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Players know Zorn doesn't have total control

I've made a pledge that this week won't be all about transcribed Redskins interviews, and in fact right now I'm on my way to Wizards practice to do some actual work about a team with an actual winning record. But I ran out of time last week before I could post some interesting thoughts from Skins offensive coordinator Sherm "Not That Sherm" Smith, so here they are.

Smith's weekly interview with Comcast SportsNet's Kelli Johnson again touched on the decision to yank the play-calling duties from Jim Zorn, and while these are all things you'd have been able to surmise on your own, it's kind of interesting to hear a coach say them on the record.

"There's a problem, so how do we fix the problem?" Smith said of the offensive malaise. "We've tried to fix it in many different ways: bring in a consultant, have him call plays, all that other stuff. I think it's a distraction. You know, I think you stay true to the course, and if you believe you're doing the right stuff, you just stay consistent and keep emphasizing it. But we want to make changes, so I think when you do that, it's a distraction."

This "we" in "we want to make changes," I think, doesn't necessarily include members of the coaching staff. In other words, it seems like staff morale is probably pretty high.

"Does it affect Jim Zorn's ability to lead this team?" Johnson asked. "Because I know, talking to some of the players, when Joe Gibbs was here, there was no question. He was in control. He was calling the shots. Is there an effect there?"

"Well, it has to be, I think, when guys know that a guy doesn't have total control," Smith said. "I mean, no one has total control except God himself. But control of the football team, the decisions that impact how we do things as far as the Redskins are concerned, [yeah], I think it affects you. Guys know that he's not the bottom line, so I think it affects how he leads in some manners. But I think guys still respect him and understand he's doing the best that he can under the circumstances."

"Not the bottom line;" that's a hell of a line you could use on your head coaching resume, huh? As is "best that he can under the circumstances."

"How hard has this been on Jim Zorn?" Johnson finally asked. "I mean, you're probably one of the closest to him. Going through this and helping him manage with the new play-calling duties?"

"Well, you know, it's hard, because I think he has a great deal of pride," Smith said. "And I think people that are successful in what they do do have--not the wrong kind of pride--but the type of pride that I do a good job. And I think he feels like he's been told, 'You weren't doing a good job,' and he felt that he was doing a good job.

"And so to have that responsibility taken away from you, it hurts. It would hurt anybody. It would be like telling a person, 'Ok, you're running a team, but you don't get to make any decisions. I'll tell you the decisions that you can make.' So I think he just feels that way, so he feels he wasn't the problem, it wasn't the play-calling, and I think that's disappointing."

Man, it really is time to move on to the Caps and Wizards; just reading these quotes makes me sad all over again.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 2, 2009; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Rolling Stone disses the Caps


Kudos to Zorn for putting up with the Snyder& mouthpiece vinny loser tandom.

Posted by: Max231 | November 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I must admit that it was nice to get away from the Redskins for the bye week –- because our Mondays have been overwhelmingly gloomy and depressing ever since the start of football season.

It's unfortunate that the team didn't use their time more productively -- to do such things as install a few new plays, work out a few offensive linemen, pick up a free agent quarterback, or anything else that might have improved their competitive position.

So as bad as some might think the first part of the season has been, we can only expect it to be even worse in the weeks ahead. Not that anyone at Redskin Park appears to get a damn about any of that.

The one bit of news that did come out during the bye week was the naming of Snyder's head lawyer David Donovan as the chief operating officer for the team

So in essence, the Redskins have basically promoted the guy who brought you the embarrassment of suing little old widows being sued for breach of contract –- along with the prohibition on signs and critically worded tee shirts at the stadium –- and who knows what besides?

So all in all, Redskin fans can continue to expect not only more of the same -- but even worse!

Posted by: Vic1 | November 2, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Love what you're doing Steinz! Keep it up!

Posted by: jonthefisherman | November 2, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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