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Zorn still medium as season finale nears

The end of this miserable season has arrived and Jim Zorn, as he was last week, is still on the job. Zorn's mindset as this game approached, Barry Svrluga writes, is pretty much as it always is: deliberate, methodical ... medium.

One of the most widely held assumptions in the NFL is that former Denver coach Mike Shanahan will wind up as the Redskins' next coach. Zorn has heard that news, naturally, and responded by sticking his head directly in the sand. He has already begun, he said, working on a plan that would carry the Redskins through the draft, into spring workouts and on to training camp.
"I've got a full offseason schedule that we've got to face here," Zorn said Friday. "We're going to take a little time off. Obviously, there's going to be some sort of state of the union. But I'm under contract. It's my job. It's what I charge myself with."
That sort of blinders-on optimism -- even as members of his own coaching staff are preparing to look for jobs elsewhere, following their dismissal -- has defined much of Zorn's tenure here. Those close to him say it will define him after he departs. "He's been really consistent," said offensive coordinator Sherman Smith, a friend from his playing days in Seattle. "I think he's been upbeat."
"He's been steady," quarterback Jason Campbell said.
Twice in the past week -- first on Monday, the day after the Redskins' latest humiliation, a 17-0 home loss to Dallas on national television, and then again on Friday -- Zorn characterized his experience thusly:
"It hasn't been fun," he said. "It's been a great experience."
What, he was asked Friday, does that mean?
"That just means when you string losses together, it makes it a grind," Zorn said. "I'm certainly held accountable, responsible, trying to take that responsibility and look and see what we can change. . . . The frustration of the losses can make us better. We just have to be able to use it in a way that can help us, not just shove it off to the side and say: 'Oh, well. Next year.' That's why I never really want to look at next year, because this year, it's still happening."

Time's no longer on Merriman's side

Shawne Merriman won't play today for the Chargers, but his name is one that surfaces from time to time on the Hamster Nation wish list. At 25, Merriman is still a warrior, but Les Carpenter writes that time and injuries are catching up with him.

Playoff teams weigh merits of playing it safe

If you're a coach whose team has clinched a playoff berth or is solidly in the playoff picture, do you play it safe and rest your starters (praying to the fubball gods that they can turn it on again)? Mark Maske writes about the merits of playing starters and trying to get a better seed on the last day of the regular season.

By Cindy Boren  |  January 3, 2010; 7:23 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What lies ahead for Landry after a tough season?
Next: Report: Redskins must interview Gray again

Comments

Zorn's First head coaching gig will probably be his last.

Posted by: Monk81_Green28 | January 3, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

can we just get this over with already... just rip the band-aid off already

Posted by: Burrasta1 | January 3, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

How should Snyder and Allen play it? Should they march down on the field at the end of the game, take Zorn aside and give him the Donald Trump "yar fiad"? Maybe they should leave some suspense in there by waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday... Whatever the case, Zorn should just take his offseason plan and throw it into the waste basket, because the only way he is staying is if Saint Joe himself makes an impassioned plea for a pardon - and I don't see that happenin', guv.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | January 3, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

How should Snyder and Allen play it?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | January 3, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse


Leave a parachute in his seat on the team plane and route the flight over Seattle.

Posted by: Original_etrod | January 3, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Say what you will about Zorn as a head coach but you have to admit the man has tough skin. He has been given a tough pill to swallow by Snyder. I wish him all the best. Far as Merriman goes, please do not sign this once upon a time star player. The guy is all washed up. Nothing left but damaged goods. I hope the Redskins put up a good fight today but lately they have shown nothing.

Posted by: Redskin4Life1 | January 3, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

He has been given a tough pill to swallow by Snyder.

Posted by: Redskin4Life1 | January 3, 2010 8:55 AM

$2.5 million per year for three years, even though he only coaches two? A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.

Posted by: League-Source | January 3, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"Zorn's First head coaching gig will probably be his last."


I don't think so.

Mike Holmgren may give him a job in Cleveland--him 'coaching up' Brady Quinn might be interesting.

And anybody with sense can predict Jim Mora, jr. will be shown the door in Seattle--Zorn could go home again.

Zorn will get a job as head coach some place else as other people see him as a victim of the foolishness of the Wizards of Redskin Park.

No o-line, no GM, a fragmented management structure, aging running backs, developing receivers playing with undersized receivers: Zorn's got built-in excuses for why he failed in DC.

He'll get another head coaching job.

Thing is, he'll be better where ever he goes to than he ever was when he came to DC.

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Zorn will get a job as head coach some place else as other people see him as a victim of the foolishness of the Wizards of Redskin Park.

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 9:09 AM |

Never happen. There are too many better-qualified coaches out there.

Zorn's record speaks for itself, independent of the rest of the chaos. Poor play calling, bad game management, no attention to details, undisciplined team and general flakiness ("maroon and black," "4-13 record"). He and Spurrier will have the same records as a head coach in the NFL, and neither one will get a second chance.

People will see Zorn as part of the foolishness, not a victim.

Posted by: League-Source | January 3, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"....At 25, Merriman is still a warrior, but....time and injuries are catching up with him..."



At 25, Merriman should be a dominate player, not a guy dealing with injuries.

But I guess that is what happens when you live a life of pills and needles, needles and pills.

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"...Poor play calling, bad game management, no attention to details, undisciplined team..."

There was some of this during St Joe's second go round, too.

All Zorn did was inherit a mess he was qualified to clean up.

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The only way Zorn gets an NFL head coaching position is if he goes to a college program and proves he can manage a team and win there. (Of course, by "NFL" I have to exclude Oakland and Detroit)
There aren't enough openings to justify the risk otherwise.
I hear there's an opening at Texas Tech. Can you imagine a Zorn press conference in Texas? O M G.

Posted by: daggar | January 3, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

היו שלום ומזל טוב הבן שלי, אלוהים יכול להיות שלך הצל שלך

Posted by: Spanglerg | January 3, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"I hear there's an opening at Texas Tech. Can you imagine a Zorn press conference in Texas?"

(INSERT image of a Texas Tech press conference with a highly caffinated Jim Zorn standing before a microphone. His blonde family stands beaming in the background.)

"Gee, thanks y'all for the chance to redeem my career here at the University of Seattle...ooops, I'm mean, Texas Tech."

"Let's go burgandy and gold!!!"

"I hear this school excels at putting its issues in the closet."

"You've redefined the idea of taking a guy to the woodshed."

"I've saved you money by firing the team's medical staff."

"From now on, we'll use what I call the Jason Campbell-so-what-you're-hurt-again philosophy of dealing with player injuries."

"We tell the kids to 'Take-a-hit-and-deal-with-it'!"

"And I promise that if we are going to fake a field goal, we'll make sure that its execution, and not the conduct of the head coach, will be the thing that embarasses the university."

"Again, stay medium."

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Good presser, Moe. Best post of the decade, so far. Keep it up (and I don't mean four-hour erection).

Posted by: League-Source | January 3, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"Zorn still medium"
Except each Tuesday morning when he checks his direct deposit from
PRO-FOOTBALL, INC.REDSKIN DRIVE ASHBURN VIRGINIA

Posted by: cliftonbiz | January 3, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Zorn will be shown a "swinging gate" tomorrow morning.

Posted by: cliftonbiz | January 3, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"From now on, we'll use what I call the Jason Campbell-so-what-you're-hurt-again philosophy of dealing with player injuries."

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 9:59 AM |
--------------

Why? What does Jason Campbell specifically have to do with concussions or playing through injuries?

JC is about to join Lynn Dickey, Eric Hipple and Bob Avellini in the pantheon of bar-room trivia re QBs with lengthy careers who never accomplished anything significant.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | January 3, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

yeah Zorn stay medium....because for 2 years you have encouraged the skins to stay medium...stay average...stay 50/50...stay mediocre. The skins need a coach to encourage the team to aim much higher than "medium"

Posted by: kingpenn1 | January 3, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

How should Snyder and Allen play it?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | January 3, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse


Leave a parachute in his seat on the team plane and route the flight over Seattle.

Posted by: Original_etrod | January 3, 2010 8:51 AM
------------------------------------------
I think it would be downright frosty if they didn't let him fly back with the team. How the Redskins treat Zorn this week will say a lot about what's left of class in the organization.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | January 3, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh man...

Did New Years Eve take 2 last night.


I wish I was medium.

Posted by: edvar | January 3, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

CL posted this last night but I'll repeat it. No Redskin football in Richmond (or Va Beach) today. Which sucks. First game in many, many years I'll miss. Just because they're unwatchable doesn't mean I don't want to watch.

Here's the station GM's email address if anyone else wants to fire off a nasty one:

sgenett@foxrichmond.com

Posted by: mack1 | January 3, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"How should Snyder and Allen play it?"

How should they 'settle it'?

If there really is no secret deal with Shanny, I'd wait out the playoffs before hiring anyone.

I'd like to see interviews with Ron Rivera, Kevin Gilbride, Bruce Arians, Marty Morningweig, and Jason Garrett.

And of course, Russ Grimm.

Plus: we all know the likes of Lovie Smith and Gary Kubiak might get the axe.

Those two guys are worth a sitdown.

Bruce Allen should probably consider hiring an offensive-minded coach who has a specific plan--and patience--for rebuilding the skins' horrible offense.

But it all depends on whether or not if Shanny is already hired.

'Cuz if he already has been, the issue is already settled.

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Redskins is simply a garbage dump, for sure Zorn is gone but, he is going to become another Joe Gibbs somewhere else while we are still rebuilding every year in DC. This is foolishness at its best. Good luck Jim, I hope these fools learn their lessons.

Posted by: abxinc | January 3, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Well I clicked the Hamster Nation link hoping it was a new website.

Posted by: alex35332 | January 3, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

PFT reports that the 'Skins need to re-interview minority candidates for Head Coach to satisfy the Rooney Rule. It appears that the NFL is solidifying its position that candidates cannot be interviewed before the coaching position is vacated.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | January 3, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"No Redskin football in Richmond (or Va Beach) today. Which sucks. First game in many, many years I'll miss. Just because they're unwatchable doesn't mean I don't want to watch."


I got three words for you, bro':

NFL Sunday Ticket.

I watch the skins' game, then surf multiple NFL games.

I try to see a bit of every game so I don't sound like an idiot when I discuss teams with folks.

(Of course, this doesn't help.)

I watched a good chiefs v. browns game the other week.

(See what I mean.)

I'll see the skins today as I do every game from the warmth and privacy of 'The Inner Sanctum' as I call my mancave.

The only thing about the Ticket is the last season games on Sunday are usually the worst offerings, especially so now that NFL does Thursday Nite Football.

I feel for ya' bro'.

HTTR

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: MistaMoe | January 3, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

We have now narrowed down that MistaMoe, is either Charlie Sheen or Payton Manning.

Posted by: alex35332 | January 3, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

How many people on this blog have hit a 2.5 million dollar lottery this week ? how about 1 million ? Hmmm thats what I thought. Zorns A sorry Sack, but he's got the Moneys ! NOW FIRE THE BUM ALREADY PLEASE !

Posted by: ThrowItToMyTeam | January 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

RICHMOND will not be seeing the debacle on the "TIJUANA TROLLY." The local affiliates have no interest in seeing a dismissed D.C. coach lead his new club against the eviscerated ZORN group. I would call them a mob, but BA's on the job, so I'm elevating the REDSKINS to group status for this one game.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

PFT reports that the 'Skins need to re-interview minority candidates for Head Coach to satisfy the Rooney Rule. It appears that the NFL is solidifying its position that candidates cannot be interviewed before the coaching position is vacated.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | January 3, 2010 11:30 AM

If the Skisn move forward without re-interviewing a minority candidate, which could happen if candidates refuse to be interviewed because the HC job is all but taken, all that would happen is that the team pays a fine. Snyder may very well psy the fines and be done with it. My guess is that this ruling all but guarantees that Zorn will be fired 5 minuets after the Chargers game. That way Gray or Blache can be interviewed and the flight back to the East coast.

Posted by: TWISI | January 3, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

A scenerio for getting some picks for Jason Campbell: Minn goes to the superbowl, Brett retires and the Vikings determin. Campbell is worth a 30+ first round pick.

Posted by: alex35332 | January 3, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Medium? I prefer Zorn rare.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 3, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

It's time for a little compassion for Zorn, poor guy was given a job that he was ill prepared for in the first place and handcuffed at every turn from then on. In as much as I believe that he must go, not one of us could have handled the cards he was given with more class. It will be a long time if ever, before he is a head coach again or an offensive coordinator, for that matter. He will go back to being a quarterbacks coach somewhere and put in his time. He will probably learn from this experience and make it work in his favor someday, but it is a shame that his career has been derailed by 2 idiots with an insanely stupid secret agenda. Our only real hope in all these changes is that Shanahan will be as intimidating to Snyder as Joe was, so the Wii man will drop the controller and go back up to his owners box and stay there.
Good luck Jim, you deserved better !!

Posted by: EFitz1000aolcom | January 3, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Redskins injury list looks like a freeking roster

RB Ladell Betts TORN ACL AND MCL IR
LB H.B. Blades KNEE QUESTIONABLE
QB Colt Brennan IR
QB Jason Campbell ANKLE PROBABLE
DE Andre Carter BICEPS QUESTIONABLE
TE Chris Cooley RIGHT ANKLE IR
DE Phillip Daniels KNEE QUESTIONABLE
SS Reed Doughty IR
K Graham Gano RIGHT FOOT QUESTIONABLE
DT Cornelius Griffin SHOULDER QUESTIONABLE
CB DeAngelo Hall KNEE QUESTIONABLE
DT Albert Haynesworth HIP QUESTIONABLE
LB Robert Henson ILLNESS PROBABLE
T Stephon Heyer KNEE
S Chris Horton TOE IR
DE Jeremy Jarmon IR
S LaRon Landry HEAD OUT
LB Rocky McIntosh BACK QUESTIONABLE
DT Anthony Montgomery HIP PROBABLE
S Kareem Moore ANKLE QUESTIONABLE
WR Santana Moss KNEE PROBABLE
RB Clinton Portis CONCUSSION IR
G Chad Rinehart FIBULA
CB Carlos Rogers ANKLE PROBABLE
T Chris Samuels
RB Mike Sellers QUADRICEP QUESTIONABLE
P Hunter Smith RIGHT GROIN QUESTIONABLE
CB Fred Smoot RIB PROBABLE
WR Devin Thomas ANKLE OUT
G Randy Thomas IR
CB Justin Tryon HIP PROBABLE
CB Byron Westbrook KNEE QUESTIONABLE
TE Eddie Williams FIBULA IR
C Edwin Williams ILLNESS PROBABLE
T Mike Williams TOE
WR Roydell Williams IR
TE Todd Yoder TOE PROBABLE

Posted by: alex35332 | January 3, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

EFitz1000aolcom Zorn wasn't forced to be the HC, he accepted the job believing he was qualified enough to make it work. I'm sure Zorn was aware of the issues of working for the Skins under the structure that was in place. Zorn made the decision to take Snyder's money and all the warts associated with it. No need to feel sorry for Zorn. He gained some experience, he knows what he needs to work on for the next opportunity, and he got paid.

Posted by: TWISI | January 3, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

How the Redskins treat Zorn this week will say a lot about what's left of class in the organization.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | January 3, 2010 11:06 AM |

Well, we could Texas Tech him: "You locked Clinton Portis in the sauna. You're fired for cause. So, sue us."

Posted by: League-Source | January 3, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Can we hire the texas tech coach for a coordinator?

Posted by: alex35332 | January 3, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Mike Holmgren may give him a job in Cleveland--him 'coaching up' Brady Quinn might be interesting.

And anybody with sense can predict Jim Mora, jr. will be shown the door in Seattle--Zorn could go home again.

Zorn will get a job as head coach some place else as other people see him as a victim of the foolishness of the Wizards of Redskin Park.

No o-line, no GM, a fragmented management structure, aging running backs, developing receivers playing with undersized receivers: Zorn's got built-in excuses for why he failed in DC.

He'll get another head coaching job.

Thing is, he'll be better where ever he goes to than he ever was when he came to DC.

Posted by: MistaMoe

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Moe,

Have you been watching this season? Have you seen some of the worst decisions in NFL history this season? Have you heard Sonny's opinion of Zorn? Have you seen Steve Young's face after hearing Zorn's post game interview? Zorn is suppost to be an offensive guy, yet when they took the offense away from him, the unit improved.

Zorn has a screw loose Moe.

BTW, Holmgren did'nt even offer Zorn the O-coordinator job in Seattle. So now you think he'll make him HC in Cleveland?

Posted by: Redskin_in_miami | January 3, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

A scenerio for getting some picks for Jason Campbell: Minn goes to the superbowl, Brett retires and the Vikings determin. Campbell is worth a 30+ first round pick.

Posted by: alex35332
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Alex,

Rosenfelds is on the Vikins roster, and is better than Campbell.

T. Jackson is a Campbell clone.

Why would they offer even a 4th round pick for Campbell? Our best hope is MAYBE a 3rd round pick from the Rams or Seahawks.

Posted by: Redskin_in_miami | January 3, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

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