Jim Zorn returns, still seeing the positives from his time as Redskins coach

By Mike Wise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 21, 2010; 1:40 AM

There is no pregame rally planned, no "Return of the King" headlines. Not even a buzz cut hung in effigy.

To commemorate the Jim Zorn era in Washington, the former coach of the Redskins will simply walk through the FedEx Field tunnel Saturday night with his new team, the Baltimore Ravens, and prepare for a preseason game against his former employers in the same quarterbacks-coach role he had before Daniel Snyder knighted him as the man to replace St. Joe.

But there are questions, deep, secrets, we now need answered.

The back-to-back fake field goals that fizzled: The most bizarre play call ever on "Monday Night Football," whereby a punter with no offensive linemen - because they were all split left - was supposed to find a receiver downfield after the Giants had called a timeout and had sniffed something fishy on the first fake field goal try.

Would you do it again?

"I probably wouldn't have done that after they called timeout," Zorn said by telephone Thursday night after Ravens practice. "I probably would have kicked the field goal.

"Now, having said that, trying that fake field goal was not the bad call. They knew we were doing something, but they didn't know what we were doing. And we saw something. And I thought if we could just . . . and . . . and . . ."

The boyish exuberance, the way he said "awesome," the way he genuinely believed his team was getting better, even at 4-12.

He's b-a-a-a-ack.

The Z-man. The guy who gave Washington "The Swinging Gate" - Mr. Maroon and Black himself - is returning to his old stomping grounds. This time, he doesn't have a bingo card.

Zorn said he is unsure whether he will see or shake hands with Snyder, whom he has not spoken with since his firing in January. But he said that's more because he will be game-planning, that he bears no grudges - or at least none he feels he needs to share.

"I've learned a lot," the Z-man said. "I don't have anything to say bad about the people I worked with there. I'm just not a gossip guy. I had a great time when I was there and I hoped that it would have been a building process and it wasn't to be."

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