Network News

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

Zorn Relates, With More Corn Than Porn

Rick Maese shares more from his recent interview with the Redskins' coach.

Last week, I was chatting with Jim Zorn about training camp. It was my first interview with him since I joined the Redskins beat, and in the middle of it, Randy Thomas wandered by. Player and coach shared a warm greeting and eventually found their way into a discussion about a car.

It sparked an interesting aside in my discussion with Zorn -- unexpected in parts, but also, I suspect, encouraging for Redskins fans.

"I love that about the players, when they feel comfortable talking about real things," Zorn explained. "Do I know about the cars? Absolutely. Why? Because I take a genuine interest in what these guys are involved in. The hunting of Casey Rabach. All the different things Clinton Portis is interested in - the costumes, the cars. They know I care."

I knew where he was going, and it's an interesting way to approach the job. Typically, you'll find position coaches more likely to take an active role in the lives and interests of their players. The head coach has too much to do, too many personalities to juggle. Zorn says he thinks it's an important part of his job, though.

"I think players fully expect me as a coach to be up-to-speed with what they're into. I try to do that with my kids. That's why my music interests are all over the place. I like to stay up-to-date with music because I think music drives some of our players, the dress, the culture. I try to stay up with that culture. I'm a little bit of a square when it comes to some of the stuff, but I try to keep up with it - the language, the conversation, the music, the dress."

Zorn isn't saying that he has a replica of Portis' wardrobe in his closet at home. But he strives to understand, he says.

"So when I say, here's our dress code, it's not a dress code like 'We're all going to be in coats and ties, by golly.' That's not the culture today for a 23-year-old kid who wants to go out and buy a really nice suit. He might not want a formal three-piece with button-down collars. It might have more pizzazz to it. So why can't he wear that?" says Zorn. "These guys go out and buy $500 jeans with rhinestones on them. I think that's awesome. So why would I keep them from wearing those jeans when they paid more for that pair of pants than another guy would for a Canali suit. They should be able to wear those."

Zorn had mentioned music, so I wanted to revisit that subject. I asked if he listened to Lil Wayne.

"I know about Lil Wayne. Now I don't have him on my iPod, but I got Blackalicious, I got KJ52," he said. I made a mental checklist of NFL coaches that listen to Blackalicious: Belichick? No. Reid? Probably not. Norv Turner? Maybe.

"I can't listen to some of the hard-core rap because I don't want my kids to be influenced by all of this," Zorn continued. "I don't like to degrade women or police or all of the gang stuff. If you listen to Blackalicious, though, you hear some very clever lyrics.

"I'll tell you what it does for the player in my mind. I think it speaks a lot to the player about the kind of coaching we're trying to do. If we stay up with their culture of dress, of music, of video games, of whatever - then we're also trusted with the football part of their lives."

There are limits, of course. Now, I didn't ask specifically about this next topic, but Zorn brought it up, so...

"In my whole life, I've never been on a pornography site. Ever. First of all, I don't know how the - I guess I could push pornography and see what's out there - but I don't have the desire to do that. You see what I mean? And yet, I know that there's other guys on pornography sites, but that's too much. I don't need to get on a pornography site to see the temptations that some of these guys might have. I don't choose to get into it that much. I don't go down that road. I don't try to drink Jack Daniels just to know what it's like. I'm pretty straight when it comes to those things and principled."

All in all, it's a pretty admirable goal - understanding and relating to his players outside of football. And it actually plays a pretty prominent role during training camp, though mostly behind closed doors. Preseason isn't just about teammates bonding with each other and coming together as a unit; it's also about the coaches establishing their relationships with players.

"I enjoy staying on the edge of where these guys are at. I don't want to lose touch," says Zorn. "Am I corny about it? Yes. Because I don't live that persona, maybe, but I stay up-to-date with some of that stuff. I get it."

By Rick Maese  |  July 28, 2009; 12:16 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Cerrato Says 'No' on Vick
Next: Jarmon Signs

Comments

We're number 1 in the Power Rankings!

Posted by: talent_evaluator | July 28, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Awesome

Posted by: ajj123 | July 28, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

hard to imagine what Zorn might say if he did get drunk ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | July 28, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want about his coaching abilities, but Zorn is a pretty cool guy.

Posted by: Rypien11 | July 28, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's never been on a pornography site? So what? This is news?

Me neither, and I don't know anyone who has. I'm sure that no more than 5% of the guys posting up here have ever been on a pornography site.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | July 28, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

just got a call from a friend of a friends, friends friend, and they told me that they're vouching for D. Snyder being on his way to bahstun, in his cah. Snyder is gonna stop at Hahvahd yahd.

Championship.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | July 28, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Say what you want about his coaching abilities, but Zorn is a pretty cool guy.

Posted by: Rypien11 | July 28, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse"

Really? Sounds like a complete rube to me....

Posted by: chrislarry | July 28, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for a very insightful read. Zorn is a refreshing character to say the least...unusually candid for a coach. He seems like a sincere individual, hard not to like him. I don't know that it will ultimately translate to success on the field, but he's having a positive impact on the team and the franchise.

Posted by: McMetal | July 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The more Zorn talks the more of a tool he comes across as....plz no more zorn interviews unless its purely about fusbol, what's going on with the maroon and black is all we care about not how goofy he is...

Posted by: redskinsfanatic1 | July 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

not too mention, there are two types of men in this world, the ones who have seen porn and the ones who lie

Posted by: redskinsfanatic1 | July 28, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I am not too much into the personal stuff of these people, but I understand many fans are, so good report Jason. However, your choice for the headline is weak.

Posted by: hock1 | July 28, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Zorn bumps Alphabet Aerobics before each home game. Guaranteed.

Posted by: psps23 | July 28, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

So knowing how much I love power rankings, I gave Don Bank's pre-season power rankings a read and its literally a laugh riot. Give it a read for a good chuckle, no rhyme, nor reason, nor actual thought went into the article......nothing factual, nor within reason either.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | July 28, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I recommend redtube.com

Posted by: santanastark | July 28, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Cindy

Can we do a poll on whether or not Skins fans would support or not support the Vick signing???

Posted by: mhartz1 | July 28, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

God, I've always loved this man. When he was here in Seattle, he used to do a lot of low-key charity stuff. Great dude, very approachable, very classy, and very self-respectful. It's hard to not like him and hope he succeeds.

Posted by: PDiddy | July 28, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

You got to love how JR talks about himself in the third person. Keep up the good work Mayor. lol

Posted by: jm220 | July 28, 2009 11:54 AM

dcsween also loves how JR discusses himself.

Posted by: dcsween | July 28, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I feel like Vick should get another chance to play and as a person. He's been judged and done his time. I recently got a dog and this has made his crime even more heinous to me.

as far as VICK playing for the skins, I REALLY LIKE JASON CAMPBELL AS THE QB.

if we we're starting Collins, Brennan, or Sanchez I would be heavily in favor of getting Vick.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | July 28, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

mhartz1-

I don't like to start arguments but seriously, did I just read on the previous thread that you susggest playing Vick at safety in Horton's slot next to Landry? Wow.

Posted by: TheNewTruth | July 28, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

If the Skins sign Vick. I am giving up my family season tickets we have had for 47 years! I will no longer support the redskins. That is how strongly I feel about what he did. ................

Posted by: leevi98 | July 28, 2009 12:30 PM

Wow! 47 years?? You must have GREAT seats?

Instead of letting them go, can you transfer them to me? That would be awsome!

Posted by: 4thFloor | July 28, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Sup, Did?

He could use some pr0n, tho.

Posted by: DikShuttle | July 28, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's cool, we've got a solid team, just need a little help from the free agents, rookies, and sophomores

Posted by: pabrian2003 | July 28, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's never been on a pornography site? So what? This is news?

Me neither, and I don't know anyone who has. I'm sure that no more than 5% of the guys posting up here have ever been on a pornography site.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | July 28, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

T_E,
I am gonna call you on that one. I am going to guess more then 5% of the people on this blog have. I am going to guess its closer to 50%. Not that I want to take a poll or anything, but there have been studies done on that.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 28, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Why IS he called the Mayor anyway?

Is it a nod to his love of McDonald's, i.e., Mayor McCheese?

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | July 28, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

T_E - that explains a lot.

Please get there NOW!!!

When did it become 1956 again?!? I missed that memo...

Posted by: DikShuttle | July 28, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I think te was being sarcastic re the "5%."

If I had to guess, I'd say 97% of males above 10 with access to a computer have been to a porn site at some time.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | July 28, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Who and what is Blackalisious?

Posted by: 4thFloor | July 28, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

MrR21,
I did a quick google search, saw 1 stat from '99 said men 18-20 the number was around 90%. Not exactly current or the scope of the blog but a good indicator.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 28, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

At least if the Skins sign Vick, we'll get to see some really creative signs at the stadiums we visit...except in Philly, they have a hard time spelling E-A-G-L-E-S as it is.

And to think, I was slowly getting somewhat excited about the coming season after my hopes and dreams have been crushed every single year since Snyder took over the team...I even looked into getting the NFL Ticket.

Now we're possibly going to have a guy who likes torturing and killing dogs on the team. Great move.

Posted by: Moose33 | July 28, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

of all the things in the post ... the most relevant is this:

Zorn: "They know I care."

In sales, one of the more useful sayings is:

"Your customer needs to know that you care before they care what you know".

Obviously, Zorn has to sell this team on him -- if they know he cares, its a much easier job.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | July 28, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I think te was being sarcastic re the "5%."

If I had to guess, I'd say 97% of males above 10 with access to a computer have been to a porn site at some time.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | July 28, 2009 1:48 PM

Wasn't that the point? You said 'to' and both Zorn and T_E said, 'ON'.

Although I've been to one, I've never been on one.

Posted by: bangkokben | July 28, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"In my whole life, I've never been on a pornography site.... I don't go down that road. I don't try to drink Jack Daniels just to know what it's like. I'm pretty straight when it comes to those things and principled."
-------------------------------

He's George Allen reincarnated... not that there's anything wrong with that.

I remember an NFL Films show about Allen, who was described by a fellow coach as "so square you could roll him on a Vegas craps table."

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | July 28, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I am going to guess its closer to 50%. Not that I want to take a poll or anything, but there have been studies done on that.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 28, 2009 1:44 PM |

I am shocked. You're not in that depraved group are you Alex? People like ChRis LarRy, dikshuttle, vicc -- probably, but not you, RedDMV, MistaMoe, dcsween, or NateinthePDX, I'm pretty sure.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | July 28, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Who and what is Blackalisious?

Posted by: 4thFloor | July 28, 2009 1:52 PM

______________________________________
Apparently someone who knows their ABCs...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foEU2WHdOzA

Posted by: DikShuttle | July 28, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Who and what is Blackalisious?

Posted by: 4thFloor | July 28, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse"

Undergroud Hip Hop artists. Last dropped an album in 2005 on the punk rock Anti label. I think they are nyc based, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: chrislarry | July 28, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I give him a B for Effort....

Now, PLEASE make sure you have that hurry up installed BEFORE the 1st game of the year because you may need it for the 1st game, like you did last year.

Posted by: 4thFloor | July 28, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm with pabrian, I just like the idea of Jason Campbell with a clear head as the starting QB going into the next 20 games (preseason and regular season). I'm less comfy about Collins ... and if the Cult of Clot rises up and/or Colt himself does real well in the preseason, then I figured Collins will be gone and Chase Daniel stays. Vick wouldn't want/shouldn't want any part of a competition for the #2 spot ... and I don't want a competition for the #1 spot, not on the eve of training camp.

What I really really want is to hear that Orakpo is signed and sweating on the field on Thursday.

Posted by: dcsween | July 28, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, west coast, my bad. Here is a review of Zorny's fave hip hop group:


Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com
Blackalicious's debut, Nia, was grossly underrated despite emcees Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel's witty, Afro-centered conceptual leanings. Blazing Arrow picks up where Nia left off, but features a more mature-sounding duo utilizing even tighter beats and more cerebral rhymes. When they're teaming up with fellow West Coasters like Dilated Peoples' Rakka Iriscience ("Passion") or Jurassic 5's Chali 2NA ("4,000 Miles"), the results are off the meter. The sheer number of well-utilized guest spots from non-rap genres (Ben Harper, Rage Against the Machine's Zach de la Rocha) and downright catchy choruses ("Sky Is Falling," "Make You Feel That Way") expand mainstream rap's limited new-school paradigms in ways that are desperately needed. Although the duo still aren't anywhere near the most-skilled emcee's in the Bay Area's burgeoning underground movement, "Paragraph Preside" is a must-hear track, featuring wildly schizophrenic rhyme chemistry and wily wordplay. At a time when dullards like Fabolous get props for being a skilled emcee, any rhyme duo that is more interested in pushing envelopes than licking 'em deserves your ducats. --Dalton Higgins

Posted by: chrislarry | July 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

http://www.nypost.com/seven/07282009/news/regionalnews/antonio_pierce_facing_indict_181745.htm

In relevant Antonio Pierce news, he is going to be indicted on the same charges as Plaxico...

They prob won't prosecute if he snitches. Hopefully this won't be too much of a dilmnea for him when thinking, 'To Snitch or Not to Snitch, That is the Question'...........

Posted by: 4thFloor | July 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: frediefritz | July 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The depraved have ruled the world for the last 15,000 years.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 28, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

woah, hey T_E,

you say it like it's a BAD thing... I think everyone on that list has spent a little time w/ the Victoria's Secret catalog here or there... I'm convinced you have too. Or you're wearing a collar. Which scares me even more.

Posted by: DikShuttle | July 28, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"not too mention, there are two types of men in this world, the ones who have seen porn and the ones who lie"

Hey Redskinsfanatic1, I'm not sure I would imply that Zorn is LYING about not having looked at porn. Note that he specifically states that he has never looked at a porn WEBSITE. The access to porn via website took off during the mid-late 90s. So is it possible that Zorn has never looked at porn on the Internet? Most definitely. I'm sure at some point in his life he has looked at some pornographic material. But the advent of the Internet was preceded by Zorn's growing faith in Christ. I'm sure he purposed in his heart not to avail himself to any pornographic website as to tarnish his Christian testimony.

And Talent Evaluator, I would be thrilled to know that ONLY 5% of those who read RI have also frequented a porn site. In other words, for every 20 reader of RI, 1 has also been to a porn site. (Maybe we should ask Cindy to poll this for us?) However, due to my experience in helping men overcome pornographic addictions, I think your estimate might be a tad low. I wish it were not so because I've seen firsthand the destructive nature of pornography in my own past experiences and in the lives of many men.

Interesting post to say the least!

Posted by: humen8r | July 28, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

If the Skins sign Vick. I am giving up my family season tickets we have had for 47 years! I will no longer support the redskins. That is how strongly I feel about what he did. ................

Posted by: leevi98 | July 28, 2009 12:30 PM

Please go! Bye! Never come back, hit the road Jack

Posted by: abxinc | July 28, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I've known Jim for 21 years. He has been, and continues to be, a good friend and a man I have and always will respect greatly for all that he stands for. He is man of deep convictions and principles and he strives to live by them.

As far as the players go Jim believes in developing real relationships with his players. Genuiness, sincerity and truth is what he is about. He cares about each of these guys as people first. He is very much interested in them, their lives and what they are all about. This is why players who have been under him in the past respect him so much. Not only as a coach but even more so as a person.

As far as the porn comments are concerned there is absolutely no question about what Jim said here at all. Jim would not be involved in any way with that garbage. You don't live a life of integrity like he has for many,many years and compromise yourself. That and the fact that Jim doesn't lie. When he is asked a question he answers it forthrightly. So anyone who questions Jim's integrity in response to this issue doesn't know Jim and hasn't a clue what they are talking about.

Jim is an excellent football coach. Given time he will prove it. But more importantly than that Jim is an outstanding person. Regardless of whether he wins or loses as a coach will not impact that in that regard. Win or lose Jim will continue to be a man of impeccable integrity and character.

Posted by: afriendofzorn | July 28, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's earnestness - what we're now apparently calling his "integrity" has been taken a little too far. Yes, he needs to evolve his own natural style, but these aren't his kids and I'm wondering how does this help us win more games?

A little distance and serious can go a long way, and help 22 and 23 year olds know who the hell is in charge.

And they will need to know during the season, and when that time comes it's not going to matter what's on Zorn's iPod or whether he knows the difference between skeet shooting and quail hunting, guarantee it.

Maybe it exists among the players and in Ashburn, but I'd like to see more urgency and the realization that this team is a long shot. (Jason Reid, how about a run down of who's been doing what to get ready for camp? Do the players realize there's a realistic chance they could go 0 - 6 in the division this year and do they care? What are they doing to ensure 16 of MY Sundays are not ruined?)

I'm 100% behind Zorn and am looking forward to see what he can do on Sundays but this team has been too soft for too long and I don't see Zorn's "integrity" having anything to do with a correction.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | July 28, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Further, Zorn needs to understand when he says something to a reporter, he's saying it to hundreds of thousands of people and need not go off on a cloying tangent about pornography websites.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | July 28, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

For the record - two very good articles published Wed. Reid's is good and the update on the OL working out in Arizona is appreciated.

Also, the update on Campbell helps understand the Zorn-Campbell on-field dynamic a little better from a practical standpoint (Campbell was charged with assembling plays and often protections on the fly last year but this is being steam lined apparently), well done.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | July 28, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company