Friday, October 23, 2009
Much of the discussion about the dysfunctional Washington Redskins has focused on the public emasculation of its head coach Jim Zorn whose days are numbered. The attention, however, is terribly misplaced because the one constant in Washington's descent into mediocrity is the owner Daniel Snyder. Snyder has single-handedly transformed Redskins into Oakland Raiders East.
And what has he done to earn this dubious distinction? 5 coaches in 10 years; thrown untold amounts of money at free agents - some clearly past their prime (Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith); terrible drafts and often no draft picks at all (3 choices from last year don't have 10 receptions among them); hired the supremely inept Vinny Cerrato to be in charge of football operations; fired Norv Turner whose record was 7 and 6 with only 3 games remaining in the season; fired Marty Shottenheimer who actually laid the groundwork for making the team competitive; hired Steve Spurrier who lacked both the temperament and commitment to compete in the NFL; brought Joe Gibbs back, putting him in charge of player personnel despite the fact that Gibbs was never very good at it even in the glory days; hired Jim Zorn as offensive coordinator before bringing in a head coach; bumped Zorn up to head coach despite Zorn having no previous experience and, in addition, entrusted Zorn with mentoring Campbell and play calling; brought in Sherman Lewis to be "another set of eyes"; after more than 20 games where Washington has failed to score 30 points in any game "asked" him to relinquish play calling and then handed the job to Lewis; announced later that Lewis will communicate the plays to Sherman Smith who will in turn relay the play to Campbell, Zorn's duties presumably are limited to challenging calls, deciding when to go for it on 4th down, etc.
Today the aforementioned Cerrato, VP for football operations, made it "perfectly clear" that Zorn will remain as head coach for the 2009 season and quite possibly beyond. Those of us who have been around Washington are familiar with one Richard Milhous Nixon who frequently prefaced statements, usually less than truthful, with the expression "let me make one thing perfectly clear." As with Nixon, Cerrato's declaration should be viewed with skepticism.