Washington Redskins Remain Tight-Lipped About Jim Zorn's Replacement

Tony OwusuContributor IJanuary 4, 2010

ASHBURN, VA - JANUARY 04:  Washington Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen speaks during a press conference on the dismissal of Head Coach Jim Zorn at Redskins Park January 4, 2010 in Ashburn, Virginia. During the press conference Allen said, 'Last place 2 years in a row is not Redskin football.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Well, Washington Redskins GM Bruce Allen's press conference is over and now the question has been asked what have we learned?

Not really a whole lot in terms of who the next head coach is going to be. We knew about the Jim Zorn firing early this morning and I guess this was just an announcement of that fact.

Nothing in the press conference pointed to Mike Shanahan being the 'Skins new coach, as has been widely reported.

However we do now know that none of the other coaches have been let go. Yet. Allen said that he would leave those decisions to the next coach. We also know that Dan Snyder will be less involved with the day-to-day operations of the team. At least that's what can be gleaned from the "changing of the culture" phrase that Allen said a couple of times during the press conference.

This is an important deviation from the way the Redskins organization has been run since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999. For the last decade he has been an owner more in the mold of a Jerry Jones; hands on with the football side of the organization. And much like recent Jones teams he hasn't had a lot of success with that approach

Obviously it has not worked. The Redskins end this season with a 4-12 record, dropping their record for the decade down to 70-90. This record was a direct result of the decisions that came from Dan Snyder and his long time friend/confidant/Vice-President of Football Operations—Vinny Ceratto. Just look at their coaching turnover over the last ten years.

-Terry Robiski* (Interim) (1-2)

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-Marty Schottenheimer (8-8)  one season

-Steve Spurrier (12-20) two seasons

-Joe Gibbs (30-34) four seasons

-Jim Zorn (12-20) two seasons

The only good hire out the whole group was Schottenheimer and he had the shortest tenure. The Joe Gibbs hiring smacked of desperation at the time and probably set the team back in the long run because there was no one on Gibbs' staff who the Redskins felt they could hand the reins over to.

This left the franchise having to scramble to find a coach and ending up, unfortunately for both parties, with Jim Zorn, a person who had not even been an OC in the league.

So if there is a change in culture coming then that change has to involve different people making decisions from on high.

Dan Snyder has the potential to be a great owner. He loves his team and is willing to break the bank on anyone he feels will help him get a Lombardi. He just needs to let smart football people make the football decisions.

Cerrato was a yes-man and a sycophant. That's not what Snyder or this franchise needed. Hopefully Allen and whoever they bring in to captain this ship are allowed the leeway they need to return this team to glory.