The entire landscape of the Washington Redskins concerns me right now, and that includes the demotion that head coach Jim Zorn just faced this week when he was told—by the front office of all people—that he would not be calling the plays anymore on Sundays.
Folks, this isn’t panic; this is a major reach.
I don’t know Sherm Lewis at all, nor do I have any idea what Jim Zorn is like as a head coach inside of those meeting rooms. The more we realize this, the better off we will all be when throwing the entire organization under the bus. But why the switch to Lewis?
Our own Michael Lombardi commented on this last night in his Monday Tavern, and for me, this is an awful move for this team—and an early indication that owner Dan Snyder has no real intentions of brining Zorn back (in any capacity) after the season. In fact, I would be safe putting some money down that Zorn is out of the building by the first snowfall in Northern Virginia.
Even in saying all of that, what about the players?
All jokes aside on Lewis, including the “bingo” talk that keeps coming up everywhere you turn, can we really expect him to be efficient in the booth on Sundays?
I don’t, and this is just another example of how poorly run this team is at the current moment. I have always thought that good coaching comes with knowing your own players’ strengths and weaknesses—and Lewis is the farthest thing from an expert in regards to the current roster. He has been in Washington for two weeks—no OTA’s in the offseason, no mini-camp and no training camp.
Does watching film for two weeks allow Lewis to know his new players? Of course not. He can see things from the film because he has a football mind, but coaching is no different than teaching in a classroom. You need to know whom you are working with and not just what you see in a glimpse of two weeks. When does he go down the field? When does he ride Clinton Portis in the running game? Does he know when to take the ball out of the quarterback’s hands because of what he knows from the offseason?
Do you see where I’m going here? For Lewis, those guys in the locker room are just that—guys who he now has to work with first hand.
But, to these players, he is still a “consultant,” but now a consultant who is going to look down at his notebook once this team gets into the red zone and makes crucial calls in the game.
Even worse, Zorn has now lost all credibility when it comes to that locker room because offense was his specialty. It was his gig, and now it is gone. From my perspective he is now nothing more than a figurehead, a guy who runs the team meeting but doesn’t have much more input on Sundays. Yes, he made the decision to stay with QB Jason Campbell this week—when the ‘Skins host the Eagles on Monday night—but outside of that, he might just be a guy that gets to make the decision on whether to punt or go for it on fourth downs.
It kills me to see how bad things have become near the Potomac River out east.
But for ‘Skins fans—and myself—we can at least hold out hope that Greg Blache and his defense can win games for them, because at least that side of the ball has some structure to it.
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