First Glance

Here is an early look at new Redskins coach Jim Zorn:

...He's much more comfortable in a smaller setting than in a larger one right now. Had a lunch with him today with four other writers and Zorn came across better than he did in the press conference, when he appeared nervous. Talked about lots of different things, most having little to do with football. He's a big-time mountain biker who likes to bike to work twice a week or so.

...He still has a decent amount to learn. Zorn has started the evaluations of the defensive players, talking to Greg Blache for his input. What concerns me is that Zorn is going to do a lot learning on the job about delegating. I don't think he's a control freak (like Gregg Williams might have been), but I do think he'll take time to figure out what he should or shouldn't be doing.

...Zorn is genuinely nice. Of all the Redskins coaches I've covered, he'll be the most congenial. Has a knack for remembering people's names, something not all previous coaches could claim. Norv Turner was the absolute worst at that, knowing only the names of reporters he felt mattered. Spurrier didn't care all that much. Marty and Joe were better.

...Zorn will be calling the plays, regardless of who will be coming on board as the offensive coordinator. Sherman Smith is the likely candidate, or at least has been offered the job. Has to decide if he wants to leave the comforts of Tennessee.

... Sad to see Earnest Byner leave, but can't say that I blame the Redskins too much. Zorn needs to have some of his own people on staff. Needs to be able to have the full trust of his staff and this gives it to him. Stump Mitchell is his guy.

...Some players are telling friends that they're concerned about whether or not Zorn is merely a puppet of the owner and Vinny Cerrato. Can't say I blame them for wondering that, but only time will tell. For now it's hard to imagine Zorn wielding much power. But Zorn also trusts the fact that he has a good veteran team. He'll give them some leeway.

...Talked to one player who was concerned about Jason Campbell's ability to run the West Coast offense, because of its reliance on making quick decisions. Talked to many others, including Zorn and Ron Jaworski, a defensive coach in the AFC who faced Campbell this season and an offensive coordinator who runs the West Coast, and they think Campbell can run this attack. However, each also says you have to make good quick decisions. Another draft guru, Russ Lande, said Campbell was a perfect fit in this attack in college. So we'll see.

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