Tuesday Nickel

Today in the Nickel: Jim Zorn, Repeating 2007, Just Geisinger, Cincinnati and The Tackles.

1. Jim Zorn.

My colleague, Rick Snider, ignited a bit of a storm at Redskins Park with a column suggesting Zorn could be in trouble if the Redskins lose out. Would anyone be surprised to know that's the case? With this owner? How serious is it? Hard to say; Dan Snyder knows the PR hit he would take if he takes a longshot, gives him the job then cans him after a year. Of course, if Bill Cowher comes … and some of the frustration stems from losing four out of five games. Nobody really knows how Snyder will react in this situation; he never would have fired Joe Gibbs so has he really changed? We'll find out. But I also don't think it'll happen because the Redskins simply won't lose to the Bengals. Yes, they would have collapsed, but some of that stems from having an aging roster with guys who typically get hurt. That's exactly why I picked them to go 7-9.

2. 2007 repeat?

I wouldn't bet on it. They do have the schedule to make it happen, though Philly and San Fran are playing well. And the locker room largely is the same as last year. But I sense more frustration in the locker room than when they were 5-7 last year. Yes, they were in mourning as well. But they also had confidence in Gibbs and liked playing for him. You would not have heard Clinton Portis pop off on Gibbs the way he did on Jim Zorn today on his r adio show. He's not alone in his frustration. And that's why this year is different. Can they still win 10 games? Sure. But it's hard to imagine them beating the Eagles with the way the offense is playing now.

3. Justin Geisinger.

Give the kid credit for going in and doing what was asked of him. But leaving him one on one with Terrell Suggs? One player said that when he heard the call he said, ‘'What the F!?'' That was a coaching mistake. They rectified it on the next series by moving him to the right side, but the damage was done.

4. Cincinnati.

This is the perfect time to get ticked off, the week when you face a dreadful team. Momentum is one win away, against anyone. If the Redskins erupt for a big day and Portis goes wild on the ground, then next week will be full of stories about has the offense been resurrected. It's how this thing works.

5. The tackles.

Washington will obviously suffer without Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen in the game. Jansen might play Sunday, but it's highly doubtful. And it's very questionable if he'll even be ready for the Philly game. That means Stephon Heyer and Jason Fabini might have to play the rest of the season. It'll be interesting to see what this does to the ground game. Neither Heyer nor Fabini does a very good job at this stage at getting to the linebackers to open the cutback lanes . So the Redskins may need to be more of a straight-forward running team, at least initially. Heyer also struggles still with some assignments, a function of youth.

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