is decimated like the Deadskins O'line. When they play the "Who Sucks Worse Bowl" next game, Deadskins fans better hope they don't win. Because that'll mean Zorn will be back for another week.

Posted by: billm32 | October 19, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse


Trying to be head coach, call plays and design the offensive game plan, and be the QB way to much. It would be too much for a proven coach!! Vinny failed to draft players according to the real needs of this team. All in all over the last 7 years..his bad drafts and player signings far outweigh any positives.
Actually, I can`t recall the positives!
Zorn has to make the best of it..and he hasn`t done so. JC being a perfect example. Zorn`s ego told him he could create a very good starting QB in JC. Around the league most who know, feel he is a back up at best. He has bad mechanics, holds the ball too long, has poor footwork, does not read the field quickly, and is not an accurate passer. He should have brought Collins in by the end of last year. 2007 draft..3 blown number 2 picks. Could have drafted 2 O linemen..and maybe a QB? they obviously had little faith in he only got mop up duties.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | October 19, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"You can't coach scared," Patrick said.

"You can't," Dungy agreed.

How about he just can't coach period!

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 19, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

For crying out loud, Zorn needs to get some balls. I would never give up play calling like that. If the boss has no confidence in you, then resign like a man, not make this pussy move.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 19, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

davetoobs146: Why can't you write like a normal human being?

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 19, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Fail wretched Deadskins!
Fail miserably!
Braves dropping passes,
Blight on old D.C.!

Run or pass and punt -- curse the little runt!
Trip ‘em, Clip ‘em,
Hold ‘em! – Let out a grunt!
Pile on, pile on, It’s so much fun
To shame Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

Fail wretched Deadskins!
Fail miserably!
Braves dropping passes,
Blight on old D.C.!

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 19, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"And with the first pick in the 2010 draft, the Washington Redskins select ... a 5'4" wide receiver!"

Posted by: rw-c | October 19, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

adrienne i posted from my cell phone fool

Posted by: davetoobs146 | October 19, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company