Jim Zorn Out, Mike Shanahan in at Washington?

Torey ZiskaCorrespondent IIJanuary 5, 2010

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 08:  Head coach Jim Zorn of the Washington Redskins looks on during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 8, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins wasted very little time after their week 17 loss against the Chargers to show head coach Jim Zorn the door.  The move had been anticipated by everyone, including Zorn, for much of the season. 

Zorn was hired prior to the 2008 season and started off with a 6-2 record.  However, he would only record six more wins in the Redskins’ next 24 games, giving him an overall record of 12-20.

“No one in the organization is satisfied with our record over the last two years,” said Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.  “I am sure that Jim would concur with that statement. It has been painful for him, too. I certainly accept responsibility for mistakes that I have made. I am hopeful that our fans will accept my commitment and pledge to deliver a franchise that can compete in the NFC East every season."

Former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan is expected to be the front runner to replace Zorn, but perhaps the biggest question is how a new coach, along with the front office, will go about fixing the woes on offense at the quarterback and running back position. 

Injuries played a big role in the Redskins tough season, a they placed a dozen players on injured reserve, including the first two running backs on the depth chart, Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts, as well as four offensive linemen and Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley.

It’s hard to say what effect hiring a big name coach like Shanahan will do for the Redskins.  It’s a well known fact that Snyder has no problem spending boatloads of money on players to bring them to Washington, regardless of who the coach is.  With that said, there are probably quite a few players that would like to play for a coach like Shanahan if given the opportunity. 

No matter who takes the head coaching job, it’s tough to see the Redskins being much better next year.  However give a guy like Shanahan two or three years to get things worked out, and you could see Washington get themselves back into the playoff picture in the near future.


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