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Tracee Hamilton - Sports Columnist

At this point, Zorn might prefer to lose his job

Redskins Coach Jim Zorn, on the whole play-calling arrangement:
Redskins Coach Jim Zorn, on the whole play-calling arrangement: "My comfort level is somewhere between 1 and 10. It's not at 10." (Jonathan Newton/the Washington Post)
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By Tracee Hamilton
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Even the staunchest "Jim Zorn must go" advocate is averting his eyes today. What Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato are doing to Zorn has all the class and subtlety of the William Wallace death scene in "Braveheart." Do we really need to see Zorn slowly disemboweled for our amusement?

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Snydrato -- or Cerryder, or whatever short-hand celebrity couple nickname you want to give them -- brought in another set of eyes to watch Zorn two weeks ago. On Sunday night, they stripped him of his play-calling responsibilities and gave them to that other set of eyes, which belongs to Sherm Lewis. On Monday, they took away Zorn's Madden NFL 10 and sent him to his room without supper. On Tuesday, they'll wait till he's napping in his office and dip his hand in warm water, then run away giggling.

Grow up. You know you're going to fire him. We know you're going to fire him. Bless his heart, even he knows you're going to fire him. So fire him already. It's not like you can't cover the severance check. And if you're trying to force him to quit, so you don't have to pay the full freight on his remaining contract, then shame on you. Let Albert Haynesworth trot into the locker room during the game and cut a check for the difference. He can afford it.

If Zorn is such a failure -- and if he's a failure, what does that make the people who hired him not once, but twice -- then put him out of his misery. You wanted to humiliate him before he left town? Mission accomplished. Move on. Because this death by a thousand cuts is beneath contempt and gives the organization yet another black eye. (Good thing you've got that extra set floating around.)

Zorn's a gamer, I'll say that for him. He started Monday's news conference by mentioning some of the good things that happened in Sunday's 14-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. That took some guts. But then he got down to the nitty-gritty. Vinny "strongly suggested" that he make a play-caller change. Vinny "suggested" that Sherm Lewis be that play-caller. Zorn thought it over, met again with Vinny and agreed to "comply."

(Of course, neither Lewis nor Cerrato was available to comment Monday, leaving Zorn to announce what amounts to his own emasculation and then take questions about it. Nice.)

So Lewis will watch the game from the press box and send the plays down to Zorn. And only Zorn could have added this: "I feel for Sherm because he's been here for two weeks. We'll give him as much help as we can. . . .

"The reason I can comply with this is really because of the lack of scoring," added Zorn. "If this is going to be the key, I'm certainly willing to give it a try."

If the key to fixing an offense that has failed to score a touchdown in two games, ranks 29th in the league in scoring (13.2 points a game) and 23rd in overall yards (294), is Sherm Lewis, then God bless Sherm Lewis, because at this rate there will be about 12 people at FedEx by Week 17. But the players will be the same, and the playbook will be the same. Exactly the same. Are there some hidden gems in there? Did someone tear out some key pages before the season? We'll find out.

Zorn was asked if the play-calling decision was his to make.

"Yeah, yeah, that's my own free volition."

Why didn't you refuse, then?


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