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  1. #1

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    Default DC Sports Bog: Zorn to remain coach for remainder of season

    Zorn to remain coach for remainder of season

    Washington Redskins executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said on his radio show Friday morning that Jim Zorn will remain the head coach of the team for the remainder of the season.

    "Let me start by making a few things very perfectly clear: Jim Zorn is the head coach of the Washington Redskins, and will be for the rest of this season, and hopefully into the future," Cerrato said on ESPN 980's Inside the Red Zone.

    In his opening remarks, which lasted about 15 minutes, Cerrato also defended the team's organizational structure, called Steve Largent's recent comments about the front office "off the wall," and said this week's news that Sherm Lewis would call the plays was meant to help Zorn, not undermine him.

    "The team is tight, the relationships are tight, and we're just trying to prepare to win a game Monday Night and excite the fans and get the fans back excited about this football team," Cerrato said. "We just want to beat the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night. That's what we're trying to accomplish through all these other things that are going on, off-the-wall comments here, off-the-wall comments there. Everybody's frustrated. The owner's frustrated. He wants nothing more than to win for the fans. For the fans. He wants to please these fans, and he's so frustrated because of the struggles."

    Later, he called Zorn's future "totally crystal clear." And several times, he expressed frustration with the media, and with the criticism that has been directed at the front office in recent weeks.

    "There's been a lot of false rumors, media speculation, unnamed sources out there all the time," he said. "I hired Jim, along with Dan Snyder. And obviously, obviously we're all very disappointed by the season performance thus far. In fact, Dan constantly talks about how disappointed he is for the fans. And we've got great fans. We feel the frustration for the fans, and we need the fans big-time Monday night. We want to entertain them, we want to make them proud, we want to make them happy [for] this football team.
    "And there's a lot of media people like you and everybody else out there that says Dan Snyder needs to come out and talk, Dan needs to say this, do that. Dan has never spoken to the media during the season for over a decade now. And Dan's thing is, he feels that during the season, the stage belongs to the head of football operations, the coaching staff, the players. That's why he doesn't talk, all right?

    "The frustration is very high, everywhere around here, but the relationships internally within this organization quite frankly remain the same. Later today Dan and I and Jim have our weekly Friday lunch, like we always do, and like Dan's done forever with the head coach, to go over the upcoming game. You know, we'll sit there, we'll have lunch, we'll bring in our pizza or Dan's health food and all this, and chitchat about, you know, 'All right Jim, tell us about the game, what do you think about Philly, what are we gonna do, how are we gonna do this?' You know, and that's what we've always done over time."

    Of course, much of the speculation about Zorn's future was sparked by the decision this week to bring in Sherm Lewis as an offensive assistant, and then to promote him to playcaller. That move seemed to cause Zorn obvious discomfort and led to an onslaught of national criticism and speculation about the coach's future. Multiple media outlets, including The Post, reported that Cerrato settled on Lewis as the playcaller Sunday night, when he asked Zorn to relinquish those duties after the loss to the Chiefs, but Cerrato disputed that version of events.

    "Let me just talk about how I made the decision to take the take the responsibilities off of Jim's plate," he said. "So what happened was, was the game ends. So I'm in the locker room and the owners come up to me and they ask me,' How do we score more points?' And we're coming off against the 32nd-ranked defense, we score two field goals and have seven first downs. So I tell them, I recommended to them that Jim's plate is too full. He's the head coach, he's the offensive coordinator, he's the quarterback coach, let's take something off the plate to help him. So they said 'Ok, go talk to him.'

    "So then I go into Jim's office at the stadium there. He's not there yet, he's coming from his press conference. And I sit down with him and he comes in, we sit down, we close the door. And contrary to what you read everywhere, it was just Jim and I. There's no cameras, microphones, anything else in there. It's just like you and I right here. There's Jim there, there's me here. Two people. And I said to him, I said Jim, I says 'We're struggling scoring points. It's been over 14 weeks now that we've struggled on offense, and I think that you have too much on your plate, that a new voice may be good for the offense, to get us going, give us a spark, get us something going.'

    "Because the defense is playing outstanding, and let's get something going, because it's been over a continuous long time. So he says, 'All right, let me think about it.' Because number one, he's frustrated from the game, and then I am asking him to give up the playcalling also. So he says, 'Let me think about it, and I'll talk to you later.'

    "So he calls me back later on and I was on the phone, so he left me a message, and I called him right back, and he says 'I'm in. Let's talk about who calls plays in the morning. And let's move on. But I'm in.' So then we go the next morning, we decided it would be Sherm Lewis and everything, and that's kind of where we're at now. So I think that kind of clears up that stuff."

    Later, co-host Frank Hanrahan pointed out that Zorn has described the situation as awkward. Indeed, Zorn admitted that is comfort level was not a 10 on a scale of 1-to-10.

    "Well, I think, you know, it's change," Cerrato sid. "So it's different than what they've been used to over the last 20 games or whatever it is. So it is a bit different....This is what I explained to Jim and some of the offensive coaches, it hasn't been one or two games. You look at when we started the season we were struggling a little bit on offense, and on defense we were struggling with getting off the field on third down. That lasted three games. Since that point we've been one of the best in the league at getting off the field on third downs, so we fixed that. All right, we're still having the point problem, and to score two field goals against the 32nd-ranked defense is not progress.

    "And Jim, to me, in his press conference, what he said was great. If it's me calling plays, then I'm willing to change. Because he is the head coach of this football team, and he is over everything, so if something is struggling somewhere, he looks at it. He looks at the offense and says, 'All right, the offense is struggling, let me talk to the offensive coordinator.' The offensive coordinator happens to be him. So lemme see if I do something offensively, we shake something up offensively, that we can get going, or get started, jump started, get a spark. So I give him credit for looking at it that way and saying all right, I am the head coach, and I've got to look at every area."

    Some analysts have wondered why the Redskins didn't wait until their upcoming bye week to make this change, giving Lewis two more weeks to learn the terminology, but Cerrato said this arrangement will work well.

    "To do it now, then we have the bye, so then you have two more weeks to get ready," he said. "So doing it now and getting a taste of it, and then having two weeks I think only helps Sherm Lewis."

    Cerrato declined to mention Largent by name, but he focused in on the receiver's assertion this week that Zorn was asked to win immediately with players and coaches he didn't choose.

    "Maybe his friend thought that he was protecting Jim because he thought something was going to happen to his career for whatever [reason], but I think his friend forgets this: that we were a top 5 defense [when Zorn was hired]," Cerrato said. "We had just been to the playoffs. Last year we had four Pro Bowlers on offense. And in Jim's contract, he controls everything over his staff. And the thing about it is, the other thing is that his friend doesn't mention was that Jim worked with all these coaches for a week prior to becoming the head coach, and he said during the interview, 'Those are my guys, I want those guys, those are the guys I want, I don't want to go hire anybody else.'

    Cerrato also took issue with Largent's shot at Lewis, who had been volunteering at a senior center before being hired by the Redskins earlier this month. He also managed to ding the Hall of Fame receiver for not winning a Super Bowl ring.

    "You know what, you don't forget all the things that you've learned over 20-some years of experience in the same offense," Cerrato said. "And those four Super Bowl rings are very pretty on his [fingers], and I don't think [Largent] has a one. So the guy has a ton of experience, he's been in battles, so it upsets me very much that [Largent] wants to attack what this guy has done in the past. What he's been doing now compared to what he's done in the past. You don't forget how to ride a bike if you hadn't rode your bike in four years. So that was very, very frustrating, some of those comments, because it's to me off-the-wall comments."

    Cerrato also took issue with media reports that some people in Ashburn have been making Zorn's life miserable.

    "You know, the thing about it is, what's funny about that is, actually this summer, Jim and his wife were in Aspen with Dan [Snyder] and his wife, vacationing together," Cerrato said. "It's a beautiful house, and they're biking every day and going to dinner and all that. But I guess that's a miserable life right there now. I'd like to have that miserable life, you know, biking in beautiful Aspen, having beautiful dinners and everything. Actually, they were out there also and [rookie defensive end] Jeremy Jarmon, that's when he flew out and met Dan and Jim out there. So for a guy to say that we're making life difficult and relationships are bad and all those things, I think that is kind of out there a little bit."

    "We've been under a lot of attack by a lot of people, and there's so much false stuff and people just keep piling on stuff, I wanted to get some facts out there, let people know the facts and what's happening and what's going on in this building."

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  2. #2

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    "You know what, you don't forget all the things that you've learned over 20-some years of experience in the same offense," Cerrato said. "And those four Super Bowl rings are very pretty on his [fingers], and I don't think [Largent] has a one."

    Nice shot at the Hall of Famer, Vinny.
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  3. #3

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    "The frustration is very high, everywhere around here, but the relationships internally within this organization quite frankly remain the same. Later today Dan and I and Jim have our weekly Friday lunch, like we always do, and like Dan's done forever with the head coach, to go over the upcoming game. You know, we'll sit there, we'll have lunch, we'll bring in our pizza or Dan's health food and all this, and chitchat about, you know, 'All right Jim, tell us about the game, what do you think about Philly, what are we gonna do, how are we gonna do this?' You know, and that's what we've always done over time."

    I bet Cowher, Shanahan, or Holmgren would love to have this weekly lunch with Dan & Vinny.
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  4. #4
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    "You know, the thing about it is, what's funny about that is, actually this summer, Jim and his wife were in Aspen with Dan [Snyder] and his wife, vacationing together," Cerrato said. "It's a beautiful house, and they're biking every day and going to dinner and all that.
    Bet there haven't been too many trips like this lately, even with the season in progress

    See, this is the way Turdblossom operates. As long as you are doing something for him, making him look god or what not, it's cool.


    The minute he has no use for you, or you make him look bad
    Last edited by Sarge; 10-23-09 at 04:37 PM.
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    Florida State

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post

    See, thisis the way Turdblossom operates. As long as you are doing something for him, making him look god or what not, it's cool.

    You know, I think this was a typo, but there may be some underlying meaning in it.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    I think Lewis only has 3 SB rings, but I could be wrong. Two with San Fran, and one with Green Bay.
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    RE: the OP

    Mr. Cerrato, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elephant View Post
    You know, I think this was a typo, but there may be some underlying meaning in it.
    What typo? I don't see any typo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yusuf06 View Post
    What typo? I don't see any typo.
    Beat me to it
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  10. #10

    Vescere bracis meis

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    Vinny, needs to realize that people know how to recognize spin when they hear it. We are bombarded by it every day at work and by politicians who seem to be on TV 24/7. We watch sports to connect with something outside of all of that. You sir do not understand that. His whole statement drips with condescending arrogance that frankly makes me want to punch him right in the mouth. The fans don’t know. The media doesn’t know. We’re doing things the right way. Zorn will be coach for life. Dan is a great guy. Cut the crap!

    I find the “Lunch with Danny” part to be especially disturbing. So you’re saying Dan and Vinny have lunch with the head coach every Friday to discuss the game plan? Really? This has to be some kind of joke. What kind of coach is going to put up with that? Do they swap stories about who they want to ask to the big box lunch social next Friday too? Could Dan or Vinny provide any constructive input here? What coach worth his salt would listen?

    Dan - “I think you should run Portis to the left.”
    Vinny – “Yeah, run him to the left.”
    Zorn – “Sounds good to me.”

    If the Skins pull off a victory Monday night the masses will be pacified through the bye week, but this is not going to just go away. If it’s 17-3 Eagles going into half-time the crowd is going to go freakin crazy. No, I take that back. Most of them will just go home disappointed, leaving a sea of Kelly Green shirts and Eagle chants to fill his empty stadium.
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    Can someone explain to me why these two clowns feel it is necessary to have lunch with the HC on Friday to review game plans?

    Then the menu is either pizza or Dan's health food! Give the poor man a real meal, not Dan's health food. Guess what Dan eats is what everyone has to eat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by riggins44 View Post
    Can someone explain to me why these two clowns feel it is necessary to have lunch with the HC on Friday to review game plans?
    Dude, they gotta improve/approve the game plan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    Dude, they gotta improve/approve the game plan
    My bad. Forgot they taught Lombardi everything he knew.
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