Washington Redskins Coach Jim Zorn
Q: Can you discuss personally what this whole transition has been for you in going from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator to head coach?
A: Personally, I haven't taken a lot of time to think about it lately just going through training camp and now we're in our regular season. If I reflect back on when everything happened. I guess it was just normal excitement about having a new start, having the opportunity to run the program that I've been preparing for. Those are probably the key issues. I haven't sat back and gone on vacation to think about all that it's entailed.
Q: Are there any challenges that have come along that you didn't expect at this point?
A: Probably the things I didn't expect, one is how much people up here want to know about ht Redskins and want to know everyday. They're really ready to get into some Redskin information. It think it's exciting for the fans, it's a great program and it's a great place to coach football and play football, no question about it. The second thing I would like to say is how much real life goes on in an entire program. With being a quarterbacks coach or an offensive coordinator you have a portion of the team, but when you're the head coach you're with the team and their families and the coaches and their families and the administration and their families, there's a lot of real life going on and I'm talking about celebrations of births, marriages, all kinds of exciting things happening and then those tragedies like deaths, just very difficult things to have to deal with. I think those are probably the things that I've been most surprised about and have maybe been the biggest adjustments for me.
Q: What do you think of Drew Brees and how he manages the game and the Saints offense in general?
A: I was so impressed even when he was in San Diego, because there was a time in San Diego where he was really struggling as he was first starting out and from one offseason to the next all of a sudden he just became one of the premier quarterbacks in this league. He certainly hasn't dropped off and he's just been a tremendous player. I think he does a great job like all the good quarterbacks of being able to try to figure out what he's looking at and try to get the ball away to that guy or that area, or you're going to come down to a secondary receiver and those things are so important for a team's success and he does them all. He makes the offense work.
Q: How impressed were you with how they played the other day against Tampa Bay?
A: I'm very impressed. One of the things that is so impressive is that a lot of it has to do with Sean Payton and his ability to move the ball around, to get his people involved, the guys that are really the strengths of the team, Reggie Bush, getting him the ball. You don't have to throw the ball that far down the field to have a big play with Reggie. Those kinds of things, I think the mix has really been important to these guys on offense.
Q: What do you take away from criticism of the result of your first game?
A: I think it was our start. What I said going into it, was that we didn't play our starters very much. We had five preseason games. We had to see a lot of people. What I said was this was a great opportunity to see where we're at. We competed hard, our defense played very well. Our special teams played very well and we fell down in being able to maintain ball control on offense and that's what hurt us. We had an opportunity to kind of see where we're at and now improve there.
Q: What difference do you see in the Saints defensive line on Sunday as opposed to last year?
A: Those guys are so active. They really play hard the whole game. I haven't really seen them take plays off. They're excited about playing. I don't remember them so much last year although we played them in Seattle. The thing that I look at them this year and see is that the defensive front line is playing very well as a group. Even though one guy might get free, the other guys have worked very hard to get him free and that's been pretty impressive.
Q: When you see some of their incumbent defensive ends and add in Bobby McCray do you get worried about Jason Campbell?
A: I think pressure it doesn't matter who it's coming from, if it's coming from Charles (Grant) or Will (Smith). It could come from any team really. Pressure on quarterbacks takes its toll. I think Jason does a pretty good job of trying to concentrate through the difficult times and even last week, I was on him about a couple of things early. He did not shy away. He just keeps competing. That was pretty impressive. We haven't had him play a whole game with pressure the whole game long, so I don't know how he's going to respond. He's played a little bit with some of the pressure, but I've taken him out.
Washington Redskins DE Jason Taylor
Q: This was a tough, rough week coming off of the Giants game. Where do you guys stand coming off of that?
A: We're disappointed we lost the game, but we really didn't play well enough to win. We gave up 16 points and played much better in the second half defensively obviously and kept them out of the end zone. We didn't make enough big plays offensively to score any points and that's something we need to correct. You are disappointed in that happening, but it is one week, but this week is another opportunity for us in our own backyard.
Q: How much do you think the questioned availability of Marques Colston would change the way they go at you?
A: It won't change the way we approach the game. It may change the way they attack us. When you have an offensive line like the Saints do and the running backs that they do, I think your number one priority is to run the football. Losing Colston is huge. We all know what kind of player he is and the things he can do with the football. It's a tough blow for the Saints. It seems like this week some other teams have had to deal with some different injuries and it's been kind of crazy.
Q: What are your impressions of Jim Zorn?
A: I think he's done a good job. We're only one week into it. As you go through time with wins and losses and some of the adversity you face during the season, you learn more and more about each other, he about the players and us about him as a coach. I think so far he's done a great job. He's rallied the guys. I know guys believe in him and trust him. He's a very straightforward, frank kind of guy. He's not a big yeller and screamer. He treats you like men and I think guys respect that.
Q: Is it still a period of transition for this team?
A: I think so. It's a new coach. It's a new offense again for Jason Campbell. There are a lot of players that were here last year and I'm obviously new to the team and trying to find my way with the organization and in a new locker room, but I think every team goes through that. I think teams with new head coaches do so more than others, but everybody at this point early in the season is going through those growing pains and learning what team they're going to be with in that particular season.
Q: Is Drew Brees one of the toughest quarterbacks to put pressure on and force into bad throws?
A: He is. I think he was the last sacked quarterback in the league last year if I was not mistaken and he's that kind of guy. When I was in Miami, we had a chance to get him twice and didn't get him and always wanted him. He's one heck of a quarterback.
Q: What is it against a quarterback like that that you can hope to do?
A: You still play your game, try to pressure them. Pressuring the quarterback comes down a couple things. It's the guys up front playing hard, applying the pressure. It's the secondary and linebackers covering too. When you get all 11 guys defensively working together and doing the right thing, you can pressure the quarterback. Drew's got a bunch of weapons. He can dump the ball to (Jeremy) Shockey, their tight end. Losing number 12 hurts, their best receiver, but they still have plenty of places to throw the football and take the pressure off of him.
Q: How do you contain a guy like Reggie Bush and is it even the responsibility of a guy like you?
A: Absolutely. He's one of those guys where when he comes to the field, everybody knows he's on the field. You better know where Reggie is. He's a dynamic talent that can break the game open quickly, whether it's running the football or catching a screen, taking it to the house or going out on a pass route. He's one of those guys who I know is looking forward to having a big year this year. He's talked about the pressure on him to step up and perform better. Watching the tape of that last week against the Buccaneers, he's something else. He's quick, he's fast, he'll test the edge on defensive ends and linebackers and even of corners.
Q: Do you have any advice for Kim Kardashian on Dancing with the Stars?
A: I think she'll do great. I think everybody will be excited to see her on there. She'll have a good time with it. She's done reality TV, so she'll be fine in that whole atmosphere. It will be entertaining for sure. That whole cast will be entertaining. They have Kim Kardashian and Warren Sapp. For all of them it will be a pretty good time.
Q: The Saints defensive line has added some people this year. What is the reputation of guys like Charles Grant and Will Smith as well as Bobby McCray? Are they seen as a threat throughout the league?
A: Yes. Certain guys catch the headlines and get more publicity than others. Other guys just bring their hard hat and lunch pail to work and chip away at it. Everybody in this league is a threat. You wouldn't be in this league if you didn't have talent. There's some guys like you mentioned that should probably get more recognition than they do, but for whatever reason, it doesn't work out that way. They all are very good players. We do watch them and we do respect them.
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Conference Calls: Jim Zorn and Jason Taylor
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