Saturday, December 20, 2008
Vinny Cerrato, the Washington Redskins' executive vice president for football operations, said yesterday that team officials have not discussed the status of first-year coach Jim Zorn, and that any speculation Zorn could be removed is driven by the media.
"In this building, that question has never even been brought up," said Cerrato, speaking on his "Inside the Red Zone" radio program on ESPN 980. "It's never even been discussed."
Show host Frank Hanrahan then asked Cerrato whether Zorn would return next season, to which Cerrato responded: "Yeah. There's not even been any discussion, so, end of discussion."
Cerrato has declined interview requests over the past week. Under Zorn, hired in February, the Redskins were 6-2 at the season's midpoint, but Washington has lost five of its past six games and has only the faintest of postseason hopes. Team owner Daniel Snyder has hired six coaches in his decade of owning the team.
Cerrato, though, said Zorn's future was being discussed externally, not internally.
"It's business as usual in this building," he said.
· PORTIS HAS BACK SPASMS: RB Clinton Portis sat out practice yesterday because of back spasms, and his status for tomorrow's game was unclear.
Portis experienced discomfort when he awoke yesterday. He briefly joined his teammates on the field at Redskins Park before heading to the training room for treatment. In the locker room after practice, Portis moved slowly and struggled to bend. He has not missed a game despite the pain of knee, hip and neck injuries, but back problems are different, Portis said.
"My back just spasmed up," he said. "I was [sleeping], but I don't now how I slept. I woke up and just didn't feel like moving this morning. It feels better when [trainers are] rubbing on it, but that don't last long. As soon as they stop, it starts back hurting."
Portis was scheduled for massage therapy and to consult a chiropractor yesterday. "Everything they can come up with, we'll just try," he said. As for tomorrow's game, "it's two days from now, we're looking forward to it," Portis said. "If it's bad, it's bad. Hopefully, it'll be all right."
· WASHINGTON PLANS TO PLAY: Strong-side LB Marcus Washington, limited to 20 games the past two seasons, has sat out the past four games because of a high-ankle sprain. Washington participated in every aspect of practice for the second day in a row and plans to return to the lineup against the Eagles.
"It's like you're a kid and you can't wait to get back out there again," Washington said. "I'm looking forward to it. I feel good."
Said Zorn: "He's actually improved each day." . . . RT Jon Jansen (knee) did not practice and is not expected to play against Philadelphia. "He's doubtful," Zorn said. . . . DT Kedric Golston (bone spurs) was limited in practice.
· MOSS FINED: WR Santana Moss was fined $10,000 by the NFL for a prohibited celebration in the Redskins' loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
After catching a second-quarter touchdown pass that cut the Bengals' lead to 17-7, Moss took his towel and pretended to polish his shoes, violating the NFL's excessive-celebration rules by using a prop.
-- Barry Svrluga, Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora