Zorn Hired

After the Redskins hired Jim Zorn, some in the building kept having one thought: He's going to be a great head coach someday.

So rather than see him do that somewhere else, the Redskins hired him.

And for that they should be applauded. Throughout this whole search, they've clearly made their share of mistakes. They could have handled Gregg Williams' situation better. I never thought he'd be a good match for this organization. Though Williams was a brilliant coordinator, his personality would have clashed with the front office. Joe Gibbs could massage the egos of many in a way that Williams could not. I was, and still am, convinced that he would not have worked out here.

And they could have shared more about the process, saving themselves, perhaps, some hits on their reputation. They learned lessons from their pursuit of Steve Spurrier and Marty Schottenheimer, two ill fits for the owner. They raced hard after Spurrier and got burned. Had they done their homework on him, they would not have hired him.

So this time around, they opted for long in-depth interviews. Williams told people privately that the process was very thorough and I believe him.

Had the Redskins been a little more forthcoming about that, it would have helped.

But they had to wait this long because they needed to interview Steve Spagnuolo. Had they not done so, everyone would have ripped them this week for possibly missing out on the Next Great Coach.

Instead, they talked to him and when he pulled out – he was never offered the job – they turned to the list of candidates still interested. I also never thought it would be Jim Fassel; thank goodness. Some others clearly did and kept dubbing him as the favorite.

Based on talking to whom? The Redskins hadn't contacted him in days; that was telling. And if they really liked him, he would have been hired immediately after Spags withdrew – or a few weeks ago.

But that brought them to Zorn. What I know is that the Seattle quarterbacks were very high on him; ex-Seattle QB Trent Dilfer said his Monday film sessions with Zorn were the most instructional he's ever been a part of. He developed Matt Hasselback, partly by using quirky drills – slip-n-slides to help teach the QBs to slide, for example.

The Redskins feared that Zorn would be one and done. So they made the move: forget the retreads and hire someone whose ceiling is unlimited.

One Redskins source, with intimate knowledge of the process, two days ago pointed out a guy like John Harbaugh and why that was a good hire.

In other words, look for the unknown.

I spent the better part of the past two days coming up with other names and trying to piece together who it could be. Never thought of Zorn.

But now that the Redskins named him, it seems right. The Redskins might have just stumbled into a good situation.


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