The dysfunctional mess that is the 2009 Washington Redskins has been well documented in the Washington, D.C. press. And all the fingers are, rightfully, pointing to owner Dan Snyder and his right hand hatchet man Vinnie Cerrato. Snyder has made a laughingstock of the franchise by trying to buy a team every year by signing aging, big name free agents who never pan out, perennially bad draft choices, refusing to hire a football savvy general manager, and constantly switching coaches.
And now this. Jim Zorn, who I do believe is in over his head as a head coach, has been utterly undermined and humiliated by Snyder and Cerrato. First, they brought in Sherman Lewis, who has been out of football for six years, as an “offensive consultant,” essentially saying they did not have confidence in Zorn in his role as offensive play caller.
Then, they strip Zorn of his play calling duties and hand it to Sherman Lewis, their handpicked so called offensive savior, not Zorn’s. This move completely undermined any credibility Zorn had with the players and makes him a lame duck head coach. Such a move ratcheted up the message that Snyder and Cerrato have no faith in Jim Zorn as a head coach, despite what they may say publically. And it is abundantly clear that Zorn, if he makes it through the season without being let go, will certainly not be back as the head coach of the Redskins next year.
Add to this the clear back and forth between Zorn and Cerrato in the press after the loss to the Eagles, with Cerrato saying the playing calling helped the offense, which is a total joke, and Zorn essentially saying the opposite. And then Zorn’s statement that he actually interceded and called the play that lead to the Redskins last touchdown smacked a bit of insubordination, or at least a poke in the eye at Snyder and Cerrato. Zorn clearly could not be happy with the situation he finds himself in.
And with that, the Redskins players, who already look anemic and at half speed on offense, have no real motivation to try to finish out the season playing hard. What for? The coach is neutered and no longer the leader of the team, and whatever new regime comes in next year will start refresh evaluating talent and reshaping the roster. The players are already squabbling among themselves, especially running back Clinton Portis, who seems to have something to whine about every year.
Jim Zorn should simply resign. He is the head coach in name only. He has been humiliated, demoted, and stripped of any leadership authority he had with the players. He would not be pulling a punk move like Bobby Petrino when he left the Atlanta Falcons in the lurch. He has very legitimate and clear reasons to resign – and that is the owner has clearly showed no confidence in him, he has been stripped of many of the decision making prerogatives of a head coach, and he clearly won’t be back next year.
The Redskins are in a bye week which would be the perfect time for Jim Zorn to step down and save face. He would be giving up a lot of money because Snyder wouldn’t have to pay him the rest of his contract. But would Zorn rather have the money or his dignity?
And he would not be quitting on the team. The team, both the players and management, have already quit on him.