No major injuries incurred, no disastrous plays, a four game winning streak … these things are all indisputably terrific, but they do somewhat reduce the interesting soundbites at the coach’s press conference.
- There’s an interesting balance in Coach Zorn: he’s clearly proud of his accomplishments, he enjoys playcalling and coming up with clever options, but he never fails to put the bulk of the credit on his players and their execution. “We get good response because our guys are executing,” he said. “There’s a 50/50 chance I could be a goat as well.” And then on the other hand, when the Washington Post’s Jason Reid mentioned that he had to believe coaching was an element in the win streak, Zorn immediately said “Absolutely.” He paused to let that sink in, then continued, “In my assistant coaching career, I felt like we were about 30 percent of success on the field.” He did acknowledge that he hadn’t worked up percentages for head coaching, but it’s an impressive balance he strikes.
- He also seems not to want to be pigeonholed as Wacky Guy or Maverick Coach. (Note: “maverick” here is used without any political connotations whatsoever; I mention this to forestall any side arguments in the comments.) “I hope it’s not borderline crazy,” he said of his aggressive playcalling. “I hope it’s sound. That’s what I want to be. I’ve also punted on fourth and inches when we could’ve gone for it.”
- Probably the most interesting were his comments on rookie punter Durant Brooks. “Our punter has to improve his hangtime and distance,” he said plainly. “There’s not a whole lot we can say other than, ‘Yep, he’s gotta punt better.'” The optimistic view, Coach? “He was an OUTSTANDING punter a week ago…. I’m not gonna be in such a hurry to make sure that he’s gone.”
- Zorn used the Devin Thomas incident, when he was reprimanded by his teammates after pulling down a penalty that negated a Santana Moss first down, as “an example of how our team is trying to play together” and how they’re buying into the team-over-individual concept. That’s a positive spin on a frustrating play by the rookie.
- Add another to the “violent” count. “I looked at how violent our running backs play — those things impressed me,” he said, as part of a description of what he noticed watching film on his new team this offseason.
- You might have heard mention that the Redskins have completed their divisional road schedule, and that their next three opponents are unlikely to even show up and can be safely ignored. “That’s probably the scariest thing out there for me,” Zorn said, adding, “I’m not gonna dance the jig” to celebrate the upcoming opponents.
- Cornelius Griffin is scheduled to have an MRI on his shoulder today, even though he continued playing after the injury, and Malcolm Kelly’s knee is swollen after his limited action yesterday. (Which almost seems not to matter, as Zorn reiterated that Kelly has a lot of work to do on his routes before he’s ready to play.)