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With one trick play, Redskins Coach Jim Zorn shows defiance

One of many experimental iterations ...

Sarge

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/22/AR2009122200117.html


The zaniest, most off-kilter called play of the NFL season began with the Redskins' punter taking a snap from the backup tight end before halftime with, incredibly, no line in front of him. As if the New York Giants were supposed to count to "Three Mississippi" before they rushed past Todd Yoder to disembowel poor Hunter Smith.

Leaving the meekest of his players in harm's way, Coach Jim Zorn sent the rest of his offensive line and wide receivers to line up at the far left sideline for some kooky, bizarre gadget play. Watching the replay in the press box of a pass that had no chance but to be intercepted, which it was, the original thought stuck: Nuts, just nuts.

But the more I saw the replay, the deeper I went with Zorn's motivation, reaching further than even his doomed fake field goal try: Toward pure brilliance, toward outright defiance -- straight to a cutting, scripted protest in the final days of his two-year reign as a powerless figurehead.
 

The Burgundy Ghost

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If that's defiance then Zorn should be fired on the spot.

That my friends wasn't defiance, that was plain stupidity or utter desperation.
Had we tried the FG, gone with the fake and the Giants not called a TO then, you could say "What the hell we're down 24-0, we're probably going to lose anyway might as well try something from the 'ol bag o' tricks."

I wouldn't have had a problem with that.

However, the surprise was gone as soon as Coughlin called time out.
Then you go back for the reasonably makable FG that most kickers not named Suisham or Folk would make. Suisham would have made it probably it wasn't a clutch kick by any stretch.

B/C the Giants saw the formation and knew what the Skins were doing.
The only reason you can justify still running the play was that Gano was hurt, but that wasn't Zorn's reasoning.

For the most part it was desperation. You'd see something like this when a new player jumps on Madden for the first time and are so desperate to score b/c they can't generate offense that they run fake plays and goes for it on 4th and long every time to try and do something.

Let's go back to the Denver game. Zorn was applauded for the fake FG despite showing his hand and having to call time out (10 men on the field), yet Denver still didn't adjust and Smith threw a TD. Good move by Zorn right?
Wrong. It was a bad move by Denver for not adapting when they clearly saw a fake coming. Drop an extra player or two back and the ball gets picked off.

But when you get the TD you get credit, when you fail people say WTF was that.
 

Lanky Livingston

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I just read on twitter that someone said Spurrier ran the swinging gate once also. I don't really remember, but either

1) Zorn is as bad or worse a coach then Spunky was, OR

2) it was some sort of subtle shot at the organization. What better way to humiliate us then to throwback to one of the most humiliating eras of our history, the Steve Spurrier era?
 

Om

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"But the more I saw the replay, the deeper I went with Zorn's motivation, reaching further than even his doomed fake field goal try: Toward pure brilliance, toward outright defiance -- straight to a cutting, scripted protest in the final days of his two-year reign as a powerless figurehead."
Maybe. Makes as much sense as the call itself.

Think I'm with Wise, if true. Zorn's never exactly been a conformist ... at least he'd be going out with style.

We can all define that "style" for ourselves. :cool4:
 

Henry

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Lousy call by a lousy coach for a lousy team during a lousy game.

Not sure there's much more to read into it than that.
 

Sarge

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You know, he's been treated like a red haired, step-child bitch, so I can see him pulling this. I can't say I wouldn't either.

But he should be fired for it
 

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Wise is giving Zorn too much credit.

Zorn has never shown the ability to manage his timeouts or end of half play calls and now we are supposed to give him credit for being clever and cunning?

It doesn't wash.

Most likely Zorn thought he was fooling the Giants by running the same play AFTER the timeout when he figured no one would expect it.

He has pulled trick plays on special teams all year in an attempt to energize his constipated offense.

This time it failed.

There is no embarrassing Snyder here.

Zorn's team performance last night only emphasized how much change is necessary.

In that regard Zorn helped Snyder sell Allen and the transition.
Posted via BGO Mobile Device
 

Chris

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That play fit in perfectly with his body of work over the past two seasons. It wasn't really a shot at the organization, it was, in one defined moment, a commentary on his abilities as a professional coach.
 

Sarge

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The reason they are called "trick plays" is because they rarely work more than once.


Zorn sealed his fate as a head coach in this league for all time. I hope he had fun with that play
 

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I'd kinda like to know what the play was supposed to look like, just out of morbid curiosity.
 

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Yeah, this sounds more like desperation than defiance. Then again, Zorn could have a dark, sarcastic side to him that he doesn't let out of the bag.
 

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I'd kinda like to know what the play was supposed to look like, just out of morbid curiosity.
I think it would have worked better if Smith had thrown a quick screen to Davis, who then ran in behind the blocks of the OL right in front of him. There was 5 on 5 out there, and 5 "rushing the passer," so it would have been an easy score. Instead, he decided to heave it up for some reason.
 

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The play can work if you catch a defense wondering "WTF is this crap?!"

But the play should have been over once N.Y. called a timeout to prepare for it.

I think the key to the play is to catch everyone looking at one side of the field (in this case, the left side, where we had moved most of our players) while sneaking a player out on the other side of the field (If you watch the replay, I believe it was Todd Yoder who was still on the line who went to the right).

It might have worked if the Giants hadn't called timeout.

Stupid play to run after a defense prepares for it.
 

Om

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Gotta admit, it's a little embarrassing that so many mainstream types have absolutely no concept that the play actually had a design other than Smith's panic heave.

I think, again, that option 1 was Yoder right ... and option 2 may have been Gano on the left sideline, who was well behind the wall of other Redskins and was maybe supposed to catch Smith's pass and either run or, if it was a lateral, throw the damn thing again.

Yeah, calling the trick play after the TO again was a circus move, and Zorn's in over his head and yada yada yada, but what the **** has happened to supposedly game-wise people writing about football actually observing and thinking for themselves?
 

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Zorn will be back with Holmgren in Cleveland in 2010 as the quarterbacks coach, trying to straighten out Brady Quinn.

He knows it. We know it. Snyder and Allen know it.

This guy is the lamest duck coach I can remember.

Thank God nobody is 'horny for Zorny' anymore :laugh: :laugh:

Zorn was Cerrato's pick.

Another ill-conceived and ill-considered choice.

Zorn would be challenged running a small college program.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Gotta admit, it's a little embarrassing that so many mainstream types have absolutely no concept that the play actually had a design other than Smith's panic heave.

I think, again, that option 1 was Yoder right ... and option 2 may have been Gano on the left sideline, who was well behind the wall of other Redskins and was maybe supposed to catch Smith's pass and either run or, if it was a lateral, throw the damn thing again.

Yeah, calling the trick play after the TO again was a circus move, and Zorn's in over his head and yada yada yada, but what the **** has happened to supposedly game-wise people writing about football actually observing and thinking for themselves?
Well to be fair, every play works perfectly on the chalkboard.
 

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