In Defense of Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell
First let me say Jim Zorn is not a good head coach.
OK, now that that is clear let me also say that Jason Campbell is not a bad quarterback.
With those two points resolved let the defense begin.
Zorn Set up to Fail
Zorn is not a good coach mainly because he has been set up to fail from the start.
Former teammate Steve Largent gave a telling interview yesterday on ESPN about Zorn and the state of the Redskins.
I've heard a lot of talk and anger about Zorn, but honestly Largent hit the nail on the head.
Zorn was brought in with no coordinator experience much less head coaching experience. He wasn't even allowed to hire his own staff.
He had to inherit the players Washington already had and, despite also being the offensive coordinator, had to use the running system and terminology offensive line coach Joe Bugel was already using.
To say that Zorn's tenure got off to a less than ideal start would be an understatement.
I questioned the hire immediately as another one of Dan Snyder's schemes. I had just figured he'd be there a year and then Danny Boy would go after another high profile coach.
To my surprise Zorn and the Skins had some initial success before going in the tank toward the middle of last season. At that point I thought Zorn was probably a goner.
Yet again I was surprised when Snyder didn't pull the trigger in the offseason. At that point I was hopeful that perhaps Snyder was growing up and learned his lesson from his previous decisions.
Boy have I been wrong about that. What Snyder has done to Zorn this season is beyond contemptible, and as a Washington fan it is embarrassing.
To basically strip away Zorn's powers bit by bit is childish. And it appears it was a failed attempt to get Zorn to quit.
But Zorn is too smart for that and too much of a competitor. So my hat's off to him for sticking it out when better coaches and lesser men would have quit over less.
That still doesn't change the fact that the Redskins are in a tailspin as a result of the childish nature of Sinner and the incompetence of GM Vinnie Cerrato.
So no matter if they fire the Zorn this week or next week or the week after, the Redskins will be lucky to win another game this year. They are just that bad.
Campbell Isn't to Blame
I'm tired of hearing how connected the fates of Zorn and Campbell are even if they are true.
The reality of it though is that Zorn's fate shouldn't have anything to do with Campbell's.
Campbell has proved at least for the earliest part of last year that when he has a healthy offensive line he can do well. If the Skins can get the running game going and take pressure off of him, then he has proved he can deliver the ball down-field.
While I'm not crazy about him running the West Coast offense, he has shown the ability to be a solid and at times very efficient quarterback.
But as often is the case when things go bad, we are too quick to forget how much he was loved when he did well last season.
He went forever without an interception and responded to Zorn's offense nicely, even though he really doesn't seem suited for it.
Then the o-line fell apart, as it has this year, and it was all down hill for Campbell and the Redskins.
During the draft Washington could have addressed the weakness up front but Cerrato chose a different direction. They also could have addressed it the year before but took two receivers and a tight end who have not amounted to much.
So while Campbell isn't a Hall of Fame type quarterback, he is good enough to run an NFL team.
He has done it, and we all loved him for it. So before we throw him under the bus Cerrato and Snyder have already ran Zorn over with, let's give him a chance.
The only problem is that if Campbell is smart he will want out of D.C. soon. Why shouldn't he, as it doesn't seem Washington wants him anyway.
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