Day After The Game: Coach Zorn Press Conference

Coach Zorn maintained the same frank openness at this press conference as he has through the preseason, as well as the same optimism. If the team continues to struggle offensively as they did in the first quarter yesterday, that optimism could very well start coming off as completely baseless, but for the moment it still sounds like a confident man implementing a new and complicated system. Some

  • On the positive side for Jason Campbell, he “protected the ball. No interceptions, no fumbles from the quarterback position.” The major concern, according to Coach Zorn, is pretty much what everyone’s been saying: “Locking in on a receiver, not turning a receiver down.” But the Zorn Confidence remains firmly in place: “I’m not concerned about the total package,” he said, “just specific things.”
  • The other concern regarding Campbell is his speed — Zorn wants him to move faster. The coach dismissed the question of Campbell being an immobile pocket passer, though, noting, “He’s got enough athleticism to to speed up his game.”
  • Clinton Portis was roundly praised, despite the running game as a whole being classed as “average” — “Good to see a back strain for everything,” Zorn said. “I loved it. He played violent.” Even Clinton’s sideline presence received kudos. “He was great. He didn’t say anything negative at all. He said keep calling that inside play.”
  • Stephon Heyer’s performance also received better reviews than some might have expected. “Excellent for his first go,” despite some communication problems. As far as the first play, though, Zorn completely absolved Heyer: “The sack was on Jason,” he said, with finality.
  • Zorn also laid out his somewhat unusual thinking regarding clock management in the fourth quarter. After getting the ball with 6:12 left and hitting a 26 yard pass, Zorn was trying to conserve timeouts and call plays that would go out of bounds to stop the clock. Unfortunately, the plays didn’t actually make it out of bounds. The reason for conserving timeouts? “If you put their offense on the field with no timeouts [for us], the take knees. If we didn’t get an onside kick, we have timeouts to force the punt.” From a certain point of view, this worked — they did use their timeouts to force the punt and get the ball back with 1:31 left. The problem was, there was still a two-score deficit; scoring prior to giving the ball back was a fairly important part of the overall scheme. To his credit, Zorn was blunt about the issue: “Not going no-huddle was probably the issue for me,” he said, and also, “I probably wasted a minute of the game.”
  • Coach Zorn also reiterated that Cooley was much more in the gameplan than it might have appeared, and that a number of plays that would’ve gone to Cooley were negated by penalty. Those of you who have in fantasy football shouldn’t give up hope just yet.
  • Injury updates. Fred Smoot has a hip pointer, which Zorn described as “Okay, just a painful injury.” Zorn expects him to be ready for Sunday. Shawn Springs couldn’t put weight on his foot yesterday, and there was no update on his condition. Jason Taylor came out of the game no worse for the wear. Kareem Moore continues to nurse his hamstring, Kedrick Golston is recovering from a jammed knee, Khary Campbell a “nagging grab of the quad,” and Malcolm Kelly is still in wait-and-see mode.
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28 Responses

  1. Regarding Clington Portis, I readily agree. In fact, I gave CP the Die Hard MVP last night on my blog. I love that phrase. “He played violent.”

  2. While some guys seemed to play with a great deal of passion last night, the team as a whole seemed somewhat lackluster to me. The Giants played as the aggressors and the Redskins were just absorbing blows most of the time. My hope is that next week the ‘Skins will be the one’s running through people. If the team continues to be nail and not the hammer, it will be a very long season.

    Another area of concern is the failure to capitalize on turnover opportunities. Manning served up at least three passes that should have been picked (aside from the one that was). Those turnovers could easily have turned this game into around.

    I’m still hopeful. Obviously, one game does not a season make, but if these trends continue, it could be a very long season. Lets hope next week the ‘Skins play violent, focused and sharp.

  3. clinton and london made me proud.
    Why don’t the ‘Skins come out in the no-huddle to begin a game? It seems to me –granted this was with Al Saunders calling plays–that Jason Campbell had a rhythm when he was in the no-huddle last year. If the WCO is really about “rhythm,” why not have your QB do what he does best? The Giants did that with Eli initially. Philly does it with McNabb.

    But really, all this is water under the bridge. Jason Campbell is not a WC QB. He’s terrifically talented. Let him loose with the long ball. Yeesh, I bet somewhere Al Davis is salivating at the thought of Campbell…

    After his beloved Raiduhs made the SB with Ricg Gannon and a short passing game, Davis has completely wrecked the Oakland franchise. His decisions, especially regarding coaching make Danny & Vinny look like The Squire and Beathard back in the Good ‘ol days!

    As far as the Giants game, HEY IT’S JUST GAME ONE!
    Don’t forger that Gibbs 1.0 went 0-5. So one game means close to zilch.

    The Skins had several chances to turn the game on interceptions off fingertips and receptions just a yard short of the marker. With more time in the West Coast offense and a health Shawn Springs(please God), those plays will be made and the W’s will come.

    SO SAY I !!!! SO SAY WE ALL!!!

  5. At the end of the day its the first game. We have to wait and see. We went from a power running game to the West coast system. It is going to take time. Campbell is a deep passer now we are asking him to be a short passer. I like him. The guy has been in different offenses every year. They must pass first to set the run up. As well the D- line was awful. We got beat because our D-line and o-line was not tough enough. Thats wgy we lost. Simple

  6. Any update on whether they’re going to bring McMullen back in? We need another WR

  7. Matt,

    In talking with the team or listening to Zorn – was there any concern over the play calling – specifically in the fact that just about every 2nd and 5 and 2nd and 6 call was a run up the middle. More frustrating was the fact that every “3rd and X” went for “X-1” yards. Throwing the ball to an open receiver 4 yards short of the first down is not a good strategy for getting first downs. I know you were frustrated by this too and I was hoping to hear some explanation from Zorn – either “This was on me for not calling better plays” or “This was on Jason for making poor reads”


  8. Food for thought. Maybe Jason is the reason he’s been in 8 different offenses in 8 years. If he could master a single one it might be brought back for a second year. It’s common sense. If you have eight people fail look for a common thread. Is JC that thread? Is he good enough to get a coach fired? Granted that’s over simplifying. And JC was not the starter every one of those years. But at some point people have to look at him and either build a system around him that fits him or find someone that fits your system – because eight tries with one super year maybe means it’s JC and not the coaches. I’m just sayin’.

  9. It sounds (or reads) as though the fans want a change a QB. Thats fine but the team will never get anywhere with these knee jerk decisions. Just stick with it for awhile its not gonna happen overnight.

    I feel that this team will win between 6 and 10 games. That means that they will lose some. Last night was one of those loses.

    I am not giving up. HTTR!

  10. hey i got an idea how about selling the team and moving it to LA we have al davis jr as an owner why cant we have a great owner like jerry jones

  11. hey skip are you blind this team will be lucky to win six games


  13. I hope Coach Zorn found out last night why James Thrash should not be relied on as a receiver… Great guy, great special teams performer and leadership figure, but you have to catch that ball… It hit him right in the hands and would have put us right at the 1yd line.

    painful game to watch.

  14. p.s. someone please pour some f’n glue on carlos rodgers’ gloves

  15. eric collins you are the biggest douche i have ever seen on here. talking to yourself for a little bit there, guy?

    we sucked last night, and we know it. and washington dc is a dump? how bout the entire state of texas? sucks ass. take your bandwagon ass outta here.

  16. I thought the play calling was pretty bad by Zorn. I dont think he reacted well to what the Giants were doing. It seemed the whole first half the Giants were bumrushing 7 or 8 guys while the Skins were simply blocking with 5. You have to call plays to beat a blitz, i.e., screens, quick pitches outside, quick slants, etc. That was by biggest concern. I dont think Zorn gave the offense much of a chance. He did not call a smart game!

    The defense will be fine. I will take giving up 16 points every game. And I think the offense will improve each game as everybody gets more comfortable. Zorn has to call plays with more confidence and hopefully he wont lose the team prior to giving the offense a fair chance.

    Hail To The Skins. We are talented and mature, we will be in the playoffs this year!

  17. I agree with Skip. This was first game of the season, give it a little bit of time. I’m still optimistic.

  18. Folks, lets stop calling for Campbell’s removal here. Here’s what I saw in the game:

    1. The Skins O-Line could not block a D-Line comprised of our grandmothers. I don’t care what your system is or who your QB is, if the play goes: hike, 3-steps and then you have Justin Tuck or Kiwanuka in your face nothings happening.

    2. The Skins D-Line in the first half couldn’t have stopped Jacobs if he was moving slow motion. The D-Line stunk the joint up for a half.

    3. The Skins D-Line did make adjustments and got the pressure and the stops necessary in the 2nd half. Rogers had 2 picks that he should have caught, one that was almost a pick-6.

    4. The Offense didn’t adjust. If you remove Portis’ 23 yd run, he averaged 2.7 yds a rush. We are not scaring anybody with that kind of average. The Giants stacked the line and dared us to throw….they did not.

    5. I blame Zorn for clock mismanagement. It appears he admits to that, but the last few mins of the game were screwed by bad Coaching.

    6. I also blame Zorn for not adjusting the game for what we were given. Portis had a courageous game, but 2-3 yd rushes and leaving Campbell in 3 & 7 type scenarios all the time doesn’t help. JC I think can and will be a good QB. Let’s not forget folks, he has been a starting QB for what really amounts to 1 1/2 seasons. Only one season was he the starter for the entire year, last year.

    Zorn in my opinion was the biggest reason we lost. I don’t think he called a good game and didn’t adjust. JC cannot be blamed for all the bad decisions on coaching. We had a 3 & 1 in the 2nd half, Zorn calls a run to the right. If you watch the replay, the Giants read it and stuffed it. That was happening over and over and over. Remember, the running portion of the offense was a carry over from Gibbs. There should be ZERO reason we were putting up those numbers.

    I also saw on a lot of the replays they showed, JC was looking at great coverage. I am sorry but the sack that Heyer gave up was not on JC. Heyer got beat and JC was screwed. Also, Devin Thomas not running to the first down marker, not JC’s fault.

    I hope they stick to JC and have patience. Zorn may be in over his head, but who knows maybe I am wrong. If we are 0-3 going into Dallas, season over!

  19. Ya know….I ALMOST became a Redskin fan…until last night’s performance…If things don’t change, I think I’ll become a Cowboys fan instead where they like to score some points and is not afraid of taking chances. JC as quarterback will not cut it.

  20. i think you all should fire zorn how to you lose your first game and then publicly bash your starting QB telling everyone in the world what he lacks and what he needs to improve…am i the only one that sees this as the stupid coaching move in the world…..for god sakes you pretty much telling everyone you have no faith in your players….talk about a rookie coach yeah you suck as a coach so lets just blame it on the players…and then i love that one part where he says we had one chance to get moss the ball and JC messed up….great your game plan calls for just one chance at doing something good….fire him now…and not later.

  21. I ALMOST became a Redskin fan…until last night’s performance…If things don’t change, I think I’ll become a Cowboys fan

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

  22. THe only thing Campbell has shown me is theat he can lose! I mean if a 37 year backup can take us to the playoffs what could a real quaterback do! I see the future COLT HERE COLT NOW!

  23. Let’s go Redskins!!!

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  24. Bring on the Colt!!!!

  25. I think the skins had a bad game period and in football this happens for god sakes people we were playing the champs a division rivalry at home season opener yes the first half was scary but when we scored I almost broke something the second half they made adjustments and we looked better on both sides of the ball the fact is the giants are good no matter what the experts say we just need to keep our heads up and think about new orleans

  26. Dannyhajek is right…It’s jus t 1 game. Execution is the Key..
    Winning starts up front..O-line..D-line.

    Next Game..must win up-front.

  27. Quote by Willie..
    “Ya know….I ALMOST became a Redskin fan…until last night’s performance…If things don’t change, I think I’ll become a Cowboys fan instead where they like to score some points and is not afraid of taking chances. JC as quarterback will not cut it.”

    Well hell if it takes a bunch of wins and huge plays to MAKE you a fan we don’t want you…all you are is a bandwagoner…

  28. You can make all the excuses you want and say one game doesnt matter, well guess what they all matter. When a coach has 3 quarterbacks who all played well in the pre-season(Mr Collins did a damn fine job last year too), and he sticks with one who isnt getting the job done then, guess what, its the coaches fault for not using all his assets. Thats just dumb. If the starting quarterback is taken out because he is playing poorly, and cant handle it, then he shouldnt be in the NFL to begin with. What Washington needs is a coach with some balls for once. Open the game plan up, let the other quarterbacks andplayers have a shot, if the starters are stinking the field up. wake up Jim Z.

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