Coach Zorn Press Conference – 9/29

Watching Coach Zorn dribble the football in practice — something he makes look confusingly, perplexingly easy — is less interesting than hearing his press conference. But not by much — it’s surprisingly hypnotic. (Photo by Ned Dishman.)

  • London Fletcher apparently tried to explain to Coach Zorn that the Seattle/Oakland rivalry isn’t comparable to Redskins/Cowboys, but Zorn is continuing to downplay the significance. “I felt much like I’ve felt in the past about rivalries. It’s just a big game. I didn’t have a sense of hate. I didn’t have a secret T-shirt on saying ‘Beat Dallas’ or whatever.” This begged a follow-up question, which was asked: did you have have secret Raiders T-shirts? “Yeah, Raiderbusters! AbsoLUTEly!”
  • I didn’t hear him use the word “medium,” but Zorn did manage to work in one of his other favorite words, calling Marion Barber a “violent” running back. I should be tallying this.
  • On Carlos Rogers stepping up, Zorn called it “an awesome job,” and called special attention to the fourth quarter series where Rogers made three straight plays defending Terrell Owens: “He put his stamp on that series. It was totally him.”
  • Every time Coach Zorn talks about calling plays, I think of chess players (even though I hate the football:chess comparison for a variety of other reasons). This comment from today, for example: “I’ve always felt comfortable calling plays. I always have the next play in my mind or on the tip of my tongue.” Further on that subject, he claimed to have no feelings of “I told you so” about the long wait to become a head coach. This is the one thing he’s said that I’m not sure I completely believe, even though he says it perfectly convincingly.
  • One of the few calls Coach Zorn has made that has felt like a bad choice to me was the fade to Santana Moss in the corner of the endzone toward the end of the second quarter. That’s a throw for a tall receiver, or it was before the new force-out rules — and Zorn agrees. “I was mad at myself,” he said, acknowledging that it was a questionable call in that situation.
  • Someone asked if it was a busted coverage that had gotten Santana Moss so very open on the 53 yard completion from Campbell, and Zorn actually bristled a little bit. “That was the play,” he said. “It wasn’t a broken play, thank you very much.” While his faux-anger was amusing, the most entertaining thing about his analysis of the play was that he actually seemed to be managing slight disappointment that Campbell hadn’t — throwing on the run, remember — managed to lead Moss to the endzone. “I couldn’t fault Jason on the throw,” he said, “even though it was short.”
  • For all his focus on playcalling and gameplanning, Zorn is candid about what is most important. “I brought the gameplan into the offensive meeting and, ‘Okay guys, here it is … and it means NOTHING without execution.’ Scheme is good, but execution of the scheme makes all the difference.”
  • Zorn attributed his fondness for the “hip hip hooray” cheer to Chuck Knox, who used it in Seattle, acknowledging that it seemed old school even then, but “kinda fired me up.” Told that George Allen had done the same thing here in D.C., Zorn almost beamed. “I couldn’t believe that” when I heard, he said. “That’s providence.”
  • Injury updates: Stephon Heyer tweaked his shoulder. Randy Thomas has a little turf toe. Shawn Springs is managing his calf injury. Jason Taylor is reportedly walking around. And for all of these guys, we’ll have more details on actual status and availability on Wednesday. One thing the players have to be aware of, Zorn noted, “is the difference between being injured and being sore.” Because everyone is going to be sore after a game like that.

12 Responses

  1. Matt, was there any thing about what set Zorn off so much on the play where Campbell through the ball away in the red zone and we had to take a field goal…I know, which one, right? It was the one where he was looking for someone over the middle.

    On T.V., Zorn looked like he was having a seizure cause he was so upset; ranting, raving, spitting, and throwing his notes to the ground. It’s amazing how animated he can be during the game. Soon, we’ll have a nickname for him to provide the right depiction of his multiple personalities.

  2. Great Post!

    When you have time, can you try to ask Blache or Zorn if the run defense performed better due to J Taylor not being out there?

    Also, can you ask if the rumors speculating that Jason Taylor had an infection grow on to his calf post-surgery are true?

    I personally believe that we should sit Jason Taylor out another 2 weeks, and let Stephon Heyer’s shoulder heal completely before he plays again.

    ALSO…..can you find the status out on CP’s ankle, I heard he twisted it up in the 3rd quarter.


  3. Zorn has been pretty clear that there was no infection. In the past they might have kept that kind of thing quiet, but Zorn seems to be a pretty straight shooter when it comes to talking about the status of his football team.

  4. Matt, one more thing…was our first touchdown, the pass to JThrash supposed to work like that, i.e. Thrash does a decapitated chicken routine in the backfield until the defender falls down, then snap the ball quickly and pass the ball before the defender can recover.

    I like the play…I enjoy watching it again, and again. I’m just wondering if that was by design.

  5. I hate three men DL on a prevent defence, it gives good QB time for a receiver to get open. Pls. stop using it.

  6. Hip Hip! Hooray!

    Zorn is so entertaining to watch and listen to at all times. I might feel differently after a loss, but his demeanor actually seems to be working for the team — not that his demeanor is the reason for their early success, but it always helps if you can get people to respond to you.

    Case in point: the “Hip Hip Hooray” during his postgame speech to the team. That floored me! Weirdest thing was that he pulled it off…it was actually kind of cool. Go Skins!

  7. Hey matt, is there any way you can get a short video clip of Zorn dribbling a football?

  8. I wonder as a cynical fan – when is it okay to believe and start being homerish with team joy? I’m the non-homer type who freaks after every loss and beams after every win, and with our team the last decade it’s been a bi-polar experience.

    So at what point do you believe? The kind of belief that even when the team takes a bad loss you still know deep in your heart that the team will win next week.

    I want to feel that way right no and I don’t think I ever got there during the Petibon/Turner/Robiski/Schotty/Ball Coach/Gibbs 2 era because this truly feels like a new era. So what is the threshold for that deep Patriots/Colts/Cowboys kind of confidence in your team?

    A win at Philly or a winning season or a playoff trip or back to back winning seasons? I’m thinking maybe it’s a win in Dallas against the pundits’ pick for best team in the NFL. It sure feels like it . . . I’m ready to believe that on any given Sunday the Skins can win – I’m ready!

  9. Die Hard, I can’t remember whether or not it was NFL Network or ESPN, but they highlighted the play you’re inquiring about. Apparently Cooley was the first option, but when the Dallas defender slipped it gave Campbell and Thrash an easy score. From the breakdown I gathered that Cooley would at least caught the TD if Thrash was covered properly. Good play, especially given the result.

  10. Man , injuries seem to start to pile up early in the season.

  11. Really need video of Zorn dribbling a football…

  12. I also would like to see Zorn dribble the football.

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