Jason Campbell is replaced in the lineup by the last man looking out for him: Jim Zorn

By Mike Wise
Monday, October 19, 2009

Say you're from Bismarck, N.D., or, heck, Guam, and next week you happen to watch "Monday Night Football," which will be broadcast from this very FedEx Field. What a donnybrook, no? The Philadelphia Eagles vs. a free-falling franchise with no idea who its starting quarterback will be, no idea whether the new play-caller will say "stretch right" or "G-21" and, really, no idea of where it is headed or why.

That's not an NFC East battle; that's not even Hank Williams Jr. intoning, "Are you ready for some football?"

That's "NFL's Greatest Car Crashes" and that, sadly, is where we are today.

For some time now the Washington Redskins have become unrecognizable to the loyal legions of this region, the people who fondly recall their last Super Bowl appearance nearly two decades ago. But as they swerve into yet another embankment, as they fall further into the abyss of bad losses and neglectful stewardship, they are on the verge of becoming America's late-night joke, a flagship franchise in name only after losing to a winless team for the third time in four weeks.

Jason Campbell was benched Sunday by Jim Zorn, benched by the coach who hours later had his own job description changed.

Poor Jason. The last guy to have Campbell's back in the organization, the one person whom he believed would ride out the tough times with him no matter how cold, miserable and rotten the season got -- and six games in, it is ugly -- just retreated to base camp.

Once there, Zorn had his authority further undermined, his job changed, a job Vinny Cerrato decided would no longer include calling plays.

Poor Z-man. Instead of a dignified termination and severance for time served, owner Daniel Snyder is apparently making him see this crumbling season to the end -- or at least to the Monday night game.

We always knew they would be tethered at the hip this season, the coach and the quarterback, their future in Washington inextricably linked. We just didn't think one would turn on the other six games in, while Todd Collins was warming up on the field and Sherman Lewis, who was calling bingo games in Detroit less than two weeks ago, was getting cozy with the headset in the booth.

Oh, well: one good benching deserves another.

With all due respect, Zorn probably had this coming. Really, when you manage six points against the worst defensive team in the league, an absolutely horrid Kansas City team, it's like Clint Eastwood's line in "Unforgiven," a Western that, like the Redskins, had no redeeming characters:

"We all got it comin', kid."

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company