Jim Zorn and the Washington Redskins: One Call Says It All

James Gray IICorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2008

Two Thursday’s ago, I watch the television with disgust as I watched not only my Gamecocks fall to Vanderbilt, but I watched the Redskins embarrass themselves in the NFL season opener.


At times I had to turn away as I watched Jason Campbell look more confused than I do in accounting class. It was tough, as our offense accounted for 125 passing yards and Portis earned 84 rushing yards the hard way, many times having to avoid two or three defenders just to get back to the line of scrimmage.


As I sat there and wondered if this is the prestigious "West Coast offense” that has been hyped all offseason. Is this what I couldn’t wait to see since we hired Zorn? Well, I hoped it wasn’t, and Sunday’s win over the Saints took a little bit of anxiety away.


As 'Skins fan’s already know, to get a victory these days it wouldn’t be a true win if they didn’t almost cause every fan to have a heart attack before the final ticks. And yes, for me, the game is never over till I see 0:00 left on the clock.


I have seen us lose to the Giants on the one-yard line, I’ve seen us intercept the ball and give it back to them, only to watch L.T. take matters into his own hands, and I’ve seen way to many conservative fourth-quarter calls that only lead to disappointment. 


Sunday, against the Saints, I had the same feeling in my stomach, as I was thinking, “Oh great, we got the interception.” Then I heard a fellow Redskin say, “Can you say game over?”


I quickly corrected the fan and said there is still 2:59 left in the game, because I have seen the 'Skins blow it way too many times. So, as expected, I watched three-straight rushes once again, failing to get the first down to end the game like we all have seen too often.


This time was different however. Instead of punting the ball and watching the other team drive for the game-winning touchdown, I watched the gutsiest call by a Redskin coach since I’ve been old enough to watch them: We went for the first down to end the game!! 


Anxiousness, nervousness, and excitement filled my body,, as I watched the snap and saw Santana Moss catch an inside slant pass from Jason Campbell to convert on fourth down and eventually end the game.


It was almost surreal, as we were able to eliminate a nine-point, fourth-quarter deficit, and there was no doubt in my mind that Drew Brees would’ve had the FedEx crowd in a nail-biting frenzy; as we all know Brees’ fourth-quarter comeback track record.   


After receiving much criticism throughout the game, Campbell finally listened to me and was able to complete his last eight passes of the game and ended with 321 passing yards and one touchdown.


Coach Zorn’s call was way more than just a first down and win; it was a message to D.C. that things are going to be different around here. Risks are going to be taken, and we are going to be living more on the edge.


Things may never be picture perfect in Washington, but at least were making steps to get back to the level of greatness that brought us THREE Super Bowl rings.