In my years of watching professional sports I have a confession to make on this season. I have never looked forward to a season starting in any sport more than I have this NFL regular season. I am more involved in conversations about football, researching teams to see how I think they will finish, and even looked into drafting a fantasy team. Key word there is "looked."
The Redskins and Giants squared off in the Meadowlands in a contest not really filled with much to talk about. Pretty standard game. One team shows great defensive pressure throughout the game. One figures something to do differently over half-time to stop the scoring. Running game was OK, a few touchdowns scored and a new coach gets his first taste of humility.
Jim Zorn was coaching this game like the script of a play. Some of the best coaches ever have tried this style of coaching and it has worked great for them. However, what has made them some of the best coaches is their ability to adapt and know when to throw that script to the fan when it is not working.
In his first game as head coach Zorn learned that lesson fairly early. Mike Holmgren, Zorn's old boss, and Andy Reid are a few coaches with this style of play call. If memory serves me correctly both of those guys have seen their share of playoff and Super Bowl appearances.
I am not making a prediction that Jim Zorn will be the next Andy Reid, in fact I think the exact opposite. I believe that Zorn was not cut out to be the head coach of the Redskins at this time and would have preferred to see him in the role that he was originally signed to do, offensive coordinator.
Going from QB coach for the Seahawks to O.C. would have been tough enough. But straight from his old position to head coach? Dan Snyder must have just been trying to save some money for once.
Hypothetically, imagine this with me. You are the owner of one of the premier franchises in the country and you have not won (pretty much) anything to speak of since the Great Gibbs era of the late '80s and early '90s. The Turner era didn't help you. The Shotty and Spurrier era did not last long enough to be an era. The return of Great Gibbini didn't turn out as well as expected. What would be my main objective?
I would think that hiring a coach with a simpler system than Al Saunder's crazy playbook and with a nicer mouth than Gary Williams and has a history of winning would be a thing to consider.
Let us see, who fits this criteria? How about Jim Fassel? He was the last coach to get to a Super Bowl with the, as Boomer puts it, New York Football Giants. Fassel relies on things that have historically been Redskins strong parts such as a good running game and strong defense. Of course, when Fassel took the Giants to the Super Bowl before last Tiki Barber was their best offensive weapon and Kerry Collins was the starting QB.
The game of mediocrity is now over and we can look forward to the rest of this weekend's action packed possibilities. Favre vs Pennington in a battle of the Cutter and Cuttee. The debut of Aaron Rodgers and the Pack attack which did not impress me in preseason. Possible returns of Peyton and Tom (tell me I don't have to mention their last names). TGIF, man. Thank God its football season again. Sunday we'll be watching.