Zorn Motivates With The Fetal Position


If I had to pick one phrase I don’t particularly want to hear my coach saying with any sincerity, it’s probably “I’m the worst coach in America.” Well, we cleared that hurdle last week, and I actually thought Coach Zorn delivered the line well, and recovered from the fallout well also.

If there’s a second phrase I don’t want to hear, it’s probably “I was in the fetal position, plopped over sideways.” Not really your traditional chest-out leadership posture, although Zorn isn’t really your traditional chest-out leadership kind of guy. Which is, ultimately, what led to the fetal position story in the first place: someone asked if he had ever engaged in any sort of unusual motivational techniques a la Mike Singletary’s now-legendary pants-dropping.

Zorn’s answer — along with his comments on the defense in Sunday’s game — after the jump.

    “I’ve been thinking about taking off my shirt in front of my players, and kinda … no. Hm.

    “I did one thing unusual, if it was out of the ordinary. After a practice this year, I started talking about how … I forgot which team it was, but as I started talking I started talking about all the things that could happen to us. And I started to act like I was getting stiff and not being loose, you know, every negative thing I talked about. Whereas in the end of it, I fell over.

    “And I was in the fetal position, plopped over sideways, I was explaining how this. is. how. it. could. be. this. Sunday. if we play. all tight. But if we choose. Not to do those things … I think while I was on the ground in the fetal position, our players were thinking, okay, he’s lost it.”

So even this turned out not to be so bad. When you have a coach who can say both those thing in a one week span and still seem confident while he does it … that’s a fairly impressive trait.

Less unusual, but still interesting, was Zorn’s story of when he faced off against Singletary when the two were both players:

    “Unfortunately, it was my first start with the Green Bay packers in 1985, and that’s the year [the Bears] went to the Super Bowl. So I have him staring at me with those, y’know, those eyes that sort of are these big orbs through his facemask. Now, I will say we were competitive. In fact, he never sacked me, but a couple of the other guys hit me pretty good. We played ’em twice in that year, cause they were in our division. Just a tremendous football player. An intensity level that just would be pressing against the ceiling here. Really intense player. He played the game the way most coaches would want it played, and I think it’s the way he wants it played as well, as a coach now.”

And, speaking of intensity, here are Zorn’s thoughts on the defensive performance that carried the team on Sunday:

    “One of the things that has impressed me most of all is our ability to stop the run. We’ve faced some very good run teams…. [Defensive coordinator] Greg [Blache] has them taking responsibility for their own gap and not getting pushed back, maintaining the point of attack and then rallying to the ball. We’ve forced teams to try to throw the ball to win football games.

    “I really feel like that’s been the key to our success. Yesterday our secondary came alive. We played against a pretty good quarterback in Donovan McNabb and he threw a couple great throws and we were able to disrupt things and bat the ball down. And then the heroic play at the end where Fred Smoot stopped [Reggie Brown] and really set him up for the shot that LaRon [Landry] had. Fred Smoot right there on the goal line making that tackle and spinning him around was a superior play. Overall those are the kinds of things that we’ve seen from our defense all year long and that’s pretty impressive.”


5 Responses

  1. (peering around…) is it safe in here?

    One of my favorite scenes in yesterday’s game was when people started slapping Coach Zorn on the back. He jumped away- like “what are you hitting me for”? Then he realized it was a celebration and began to smile and lean into it.

    Oh yeah- I was reminded… This is Coach Zorn’s ROOKIE YEAR as a head coach. What an accomplishment! Even if staying as “medium” as possible has fans creating their own controversies just to stay engaged in the game, I must admit that I love his style. It’s true to his own admitted character. He acts like a mature person and expects his players to do the same.

    As he develops his own brain “muscle memory” and play-calling becomes second nature, I think we’ll see all the Redskins start thinking less and having more fun on the field. And when great players start having fun… the wins will come and we all will have fun.

    For now, I just have one request- Coach… please have the QB pass on first down sometimes ;-)

  2. Can someone anwser this? Where would the ball have been placed on that last play of the game because it was caught at the 1, but the guy didn’t have his feet down and he landed on the 3, 3 1/2 yard line.

  3. on the 1

  4. suggested blog name: Terl’s Tid-Bits

  5. I am in no means a Redskins fan, but it saddens me that Jim Zorn is getting most of the blame for their shameless season. I think that they need a new owner, they should have given Jim Zorn a chance……. remember Norv?????

    What idiots!

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