The summary quote from today’s press conference: “You can see we’re wearing down a little bit, but I’ll tell you this: our team is playing very physical.” Let’s look at the comments in those two categories, but in reverse order to keep the litany of injuries to the end.
On playing very physical:
- Apparently when your running back runs for more than 120 yards in four straight games just after you’ve swapped right tackles, the replacement guy gets to keep his job. “[Jon] Jansen’s gonna go right there. Our group’s working well together. It’s unfortunate for Stephon [Heyer], but….” Zorn did emphasize that the team expected to need Heyer later, in the same way he had been saying they would need Jansen later.
- Casey Rabach received some effusive praise for stopping enormous Browns defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, a task that was described by someone in the press room as “like moving a refrigerator”. “I will say this about Rabach: he had to block a BIG human being,” Zorn said. “He went to heroics to block that physical of a player.”
- Bad news for Warren Montgomery’s campaign for the “Beast Coast Offense” over at All Hail, Washington Redskins (which I always mistype as “All hair Washington Redskins”): Zorn is eschewing clever names for the moment. “I’m not trying to create any particular image, a label if you willl, or a brand. I want the label to be what we’ve been doing — a balance.” (Zorn also later noted that “Ground Z-Man” would qualify as one of those labels he’s trying to avoid. So much for one of his best laugh lines from last night.)
- The assembled media seemed determined to find out if Zorn was disappointed not to be throwing more, until Zorn finally pointed out that the team would likely revolt “If I go in to the meeting today and say, ‘Guys, we’re changing it — the West Coast is a passing game. I forgot.'”
- On the defense, Zorn acknowledged that they had had trouble getting sacks, but that they’d been excellent against the run. Not only had they been able to string guys out sideways, but “When we’ve arrived, we’ve kind of arrived with an attitude. That’s been the signature on defense.”
On wearing down:
- “Jason [Campbell] got a little treatment on his groin today,” according to Zorn, who quickly added “I think he’ll be ready to practice on Wednesday.” The main problem with Campbell’s injury in-game, according to Zorn, was entirely “with him getting a good base to throw.”
- Clinton Portis is a bit dinged today. “We treated his hip, his foot, his ankle, his trap” — by which Zorn meant Portis’s trapezius, not his mouth, at least based on where he was gesturing as he talked.
- Shawn Springs is “still doubtful” and Fred Smoot is still sore and has a sore groin.
- Jason Taylor is still having bleeding from his calf after exertion. Some stitches were taken out, others were left in. “He’s pounding so hard,” Zorn said. “He’s playing football, for gosh sakes, not walking down the street.”
- Cornelius Griffin “is the guy who’s the most injured,” despite having stayed in the game and never complained about it.
- Asked about the seeming rash of calf injuries, Zorn seemed appropriately mystified, and mentioned looking at “shoes, arch supports, orthotics” in an attempt to correct the problem. “But what’s created it?” he added, never coming up with an answer.