Mike Wise: The Problem With the Redskins Is Much Larger Than Coach Jim Zorn

By Mike Wise
Monday, October 12, 2009


Now that Jim Zorn's time appears short, now that the Holmgren Watch, the Shanahan Watch, the Gruden Watch, the Cowher Watch and the George Allen Seance have begun in earnest, an important question must be asked:

Which coach, who is already filthy rich and has bona fide credentials, would want this miserable, no-upside job?

What experienced, egocentric winner would want to take over the sorry lot that gave back a 15-point lead -- the largest lead of the Zorn era -- to a Carolina team waiting to crumble to 0-4 at home Sunday?

Is a guy like Mike Shanahan or Mike Holmgren naive enough to think he can fix an off-tackle run from the 3-yard line unfathomably resulting in a safety? Think about that play, the absurdity of where it started and where it inexplicably ended.

Is Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher truly deeply enough in denial to believe he can turn Mike Sellers into an aggressive blocker again? Or actually make a patchwork, Band-Aid offensive line that Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, forgot to fix in the offseason somehow mow down a team that finished 30th against the run? That line on Sunday featured a right guard who had not started an NFL game since 2005 and another who had not played a regular season down since 2007.

Have any of the most sought-after motivators and fixers in the game foolishly convinced themselves that Zorn, as hooey and over-explanatory and all-twisted-up inside as he is right now, is the main problem with this franchise?

When they watched the Redskins' two touchdowns Sunday come inside the 10-yard line only because of turnovers, is that all Zorn's bad, too?

Because D'Angelo Hall could not bring down an aging quarterback on a one-on-one bootleg before he clinched the game with a first-down run -- because John Fox made the call of the game and killed a brilliant, if wasted, defensive effort by Washington -- does some big-name guy feel that he is the answer?

After an expected season-opening loss at New York to a Giants team that is the class of the NFL, the Redskins have lost to two winless teams in three weeks -- including a Detroit franchise that on Sunday lost its 21st game in 22 tries.

It's unclear how safe Zorn's job is at this moment because we have almost gotten to the point of not insulting the man by further asking him the question. And when the guy who brought you in won't give you a vote of confidence the week Cerrato usurps part of your authority by hiring an offensive consultant from the NFL's Paleolithic era, well, the writing is on the wall.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company