GAUGING THE REDSKINS

Coaches

Management thinks it has given Jim Zorn (right) a team he can coach into the playoffs. But if things start slowly, it could either be a very long season for the second-year coach. Or a very short one. The biggest advantage Zorn has this season over last is that most players have a full year in his system. If Season 1 was about installing a new offense, Season 2 is about perfecting it. Rather than spending his time on teaching during the preseason, Zorn is focused entirely on improving. Zorn learned quickly in his first season he didn't have the personnel to execute the version of the West Coast offense he prefers. But he's counting on the maturity and good health of second-year players Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas, plus tight end Fred Davis, to open up the team's lackluster offense and passing game. The defense is both reliable and deep, but the team might go only as far as its offense takes it. And at the end of the day, that's what Zorn will be judged on.

Redskins coach Jim Zorn

(By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)