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Zorn Returns to Form

There were no huge headlines coming out of the Jim Zorn press conference today. It was certainly a complete departure from a week ago, when he was sweating a bit, addressing primarily questions about his future and his relationship with management and ownership.

Zorn was his usual self, telling stories about how after one practice he pretended to get completely stiff and then plopped over into the fetal position while talking to the players about detrimental it can be to play "tight." (Of that speech, Zorn said, "While I was on the ground in the fetal position, our players were thinking, 'Okay, he's lost it.'")

Zorn was more upbeat,but he's still far from pleased with the scoring by his offense, which scored only one TD for the fourth straight game. (They have seven offensive touchdowns in the past seven games, which helps explain the 2-5 slide.) However, Zorn was very pumped to get a win over a division foe and win the home finale.

"My spirits were lifted because the players didn't give up on the season," Zorn said.

Despite the lack of scoring, Zorn said he felt like "we were still moving the ball in chunks." He attributed some of the stalled drives to penalties and untimely sacks.

Zorn said he does not intend to give more minutes to some of his younger reserves to or draft picks who have not been able to get on the field. His priority is finishing the season with two straight wins and a 9-7 record, which would equal last season's mark.

"I'm not going to experiment," Zorn said, adding, "We can experiment during the preseason."

He praised the defense, particularly the secondary, for another strong performance. The Redskins were frequently in nickel or dime defenses Sunday and kept the Eagles bottled up. Corners DeAngelo Hall and Shawn Springs in particular made great plays on the ball, breaking up passes. Safeties LaRon Landry and Chris Horton were physical forces; Landry and Fred Smoot combined on a huge play at the goal line to prevent the game from going to overtime.

Two dropped passes by Eagles rookie wide receiver DeSean Jackson also were large, including one on which he got behind Hall in the end zone but failed to make the catch. "It looked like we were in big trouble," Zorn said.

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 22, 2008; 2:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

Great,

That's right don't worry about getting your future guys in game experience. Just keep playing thrash so you can equal last years record because that will help us with the, oh right nothing.

Posted by: Gweez | December 22, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps a few designed roll out plays would give JC enough time to make down field passes and counter the blitzes...

Posted by: siris | December 22, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

They have seven offensive touchdowns in the past seven games, which helps explain the 2-5 slide.

By Jason La Canfora | December 22, 2008; 2:30 PM ET

This is profound. "The reason we lost is because the other team scored more points than we did."

Posted by: talent_evaluator | December 22, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

so help me, if Thrash gets hurt, and we can't get a 1st round pick in a trade because of his injury, I'm gonna be pissed.......

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 22, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Thrash on one leg is still a 2nd round pick, don't worry about it.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's job is on the line as much as any "fringe" guys we need to evaluate. No problem with him doing whatever it takes to win (in his mind). I just happen to wish that he believed Kelly gives the team a better shot than Thrash...

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

He had ample time/protection most of the day and couldn't get it done.

What, exactly do you consider "ample time/protection?" because from what I saw, it was no such thing. It was slightly *better* than it has been the last 7 games, but it was by no stretch of the imagination "ample."

I swear that we Redskins fans have no idea what terms like "ample protection" even mean anymore...

Watch a few other teams in this league and then come back to me with what "ample time" means...

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 22, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Two things missing from today's posts that seem to have been keys to our win yesterday.

1) DeAngelo Hall and our secondary having another good day. We cut Leigh Torrence when we got DeAngelo Hall when we upgraded our 3rd corner.

2) Special teams play. Someone who writes articles here says Leigh Torrence made our special teams.


Hrm.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that Campbell has been staring down receivers a lot more than he was earlier in the year. He really seems to lock on to one guy now.

Posted by: Original_etrod | December 22, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, let's go ahead and play guys who basically admit they just can't adapt to or get a system that is exponentially easier than Al Saunder's complex "Air Coryell" variation. Let's go ahead and play guys who can't understand the blocking scheme and break something on your starting QB so that he is out until the middle part of next season.

Sometimes Jason seems so enlightened then at other times I can only shake my head ruefully. Dude IT IS NOT conservative offense ala Gibbs. Gibbs like any other good coach adapted his schemes to the players he had. You seem to instead, be thinking of George Allen who signed John Riggins and relegated him exclusively to BLOCKING FOR MIKE THOMAS! He never went out on passing plays! Put the best pure passer in the game (an HOF member) on the bench so that he could play so conservative you would be lucky to see a passing play. AND HE DID Have talent he could use.

Gibbs lit up the sky when he had the talent. Many times over.

Zorn is using the the talent ( or lack thereof) in the best possible way. Even you (Jason JLC) have seen that and commented on that. Right now the OL is suspect. Portis is less than average. The have only 2 pass receivers of any consequence. And they have 3 worthless rookies.


"That's right don't worry about getting your future guys in game experience. Just keep playing thrash so you can equal last years record because that will help us with the, oh right nothing.
Posted by: Gweez | December 22, 2008 2:37 PM"

Posted by: periculum | December 22, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

If the Redskins continue to struggle the next few years, everyone will go back and pinpoint the 2008 draft. While the jury is still out on this class, it has Vinny's fingerprints all over it (which isn't good). We had a tremendous opportunity to stock up with young talented depth (LB, OL, etc) and we failed to identify these glaring needs. Given our past record of few draft picks & '09's bleak number...the 10 draft picks in '08 could prove to be very costly to this organization's goal of becoming an annual play-off contender.

Posted by: forever21 | December 22, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

VT & LH - Roger Craig is a HOFer and SA37 had one highlight year in '05 who we exposed in the playoffs.

What team has succedd in the WCO w/o big time HOFers? None.

F Schemes. We are keeping Zorn AND Vinny, so why argue that point?

If Zorn dosen't adjust this so-called WCO to his team and get the players that make plays on the field, he's no good and will be out of here next year (maybe with Vinny as well).

And if JC17 dosen't stop pumping the ball and just throw it, he'll be out of here next year.....

Posted by: DaReal4th | December 22, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheTruth11


"The defensive backs stood out again, playing a very physical game."

"Corners DeAngelo Hall and Shawn Springs in particular made great plays on the ball, breaking up passes."

"Ryan Plackemeier had an outstanding game punting, the coverage was tight"


More examples of people believing what they want to believe.

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Two things missing from today's posts that seem to have been keys to our win yesterday.


2) Special teams play. Someone who writes articles here says Leigh Torrence made our special teams.


Hrm.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Truth,

Since Torrence was cut it is no longer referred to as "Special Teams" it's either called Average Teams or just "Teams" if you are into that whole brevity thing.

Posted by: Gweez | December 22, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse


"You know people are delirious when they think Clinton Portis is even close to being a problem with this offense. 1,407 yards, 4.5 YPC, 8 TDs. All on an offense that can't throw the ball anywhere close to down the field, and with an offensive line that has been spotted as the consensus #1 weakness of this team.

Posted by: psps2"

I don't think it's delirium to suggest that Portis isn't nearly as good as some RI posters think he is. For the record, I loved Portis. Back when I used to play fantasy football, I drafted him #1 and #4 overall in two drafts. But even I can see that he's not the same back that he was when he got here.

As you admitted, Portis doesn't have breakaway speed, and he's not a power back. Most importantly, he's led the league in carries more than once and he's not getting any younger.

The best teams don't wait until a key player completely falls apart before they find someone to take his place. The best teams plan ahead. If good personnel people ran the Redskins, they would have drafted a potential replacement for Portis last season (unless they think Betts can replace him). That failing, it wouldd be nice if they had even a backup that could occasionally turn a 12-yard run into a 60-yard touchdown.

Posted by: jcabana | December 22, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

sounds like the 12th man on our defense was desean jackson ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"And if JC17 dosen't stop pumping the ball and just throw it, he'll be out of here next year.....

Posted by: DaReal4th"

He could just gun it like he did to a double-covered Santana Moss in the endzone. Something tells me the people here wouldn't be so happy if he started doing that. You think the offense looks bad now? Imagine what it would look like with even a slightly more turnover prone QB.

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Some of the people up here crack me up.

They don't just want a good Redskins team, they want the 1975 Steelers.

They'll be waiting a long time for that.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | December 22, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Youre kidding about Thrash, right?

We have about FIVE guys on the whole team that have any trade value at all. Thrash is not one of them.

Posted by: Rypien11 | December 22, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"More examples of people believing what they want to believe.

Posted by: psps23"

No I just didn't read the articles and was looking for a Leigh Torrence joke.

But funny when it's something negative, it's because we cut Leigh Torrence, but when it's positive, it's just positive.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"The best teams don't wait until a key player completely falls apart before they find someone to take his place. The best teams plan ahead.

Posted by: jcabana"

I can agree with that. Unfortunately the skins are so far behind in that category that they're unable to plan ahead. They have to simply replace whoever is failing now. And Portis is not failing. Not even close. The only positions of less concern to the Redskins should be the DBs and TE. That's it.

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Gweez, you're right

my mistake

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

They don't just want a good Redskins team, they want the 1975 Steelers.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | December 22, 2008 3:02 PM

I'm pretty sure that many would settle for the 2005 Steelers.

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Zorn Blows! The guy should be doing more than 7 offensive td's in 7 games. He can speak ever so charmingly but his west coast system is not cutting it in the worst ways. Many teams around the league score much more with less. KC, Miami, Balt, ATL, MINN, TB, CHI. These teams have far less talent and depth yet their schemes maximize their production more than's Zorn's. He does nothing with the defense and the running game was supposedly kept in place. He is directly 100% responsible for the offensive passing game and it stinks. He needs to go. Remember Spurrier? It was obvious after year 1 he was a fraud and they were stupid to give him year 2. Don't do the same with Zorn. Get him out and bring in someone else.

Posted by: gbanian1 | December 22, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

DeSean Jackson, the fake Santana that 80% of RI Bloggers have been clamouring for us to draft instead of Kelly Thomas, was scared to catch the ball after being lit up by Landry TWICE and Hall once.


Remember that he went into the locker room due to some bruised ribs?? He wasn't going to anything from that point on to help the eagles win. He's only a rookie....

Posted by: DaReal4th | December 22, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

... We have about FIVE guys on the whole team ...

Posted by: Rypien11 | December 22, 2008 3:03 PM

Mmmmmmmmm ... Fiiiiiiiiive Guys ...

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I fell asleep right before gametime and I had a dream I woke up and saw Cooley catch a pass, run 5-7 yards, drop it, and accidently kick it like 10-15 yards, then fall on it to recover it.


it was a weird game, then I woke up like 30 minutes later and looked for the game, but it wasn't on TV down here. I was confused.

The Truth hurts.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's job is on the line as much as any "fringe" guys we need to evaluate. No problem with him doing whatever it takes to win (in his mind).

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 2:49 PM

Plus Zorn does watch these guys in practice everyday and we don't. Just maybe he knows something that we don't?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | December 22, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I think that, in the off-season, we ought to bring in an NFL-calibre receivers coach. Clearly, Stan Hixon isn't cutting it. I wondered about that move the day Gibbs brought him in, and I have a feeling he is among the main reasons for a lack of production/development in the receivers.

I agree with the sentiments alluded to here about Thrash. He's a gamer on Special Teams, but that's all. As long as he's on the roster, there will be a temptation to put him in the game at wideout, and that is nothing but a liability. Defensive coaches probably love to see him on the field.

Posted by: Carl739 | December 22, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Truth,

Stop eating magic mushrooms on Sunday.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 22, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Never too early for a mock draft ... as well as mockery of mock drafts ... has Kyper put on his hair yet?

http://www.newerascouting.com/home/1705-2009-first-round-mock-draft/

They said guard, I say defensive tackle. Agree to disagree.

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Wanted to give some dap to the defense and G. Blache. Even without a pass rush, the Washington's managed to hold the Philadelphia's to only 3 points! Honestly, I had the eagles putting a 30 burger on the skins last night. It almost give me a little chubby to think what would it be like to have a couple stud D-linemen.

Posted by: REDneckSKINhead | December 22, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

one round mock drafts = fail

duly noted, Alex

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"And if JC17 dosen't stop pumping the ball and just throw it, he'll be out of here next year.....

Posted by: DaReal4th"

He could just gun it like he did to a double-covered Santana Moss in the endzone. Something tells me the people here wouldn't be so happy if he started doing that. You think the offense looks bad now? Imagine what it would look like with even a slightly more turnover prone QB.

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 3:01 PM

If that's the case, than you should be clamoring for Zorn to lose his job now. Every other team seems to be able to move the ball down the field and score but us.

Posted by: DaReal4th | December 22, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Vote Vinnie Cerrato to the Hall of Fame. Maybe then he will leave

Posted by: cerrato_bites | December 22, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I love that Zorn is happy about picking up yards in big chunks but not scoring points. Haven't we seen this all year. The skins are great until they reach the opponents 25 yard line and the all we do is seem to go backward from there or not gain another yard and then miss the field goal. Giving up 14 to the Giants, 19 to the rams, 17 to the bungles, and you cant win. Pathetic. I was sickened this year by us controlling time of possession, tallying up twice as many yards on offense than our opponents and somehow be losing at halftime. How in the hell does that happen

Posted by: Skins281 | December 22, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

We need a good quarterback. Jason isn't it, the line needs help. We need to spread the defense.
Have not had "it" since the early 90's.

Posted by: jphilipj | December 22, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

My 2 cents:
The O-line is the problem. Early in the year, they were knocking down the D-line and Portis had plenty of running room. Late in the year, they were getting stood up and knocked back. Sellers tried twice at the goal line and was stuffed. Thomas and Rabach have been blown up and forcing Portis deep on sweeps. Jansen has all kinds of problems in pass protection. It's not the scheme: guys are rarely coming free. It's the line not executing.

My theory is that they're old. Early in the year they're fresh and do well, but as the season goes on they wear down, get knicked, and don't heal as quickly as a 20 year old. The Redskins need to address O-line, specifically center and guards in the upcoming draft. Hopefully Heyer and Samuels can hold down the tackle spots, and Rheinhart will be good enough to start at guard, so they need to draft only 2 potential starters.

Devin Thomas can play. Malcolm Kelly needs to figure out that when the ball is thrown to you, you need to make the supreme effort to catch it. He's only going to get 2 or 3 a game until he proves himself. Thomas figured that out.

Nice block by Sleepy Davis yesterday de-cleating the the linebacker. Gotta take those when you can get them. It wasn't a cheap shot, just a good clean hit.

Philphy-delphia is the dirtiest team in the league. I saw at least 2 helmet-to-helmet shots that looked deliberate, one on JC and another on Moss, that should earn fines from the league office.

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 22, 2008 2:12 PM

I can't believe it; someone has some sense on JLC's blog. The Skins have a bunch of offensive lineman, most of them over the age of 31. They're not going to make it through the entire season. Examples look at the Ravens starting unit. Center Jason Brown 4th year and drafted in the 4th round. LT Jared Gaither 2nd year, drafted in 5th round supplemental draft. LG Ben Grubbs 2nd year, 1st round pick. RG Chris Chester 3rd year, 2nd round pick. Finally RT Willie Anderson 13th season, free agent. Look at all those draft picks spent on offensive lineman.

A lot of fans on this blog are screaming to ax Zorn and Campbell. There's more to a football team then just a head coach and a QB. I guess Vinny C and the fans think alike. I'm happy Zorn has the chance to go 9-7 and be the head coach next season. I'm happy Campbell will be the QB next season. Hopefully Thomas, Kelly and Davis will get there s!!! together next season. I just pray the front office knows what this team needs next season to help out the offense and it ain't a new HC or QB.

Posted by: trueredskinsfan | December 22, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"With the first pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, The Detroit Lions select...Matthew Stafford, quarterback, University of Georgia."

"With the twenty-first pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, The Detroit Lions select...Knowshon Rockwell Moreno, running back, University of Georgia."


The Detroit Lions = The Truth's 2nd favorite NFL team if so

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Guard as the need but Tackle. Silly me.

But knowing Vinny it will be a trade back (he was saying he will probably trade down a bit if he does not see anyone they really want.)

Posted by: alex35332 | December 22, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Have not had "it" since the early 90's.

Posted by: jphilipj | December 22, 2008 3:19 PM

I know how you feel ... and getting married hasn't helped me much. Keep working your lines, behaving real gentlemanly, and you will get "it" again in the 10's!

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Didn't we win yesterday? Where are all these little nebish worms coming from to tell us how bad it is and that it will never get better? And what would they say if we'd lost yesterday?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | December 22, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"The skins are great until they reach the opponents 25 yard line and the all we do is seem to go backward from there or not gain another yard and then miss the field goal. ... I was sickened this year by us controlling time of possession, tallying up twice as many yards on offense than our opponents and somehow be losing at halftime. How in the hell does that happen?

Posted by: Skins281 | December 22, 2008 3:19 PM"

Not sure, but since this was a common lament during much of the Gibbs 2.0 era, it's possible that it's the players, not the coach (not saying you were calling for Zorn's head or anything).

Posted by: asdf5 | December 22, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

And what would they say if we'd lost yesterday?

Posted by: talent_evaluator

Some would be saying nothing as the sleeping pills and vodka make it hard to talk.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 22, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

TE, we lost to the Bengals and the Rams dude.

We suck.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Simply put, after 6 weeks of meaningful games, where we lost 5, we play a game that has no meaning ... and win. Tends to leave one a bit jaded.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

TE, we lost to the Bengals and the Rams dude.

We suck.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 3:31 PM

We're 8-7, going on 9-7. We don't suck. But, we're not getting any, either. We're just what the coach said: medium. Not too cold, but not hot enough.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | December 22, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Since I live here in ATL. it has been a rough day, co-workers asking who do the Skins play in the opening round of the playoff's and then snickering and saying oh that's right they're not in the playoff's damn,damn,damn!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 22, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"I can agree with that. Unfortunately the skins are so far behind in that category that they're unable to plan ahead. They have to simply replace whoever is failing now. And Portis is not failing. Not even close. The only positions of less concern to the Redskins should be the DBs and TE. That's it.

Posted by: psps23"

Did you know that some teams draft a running back almost every year? Not necessarily a high-round pick - but they might grab one late with potential, just in case they get lucky. The only thing stopping the REdskins from doing that is the fact that they trade away RBs each year.

That said, I have to agree with you. At this point, the 'Skins have to walk (i.e. become a good team) with personnel issues before they can run.

Posted by: jcabana | December 22, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Simply put, after 6 weeks of meaningful games, where we lost 5, we play a game that has no meaning ... and win. Tends to leave one a bit jaded.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 3:34 PM

Maybe I'm missing something, but I enjoyed that win yesterday as much as any win we've had this season. I thought that was a great game, filled with exciting plays and with the result in doubt to the last seconds. And it came at a time when we wondered whether the 'Skins could ever win again.

And I don't get "meaningless." If we can beat the Eagles, and make them look really bad at the same time, that sure means something to me.

You know, there are 52 weeks in a year and we only have 16, maybe 17 weeks with a 'Skins game. I love every one of them, regardless of the outcome. But to stick Donovan McNabb in the eye? That's priceless. To make DeSean Jackson Peter King's "Goat of the Week" means a lot to me.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | December 22, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

te, corky's been noticeably absent lately....considering the play of D-Jax, as well as his contention that the team quit already.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 22, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

We're 8-7, going on 9-7. We don't suck. But, we're not getting any, either. We're just what the coach said: medium. Not too cold, but not hot enough.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | December 22, 2008 3:34 PM

You crownin' the 'skins victor at San Fran, really? I guess they SHOULD beat the 49ers - Just like they were SUPPOSED to beat the Rams and Bengals.

Should've, couuld've, would've... supposed?

9ers are better than both of those teams, and they have been all year. AND the 9ers aren't the same team from week four.

Unfortunately we AREN'T either.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 22, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 22, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

TE ... not looking down on the win. But it was close to meaningless. 9-7 or 7-9 is pretty much the same record. Good enough to be in the hunt for much of the year, not good enough to play with the big kids.

The last 2 games of the season are about the future. Was there was something we learned yesterday about our young players?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs lit up the sky when he had the talent. Many times over.

Funny how people seemed to forget the 1983-84 team set a then NFL record for points scored in a season; how many times in 1991-92 did the 'Skins score 30 or more points in a game? As much of a 'smash-mouth' reputation the 'Skins of that era had, they still had the PLAYERS to put points on the board. Have we forgotten that magical 2nd Quarter in SB XXI?

Players, players, players; When the 'Skins have players, they'll win.

Posted by: pdfordiii | December 22, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

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