Zorn’s time in Washington
Jim Zorn spent seven years as the quarterbacks coach with the Seattle Seahawks. He was also Seattle's first quarterback when the team entered the league as an expansion franchise in 1976. He was their starter until 1983. After a few years as a backup, he retired and began his coaching career as an assistant at Boise State.
» Zorn signs a three-year contract on Jan. 25, 2008, to be offensive coordinator even as the team continued to search for a replacement for Joe Gibbs. Zorn announces a day later that he would run a West Coast offense.
» In a stunning move, the Redskins promote Zorn to head coach Feb. 9. The team considered about half a dozen candidates, notably former assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams, former Giants coach Jim Fassel and then-Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “I’m sure there are some surprised people," Zorn said at his introductory news conference. “I know I was surprised to get the opportunity.”
» On Feb. 15, Zorn hires Titans running backs coach Sherman Smith as offensive coordinator. Zorn, however, would be the team’s play-caller.
» The Redskins lost to the Giants, 16-7, in Zorn’s first regular season game. They went on to win four straight games, though, and six of their next seven, including road wins over Philadelphia and Dallas.
» Through eight games, Washington was tied for the second-best record in the NFC at 6-2, Clinton Portis had rushed for 944 yards and quarterback Jason Campbell hadn’t thrown an interception.
» A 23-6 loss to the Steelers on “Monday Night Football” a week before the bye began a downward spiral that took the Redskins to a 2-6 finish and elimination from playoff contention. The Redskins, who had averaged 20.6 points per game over their first eight games, averaged only 12.5 points per game over the final eight.
» Zorn clashed with Portis several times. When he benched the star running back in early December because of missed practices, Portis ripped the coach: “We got a genius for a head coach, I don’t know, I’m sure he on top of things.He’s got everything figured out.”
» The Redskins signed All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth on the first day of free agency, Feb. 27. They also considered trading for disgruntled Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler (who later went to the Bears) and trading up to draft Southern Cal quarterback Mark Sanchez. If they had, Campbell would have asked for a trade.
» Washington opened the season 2-6, but it could have been worse. Their only wins were narrow victories over the Rams (who would finish 1-15) and Buccaneers (3-13). They failed to score more than 20 points in any game and even lost to the Lions, snapping Detroit’s 19-game losing streak.
» On Oct. 6, the Redskins hired retired Packers and Vikings offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis as an offensive consultant. Two weeks later, after a 14-6 loss to the Chiefs, Zorn’s play-calling duties are given to Lewis.
» The Redskins’ offense performs better during the second half, scoring 20 or more points five times and twice scoring 30 or more points. But the losing continued as the team finished 4-12.