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