Zorn's Pivotal Season Starts Today
Jim Zorn would read that headline, if he did such things, and say that every NFL season is pivotal. If there's special pressure on him this season, he tells Barry Svrluga he isn't feeling it. "In this league, you always have to win," Zorn told a staff member, Svrluga writes. "And we are not going to, as a staff, make stupid decisions based on, 'Oh, my gosh, we've got to win.' "
So Zorn is approaching the season, pivotal or not, in his own unique way.
Almost daily throughout training camp and on into practices to prepare for the Giants, [Daniel] Snyder and [Vinny] Cerrato watched workouts together, seated in a row of stadium-style seats planted on the 50-yard line of whichever practice field the team used. Occasionally, Zorn would speak at length with them before or after the session. Wednesday afternoon, as the players filtered off the field, he did the same, a 10-minute conversation with the men who will determine how long he holds his job. That, of course, can't be the topic, because with 16 games to play, it does not yet matter.
"We've said, 'Hey, Dan decides,' " [Sherman] Smith said. "We're going to put the pressure on Dan. He's going to have to make the decision. We don't feel any pressure. It's going to be on him."
After Zorn left the field, he walked up to his office. In the lobby outside hangs a mirror affixed behind four spears. Zorn made the piece himself, ordering the spears from a Navajo in Arizona, painting parts of it in Redskins colors. He has further plans for it, too. "If we are lucky enough to experience winning," he said, he will take from his office one of [Greg] Blache's turkey feathers and hang it on the mirror.
"Each one," he said, "represents a kill."
How many will hang there by the end of the season? Five? Eight? Ten? Twelve?
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