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Zorn shares your concern about the playclock

One of the most frequent concerns I've heard over the addition of Sherm Lewis into the smoothly functioning Redskins offensive machinery is that this might add a few seconds to the smoothly functioning playcalling routine, leading to timeouts and/or delay of game penalties and/or confusion.

"Now there's an added step," explained Larry Michael on Tuesday's Redskins Nation: "The call comes down to you, you've got to call it in, there's only so much time on the play clock, any concern there?"

"Uh, yes," Jim Zorn said in response. "And it has to do with the playcaller, just being quick. And so we'll see what happens there."

Dandy. That inspires confidence. Even Larry Michael seemed unsure, returning to the subject later, when he was on set by himself.

"I really don't know how this is gonna work in terms of the timing of the play clock," he said. "That's gonna be something very interesting. Because you're adding a step to the calling of the play. It'll come from upstairs to Zorn on the sidelines [though now apparently it'll be Sherm Smith], to Jason Campbell on the field. Now a lot of times, if the coach is having to decide what the play is, maybe some indecision, that play clock is ticking away, ticking away. Then if you have motion involved with that offensive play that you have to get in before the playclock expires, it's gonna be very interesting to see the mechanics of how this works on Monday night."

As always, if Larry Michael is worried, you should be terrified.

I should note, by the way, that even though there at least 17 posts I wanted to make today, mostly involved transcribed Redskins interviews, I instead spent five hours in line to get my daughter an H1N1 vaccine nasal mist thing. It was really great fun. Since I'm now agonizingly behind schedule, I thought I'd go ahead and put out Tuesday's most important quote.

"You know, people say I'm the minister of propaganda here for the Redskins," Michael said. "But I'll tell you what, I love being here, I love being around these guys. Yes, it's been tough. And obviously the rest of the media loves watching this show. Because they haven't had an original idea over the last 20 years, they watch Redskins Nation, they get ideas, so we help them as well."

This had me feeling guilty for taking so many posts from simply transcribing his show. So for this one, I'll not only transcribe some dialog, but I'll add additional dialog, as if I were actually sitting on set with them! An Original Idea! First time in 20 years!

Michael: "What a busy day it's been for you, busy couple of days."

Zorn: [Nods head.]

Bog: Yeah, in the same way those first few days of August of '74 were busy days for Nixon.

Zorn: "We're game-planning right now, we're gonna help out in every way we can. You know, there's a few things [Sherm Lewis] knows, and there's a lot of things that he's trying to get up to speed on, and here it comes on Monday night. It'll be interesting."

Michael: "It will be."

Bog: So was the sinking of the Titanic.

Michael: "Well, for those of us who are in the building, we know that the team here is behind this head coach. How does it make you feel, with everything that's gone on over the last couple of weeks, to know after talking to your players that they are so firmly behind you that we can't even mention on the air how strongly they are behind you? How does that make you feel?"

Zorn: "Well, it just makes me feel tremendous that we're actually getting our message out and they have confidence in what we're doing. Also, what's amazing about it is, it's the character of our team. I haven't had to beg for that. I haven't had to sit and say, 'C'mon guys, help me out.' It's just the guys, they really do want to win. We've gotten a consistent message, they know that we're in it with them, and it's not just me. It really is our coaches. And if we had a bunch of slappies running around and not knowing what their jobs were and not how to do it, and they weren't coaching with the kind of enthusiasm and exactness that we're trying to put out, then I would say there'd be a lot of guys falling off. And yet losing wears on you."

Bog: Slappies? Also, if you're actually getting out your message, and coaching with enthusiasm and exactness, what in the world would happen if you stopped?

Zorn: "Our defense could say, 'Hey, after we do our job, why don't you guys do your job?' And there hasn't been any of that, there's been no infighting or anything like that, the guys are together."

Michael: "That's, I think, unique when you're talking about professional athletes, when you're talking about humans that are trying to work as a team. And half the unit isn't doing it, and there ISN'T any finger pointing. That's, I think, a special situation."

Zorn: "But here's the thing that I also realize, is that maybe infighting and maybe all the players being mad at each other or whatever, you know, if that could get us a win, it's almost tempting to say maybe, because we're not winning."

Bog: Maybe this show is too long.

Michael: "Kansas City Chiefs game, two minutes left in the game, muffed punt, you threw the challenge flag, and the referee said, I believe his announcement was that there was no clear possession. Well, if there's no clear possession, who gets the ball? What's the deal on that?"

Zorn: "The reason I threw the flag was our punter said, 'Coach, I came out with the ball.' The problem was when they looked in, they saw their guys have the ball, and that's when they made their decision. He said, 'You can challenge this, but we already made the decision that Kansas city had the ball.' And he said, 'You might want to pick that flag up, because it won't be conclusive.' And it has to be conclusive that we had the ball when they looked in that big scrum, and so I just meekly picked the flag back up and didn't lose my timeout."

Bog: Your 2009 Washington Redskins: Act Meekly and Carry a Red Flag.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 21, 2009; 3:14 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: Marcus Mason says Skins are Yankees of NFL

Comments

Just give Zorn a white flag, that'll make Goebbels (oops, I mean Larry) happy.

Posted by: Megskin | October 21, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Gold, Jerry. Gold.

Posted by: dpkennedy | October 21, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced that Larry Michael is a real person. I think he's the latest version of the Asimo robot from Honda that they just wheel out of his crate every weekday at 6 to host Redskins Nation.

Posted by: JohnnyRyde | October 21, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"And obviously the rest of the media loves watching this show. Because they haven't had an original idea over the last 20 years, they watch Redskins Nation, they get ideas, so we help them as well."


...Said the man who spent many years in "the media" before going to work for KCNA.

Posted by: 4-12 | October 21, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

That Larry Michael is the most insuferable excuse for a sports "journalist" I think I've ever come across. I'm convinced that his game day preparation consists of going to the owner's box so that Dan $nyder and Vinny Cerrato can take a dump on him. Honestly, when you read this guy's comments, can you not help but think that he is $nyder's personal toilet slave? And to think this worthless idiot stooge replaced Frank Herzog.

Somebody needs to tell Larry Michael that the consumption of human feces is not good for him. If he keeps gobbling up $nyder's stools at this rate, he'll be dead before the season is over.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | October 21, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What a farce.

Zorn is getting paid millions of dollars per year, and I actually feel sorry for him. You can just sense the possible coaches for next year falling away one by one.

Posted by: acoberst1 | October 21, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Coach Z is not even RELAYING plays now. It's Sherm back to sherm all night using david bowie's nipple antennae (Can you hear me loud and clear sherm? OOH YEAH SHERM!)

It's almost like Snyder has asbergers snydrome and is incapable of even understanding how his actions are percieved by others. If the current management structure stays in place, I really don't see how ANYONE would seriously consider coming here under any circumstances.

Then again, the prospect of Danny calling plays might just be worth it

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 21, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Question: Didn't Al Saunders call plays from the press box for Gibbs the last two years? The Gibbs 2 sideline wasn't a model of efficiency, but I don't recall the extra seconds being a huge problem--although maybe I'm wrong.

Not that the decision to have Sherm Lewis call plays is a good one--I'm just saying.

Posted by: TheFingerman | October 21, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, based on that lovely transcription, I'm glad my DirecTV has a blackout for Redskins Nation, but still lets me watch Washington Post Live out here in CA.

Posted by: dmorgan6617 | October 21, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced that Larry Michael is a real person. I think he's the latest version of the Asimo robot from Honda that they just wheel out of his crate every weekday at 6 to host Redskins Nation.

Posted by: JohnnyRyde | October 21, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse


Very funny!!!

Posted by: nojunk4me | October 21, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Question: Didn't Al Saunders call plays from the press box for Gibbs the last two years?

Sure, but he had a direct connection the quarterback and it was HIS SYSTEM, not someone elses. Gibbs could countermand a call and that could make for an inopportune call for a time-out. But this is a case of every pay being relayed ... because the play caller DOES NOT know the system and has only been around for a week or 2? Make sense to you yet? Sheesh.

The Gibbs 2 sideline wasn't a model of efficiency, but I don't recall the extra seconds being a huge problem--although maybe I'm wrong.

You clearly DO NOT understand what is going on and perhaps never will.

Posted by: periculum | October 21, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Periculum:

Hey, I wasn't saying the Sherm Lewis thing was smart. If you read my whole post I said, "Not that the decision for Sherm Lewis to call plays is a good one."

You actually answered my question--Al Saunders did call plays but he actually called them into the QB's headset, instead of going through Gibbs.

I was just saying that there are many other worse reasons than the time issue that Sherm Lewis calling plays is a bad idea: the fact that he doesn't know the system, that he doesn't know the players, that the players don't know him, that he just joined the team two weeks ago, that it completely emasculates the coach and that it implies that what's wrong with the offense is play calls instead of things like talent, system, etc. Those are all, in my opinion, better reasons why the Sherm Lewis decision is completely ridiculous than the possibility of a couple delay of game penalties.

Posted by: TheFingerman | October 21, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

If they signed a QB on a Sunday night they would probably not trust that he could learn the offense fast enough to start a week later, but they are actually deciding that they want a retired guy to come in cold and learn the offense well enough to call the plays. It's frickin bizarro world.

Posted by: themantoyou | October 21, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Jim Zorn could have easily solved the play calling dilemma by simply saying NO! to Cerrato when he brought up the subject. That would have forced them to fire him, he gets paid, and the Redskins would have to elevate one of the assistant coaches to head coach. Zorn saves some dignity and the Danny and is ass-wipe Vinny look even more the fool.

Posted by: jfoster13 | October 21, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Even if he calls A-19 (I think that's a bingo call), on 4th and goal, and it doesn't work, does that make it an inferior call to any of the failed goal line (both red zone and own goal line) calls that didn't work so far?
On the other hand, despite the fact that he doesn't "know" the team (not like we all know them), he might be adept at plugging in assets where they can prosper.

If not, the Redskins are no better off...oh and since no self-respecting quality coach will take the job, I'm throwing my hat into the ring.
I have as much O-coordinator/head coaching experience as Zorn did when he was hired each time.
So, Danny, why not let me convince you that you are a genius by hiring me?

Posted by: scheermadness | October 21, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

anyone think the Danny will ever comment on this latest farce? the skins are a national laughing stock. train wreck. joke. *insert other cliche here* I won't be watching Monday.

Posted by: theFlatman | October 21, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Larry Michael is just earning his money - the hard way. Sonny seems to be liking those checks too, as evidenced by his fierce loyalty to Danny Boy. It's a free country, and they can do what they want. That doesn't mean we listen to them. Larry Michael is I am sure a fine man. He just has the very public job of being Danny's shill.

Posted by: bfjam | October 21, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

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