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Zorn: "For me, practice helps a guy"

The Portis Practice debate briefly traveled from the Internet to the radio Tuesday afternoon, when Kevin Sheehan Thom Loverro asked Jim Zorn about the whole Portis diva thing on ESPN 980's "Jim Zorn Show." The great part about an NFL season is the unstoppable creation of 17 different soap opera debates, and this week's obviously revolves around Portis, his health, his practice habits, his diva-ness and his future. I don't have Sheehan's Loverro's exact question to Zorn, but the gist was like this: "There's a perception that Portis has unusual power and privilege, is that whole deal frustrating?"

"Well, I've been here a year and a half, and the things that I've been frustrated with is just that Clinton's been injured a bunch and hasn't been able to practice," Zorn said. "And for me, practice helps a guy, and Clinton's been held back because of the lack of being able to practice. So that's the only thing I see right now that is frustrating for all of us. And yet last week, [before] the game that he got his concussion, he did practice all week. But it was one of the first weeks he had done that...

"It does make a difference, to me, and I think athletes feel like they can just get put in a closet and I'll come out on Sunday and I'll play," Zorn continued. "And I don't know that Clinton feels that way. He has played pretty well at times when he hasn't practiced very much. He has. But I don't know how many athletes can really do that. It doesn't work for cohesiveness in a unit, in my mind. We just have to continue along and see how we progress with Clinton....

"We have some division games coming up, not just this ONE. This is not the last game of the season, so I want to make sure that we do right by him, and for our football team. That would be why I would doubt that I put him out there right now."

So fine, that's a punt. And not a fake punt fake field goal, either. Sometime, this decision is gonna have to be made, for real.

Up next: Playcalling. Is the Sherm Lewis experiment working?

"Well, I mean, we're moving the ball," Zorn said. "We've got our game plan in. The way we're doing it is working, and so we'll continue to do that."

And is Zorn increasingly comfortable with the arrangement? Listen, the man can't lie. He just can't.

"I think [Lewis] feels more comfortable in the preparation, he feels more comfortable because he knows the terminology, the way we're doing things," Zorn said, completely avoiding the question. "Sherman Smith is also calling the run game, but yet Sherm Lewis is making the decision when to run, and so it's working. Chris Meidt's up there helping with coverages and suggestions and things like that. I've chimed in in these critical situations, where I say, 'Hey, wait a minute, here's what I want, no I don't want that, I want this.' For however it's been going, it's worked.

"The comfort level," he said with a laugh, "I think I can call plays. And yet when I say that, I cringe, because Sherm, he's helping it go, he's making it go. And we are doing a good job, we are moving the ball, we are making first downs. It's what it is."

Finally, Zorn was asked about the rivalry with the Cowboys, a topic that was debated on the Redskins Insider Podcast this week. I still say it's one of the three best in the NFL, because some Redskins fans think the season can be redeemed merely by beating Dallas. I don't know how many other rivalries can combine the historical importance with that current passion. Zorn--who, amazingly, called the rivalry "hard-fought"--was asked when he learned about the rivalry.

"The day I became the head football coach here," he said. "I know it, I believe it, I believe in it. Nobody had to tell me. I had watched this rivalry for a lot of years....Even before I got here, I've been following this thing for a long time, and I know what it is to be in rivalries. As a player, being involved with Seahawks-Raiders, just a lot of dislike."

Kevin Sheehan suggested that Seahawks-Raiders just wasn't of the caliber of Redskins-Cowboys.

"Well it's longer, it's older, there's more involved," Zorn conceded. "But I will tell you what, after we were done playing the Raiders every single time, it didn't matter whether you won or lost, nobody was smiling."

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 17, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: Wise responds to Kornheiser, at long last

Comments

"the man can't lie"...he can't coach either! Unfortunately he's paid to coach.

Posted by: tundey | November 17, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

the fans aren't smiling much either Jim Zorn. we got away lucky when the Broncos starting QB goes down at halftime. we are feeling way too good about this team which pretty much got rolled the first half of that game.

good effort in the second half, but that was backups against backups really. and we squeaked out a win there. note who wasn't present for the win (or all the practices leading up to it this year)

keep Betts in dammit!

Posted by: greatteamdan | November 17, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Also, "For me, coaching helps a team."

Just keep punching me in the stomach, Zorn...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | November 17, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Zorn is so stubborn. He wants to "do right by [Portis]". He's not willing to switch gears to Betts who is obviously hungry and is doing a much better job. He's so stuck on "his guys" that he wont make meaningful changes. You can see this in the passing game also.

Posted by: REXskins | November 17, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

What the heck? Wise v. Kornheiser, please get on it! Some of us don't have access to radio at work. Need you!

Posted by: MarylanDChris | November 17, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the real issue here is that Portis' pockets are too straight for him to run effectively.

Betts' pockets, on the other hand, are much looser, allowing him to be more explosive and actually gain positive yardage.

It's pretty simple, and I hope someone clues Zorn in on this fact.

Posted by: dmorgan6617 | November 17, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Barno1,
You just can't get it right. Last week you picked the Redskins to win and then said you were just kidding and that they would lose. Maybe a week off will help you out my man.

Posted by: hessone | November 16, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse


Redskins will win out and go 10-6 and reach the playoffs. Ok everyone needed a good laugh.

I do think we'll beat Denver though. They're coming off a short week, we're coming off 1 game in 3 weeks. Team from out west playing in east at 1:00. Plus the fact that they have been playing over their heads and we are desperate for a win. All signs point to a Redskins victory on Sunday.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 9, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse


Hessone, maybe a week off will help you remember things more accurately. I never said I was kidding about beating Denver.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 17, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

http://dansnydermustgo.com/content/portis-fallen-warrior

Posted by: tc2003 | November 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Any player who thinks he shouldn't practice with the rest of his unit is part of what's wrong with this organziation and no longer needs to be here.

So if you are that player, we the fans hope you will not be here next year. I never wanted you here in the first place and frankly can't wait to see you LEAVE.

Posted by: kevenjones | November 17, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

barno1 - don't let him get you down - hessone has his own version of reality. it isn't exactly accurate, but it suits him.

Posted by: funkey | November 17, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why people keep saying we got lucky. We beat the Broncos soundly. They had two plays that were due to blown coverages. Outside of that, the D allowed 3 points the rest of the game. Our offense moved the ball all day and we ran very well.

Posted by: cls3cls | November 17, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Hessone, maybe a week off will help you remember things more accurately. I never said I was kidding about beating Denver.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 17, 2009 2:45 PM |

Are you reposting this exchange on every blog over and over again? I swear I just saw it on Gawker. Act like you've been there Barno.

Posted by: mack1 | November 17, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the hot dogs!!!!!

Posted by: hessone | November 17, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse


Hessone, maybe a week off will help you remember things more accurately. I never said I was kidding about beating Denver.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 17, 2009 2:45 PM |

Are you reposting this exchange on every blog over and over again? I swear I just saw it on Gawker. Act like you've been there Barno.

Posted by: mack1

My mistake already Barno1. Take a deep breath. funkey, if your not dragging someone else into the fray your joining in to gang bang a person. Stay focused my man:

BOYCOTT $NYDER-FIRE CERRATO-DUMP DONOVAN!!!

Posted by: hessone | November 17, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Jim Zorn talks like a fool!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | November 17, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Jim Zorn talks like a fool!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | November 17, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Who does Zorny think he's fooling?

He does little more than hold the 'Challenge' flag. He holds a folder with some sheets of paper and flips thru them as though he's doing something...meanwhile, 1 Sherm runs runs, the other runs passes.

What does he actually do?

Hopefully he can do whatever it is again for Dallass

Posted by: kahlua87 | November 17, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Seahawks Raiders??!! Are you kidding me? Never heard that one before. Ive heard chiefs raiders,packers vikings, pats colts, steelers ravens... I still think we got the best rivalry.

Posted by: bbachrac | November 17, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

hessone - i just find it amusing to see others discovering your inconsistencies. stay off the hotdpogs, pal - you guys earned that win for zorn sunday! ha ha ha ha

Posted by: funkey | November 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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