Should He Stay or Should He Go?

With apologies to the Clash, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate question to ask right now.  Jim Zorn, onetime savior of Washington DC, is now on the ropes.  The Redskins have been in freefall since week 8 and they haven’t actually looked GOOD since they played Philly the FIRST time around.

A lot of people are calling for his head and hoping that Zorn gets fired.  My instinct says “Not so fast, we need to give him a chance.” But after last week, my heart says “Screw you, instinct! He needs to go!”

The answer is, as it often is, somewhere in between the two extremes.  Those who are clamoring to fire him need to get a little perspective.  Those who think we should give him several years no matter what need to recognize that some of the reasons to fire him are legitimate and not just knee-jerk, and that there’s some validity to the idea.  Let’s look at the pros and cons…


  • If we fire him, we need to start all over.  Again. New system to learn.  New coaches to trudge in.  Even with a great coaching staff, it takes some time to assemble the right team and the right players.  Starting over again is a huge setback.
  • It’s not as bad as it feels. In my unscientific poll done in week 2 while tailgating at the game, the average fan prediction for the season was in fact 8-8.  We’re really not below expectations right now.  We’re right about on par.  It only feels like it because we revised those expectations mid-season.  Given the disastrous hiring process for the Head Coach and then the absolute blowouts we suffered through in pre-season and in week 1, most if not all of us would happily have jumped at the chance to be 7-7 with key victories over the Cowboys and the Eagles.
  • Give him a chance. The man has never been an offensive coordinator, much less a head coach.  He was shoved into this cold and he’s still learning. He’s a victim of early success and raised expectations.  Let’s see what he can do now that he’s been through the meat grinder for a year.


  • Beginner’s Luck. There’s some evidence that the early success was simply because the opposition didn’t have any game footage to prep with.  Nobody knew what to expect.  Now they’ve “figured him out” and they’ve adjusted for him.  Clearly he’s been unable to handle the defensive solutions that the opposition has come up with.
  • He’s completely lost the team. The Redskins didn’t just lose to the Bengals.  They looked like the Detroit Lions.  Check that; the Lions actually put up a fight last week. They looked like the Rams; no wait, the Rams beat us.  They looked like…well they looked like crap.  They looked like the pre-season team that got shut out by the Carolina Panthers.  They made the Bengals look like an offensive juggernaut.  The team had given up.  There’s no other way to put it.  They came back to life briefly when they nearly tied the game, but then after the goal line fumble, it was over.
  • Where’s the Real Zorn? The young, brazen coach who would speak his mind and make a gutsy move seems to have been replaced by Folgiers crystals.  Zorn’s daring and fearless offense who would go for it and take risks has turned into a conservative replica of Joe Gibbs II.  I don’t know how it happened.  I don’t know what changed him.  I just know I want the first guy back.
  • Blame Game. Until very recently, Zorn has been pointing fingers at everyone but himself. Not only is that bad for morale, but it’s crap.  The players out there are the same ones he had in week 6.  They’re not the ones calling for a screen pass on 3rd and 25.   He needs to understand that the system needs to change and evolve as other teams adjust to it.  He stayed in one place and the rest of the league ran all over him. And then he pointed fingers at some of his best players and now they’re not even bothering to try to beat the Bengals in a must win game.  At some point the Head Coach needs to step up and take responsibility.  It should have happened four weeks ago, not four days ago.


We’re basically in trouble either way.  Normally I would call for some stability and for giving Zorn more time.  I can accept a losing season.  I can accept losing to the Bengals and Rams even.  What really really scares me is the way the Redskins lost to the Bengals.  If the players don’t buy into a head coach’s system and believe he can win, the season is over before it even began.  If Zorn stays, he’s got an uphill battle winning back the team.

On the other hand, if they start over, we’re at the mercy of the Snyder/Ceratto hiring process/dart board.  We’ll be subjected to the Jim Fassels and whoever else they can dredge up (I hear Art Shell is available).  We’ll be reading about all these young coaches with talent who will interview with us for the sole purpose of gouging their current employers for a new fat contract.  We’ll have to hear more about how many systems Jason Campbell has been through and that number will get one higher.  All our good players will get one year older and have nothing to show for it.


In the end, I think it has to come down to the final two weeks.  Can Zorn get the team to believe in him again.  Will they give up and spend the game day thinking about their golf tee times?  Or will they show some professional pride and play hard and tough and come out with a win or two?  If the Redskins last two games are repeats of week 15, he has to go.  If the team can show some spark and some fire in it, I say give him another chance.

Give us a win against Philly, Zorn.  Give us a reason to believe.

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Tags: Head Coach Jim Zorn Redskins

  • Josh

    Not to be a broken record, but I’m still behind the guy. On offense, we’re pretty much the same as we were last year with regards to players & overall yards, perhaps a bit worse in the red zone, and a lot better on turnovers. Not bad for a new coach with no new playmakers. He also came in with only so much room to establish the West Coast. It’s no mistake that Zorn came in with fast and mini veteran receivers, Gibbs had built the team to run it up the gut and throw long. Part of our early success I think was that building off of Gibbs’ strenghts small improvements in passing led to large improvements running & overall.

  • Redskins Guy

    I hear you. Two weeks ago and I would have agreed 100%. After watching the skins play in that Bengals game, I’m just worried about the way the team gave up on him. 

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  • Buddy

    The offense is low scoring.   The solutions. New Head Coach! New Offensive Coordinator! New Quarterback!  The Redskin have quarterback problems.   If Zorn addresses that issue.  He is ready for a long run.  If not!!!!!!

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  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    i think campbell was a good fit for gibbs’ scheme. so was portis. but with zorn? maybe not. either of them. it should be no surprise when you look at the skins’ first 2 draft picks. you knew the power run game was on it’s way out. zorn will need more than his first year to get it done. be patient, i think he’ll be a fine coach. he’s made a few first year mistakes but he’s got a good grasp on running an offense. he needs a good d-cord. do you guys think the one you have now will cut it? but buddy ryan there may be right, qb will need to be looked at. he’s not a zorn guy. he’s inherited, those guys go quick in the nfl.

  • Redskins Guy

    Certainly Campbell has not lived up to his potential. The problem with replacing him is that you have to find someone worth replacing him with.  Nobody on the roster can step in and take over certainly. Drafting someone new means several more years of waiting.  That leaves free agency, and we all know how well that’s worked out for us in the past.  Is there anyone coming out in free agency that would be worth picking up? Do you really want to invest a lot into a Matt Cassel?

    Maybe we should go out there and get McNabb after he leaves/is cut from the Eagles.  He’s familiar with the west coast offense and would want to have revenge against his former team.  I don’t know.

    But while I agree that Campbell’s not getting it done, he’s better than anything else we have right now.  And there’s still a chance he’ll improve.  I’m just not sure I’m thrilled with any of our other options.

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    well i guess it’ll come down to how sure zorn is of campbell’s ability to run his offence. with gibbs it was give the ball to the backs with ground control, campbell could succeed with the short pass game and just “manage the game”? but zorn need the qb to ride the bull, attack and lead, and is campbell capable? time will tell. and really only zorn knows that at this point. cassell is interesting? i think that brennan is an interesting prospect. he reminds me alot of zorn when he was slinging them. maybe zorn is thinkin that too??????

  • Redskins Guy

    It’s not just an issue of how much does he like jason. It’s also an issue of how much he likes the other options out there. Even if Colt has potential, does he have potential to step in NEXT YEAR? I’m skeptical.  His pre-season comebacks don’t mean anything; he was playing against third stringers and I saw games where he looked lost too.

    I don’t know.  I think we’re stuck with Campbell for one more year, and then if he doesn’t perform we cut him loose and maybe try Colt.  But I don’t think he’s ready yet.

  • Redskins Guy

    I also notice that we tend to have our best seasons when we don’t make huge splashes in the off-season.  Grabbing some new and possibly overpriced qb is not necessarily the smart thing to do.  Bolster the offensive line and let Campbell have another year in the system. Then if he can’t improve his contract is up and there’s no cap hit.

  • justin

    zorn is not the issue.some of the play calls have been speculative but you can fix that.campbell is not the right fit for the west coast offense.ilove colt brennan but dont think he is ready.i say give collons the start he earned last year and groom wasnt the injury that should have benched campbell but the 4 losses in a row prior to that.after collins came in and won 4 straight to get us in the playoffs you have to give him the nod until he proves otherwise.START COLLINS PLACE BRENNAN AT#2

  • justin

    at least the cowboys lost!romo cannot win when it counts.ha ha ha.he threw those interceptions on purpose so he could hurry off to his mexican vacation with daisy duke.ha ha ha ha

  • Redskins Guy

    Collins was good because he knew that system cold. He looked terrible last preseason. If we need him to start we’re screwed. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy and I appreciate what he did, but you can’t tell me that Campbell is not the right fit and then tell me that Collins is. Collins is the right fit for exactly ONE (1) offense and we sent that offensive coordinator packing last year.

    There is one thing we REALLY need to do that is easy but we always ignore it.  We need a new placekicker.  I used to think Suisham was average but he’s not.  He’s below average in the NFL.  I cringe every time we try for a field goal, even a short one.  We need a new guy.  Preferably a GOOD one, but I’d settle for one who can reliably kick a 30 yarder.

  • Godsfavoriteteam

    There goes justin puttin down mexicans again. Whats wrong with you? Anyway good news, I have decided to become a redskin fan. since I am forced to accept what it feels like to be the fan of a losing team, i feel it would be better to be the fan of the nightmare that is the washington redskins. This way I can get use to losing and pure failure. Right? My brothers

  • justin

    first off godsfavo…every one enjoys a mexican vacation.if i use the word mexican  in a sentence you call used to be more clever.and at least you came to your senses and gave up rooting for the girls but don’t think you can just jump on the band wagon of a team that has actually won a playoff game this decade so easy we don’t want you brother so you can go back to you over hyped team that does nothing.anyway redskins guy you are probably right.i do vent after losses but it would be no more fair to bench campbell after one season in a new system than it would be to fire zorn.they both showed a lot of promise.unlike the girls who will find as parcels fingerprints continue to fade so will that team.

  • justin

    I almost feel bad for you you must have taken that drubbing to the eagles(whom we swept)pretty hard because under no circumstances(even satire)would I ever claim to be a cowgirls really used to be more clever come on step it up. you must have seen that press conference when romo said if we make the playoffs next year  so… and if we don’t so…. there is always that vacation to south America.see I didn’t say Mexican.

  • Godsfavoriteteam

    Why do you have to say MEXICANS? Whay can’t you just say he’s going to mexico. This discussion is done… your a racist. Nothing else can be said by you or anybody else to remedy this. Who cares if the redskins beat the eagles twice, your record this season still stinks of failure. Even with MAJOR INJURY in important positions all season long  Americas TEAM was still able to have a winning season. You can’t dispute that.

  • Redskins Guy

    If you call the worst Dallas collapse in 30 years a winning season, I guess you have a point.  I hope you “win” every year GFT.

    Don’t look now, but I think Romo just threw another interception.

  • Fan From Afar

    I agree with Buddy above. The single biggest problem for the Redskins is the absence of a first-rate quarterback. If the Skins don’t get someone in the draft or somewhere else, we’ll all be writing the same things next year and the year after that. I am so totally unimpressed with Jason Cambell, and I wonder why the GM and coach can’t see that he’s not ever going to be the solution here. Get a quarterback!!!!

  • Redskins Guy

    The Redskins have won several superbowls without a first rate quarterback. I’m not sure getting rid of Campbell is the answer.  Not because I think he’s going to wake up and become a superstar.  I just don’t know if there are better options out there. Colt Brennan is NOT ready.   If they start him we’re looking at several years of rebuilding.  If that’s what you think we need, then fine, but just because Atlanta hit the Quarterback lottery doesn’t mean we will too.

    It’s easy to call for someone’s head.  The backup quarterback is always the most popular guy in DC when the Redskins are losing.  But remember that these big splashy changes you guys are calling for are not effective.  Snyder’s tried to do that over and over again.  Let’s be sensible for what and play with the hand we have right now.  Solidify both lines and get us a pass rush.  That should be our first and only priority.

    It’s not fun. It’s not popular or exciting for the offseason.  But it will make the team better in the long run.

    And for crying out loud let’s get a clutch kicker who can reliably kick 40 yarders and won’t shank under pressure.  How long has it been since we’ve had a really good kicker? Lohmiller?  I mean really. I can’t think of anyone else that didn’t make me cringe every time we needed to make a long figgie.

  • Rick

    Jason Campbell made good progress under Zorn in Zorn’s system. He has the skillz. The problem is the O line.
    They did not protect him. When he is eating dirt every play, he becomes like Romo and Eli – a deer in traffic.
    D- line got no pressure, so corners were exposed all the time.
    Zorn would be fine if we address the lines on both sides.

  • Godsfavoriteteam

    Ok redguy Winning looking record…ok, better record than the skins. Whatever….here’s a joke. ESPN is reporting that ROMO tried commiting suicide by shooting himself in the head but the bullet was intercepted.

  • Redskins Guy

    Give it up GFT. You’re so cute when you’re trying to put on a brave face.  You stay strong; buck up little camper! I’m sure your team will make the playoffs soon. Oh wait, they probably wont, since it’s been twelve years!

    If anyone wants to know how much of a disaster Cowboys fans truly view this season, go take a peek at Landry Hat.  You’ll find literally hundreds of comments from cowboys fans talking about how this was the worst trainwreck of a season they can remember. (Dan, by the way, admits that the problems started because of their loss to the Redskins early on.)

    Dozens of your own fans admit that your season was a disaster and that it was because of the Redskins! So don’t talk to us about winning records or whatever crap you tell yourself to avoid weeping constantly.  Sell that snake oil somewhere else because nobody here buys that.   Meanwhile, we’ll figure out what we’re going to do with the 13th pick in the draft and get ready for next year.  I’d ask you what you think the Cowboys would do with their pick, but they don’t HAVE a first round pick, so even draft day in April is going to suck for you.

    By the way, I didn’t realize your name was short for “GodsFavoriteTeam…TO FUCK WITH.”

  • Connor Bailey

    JZ has got to stay. Imagine Jason Campbell having to learn a new system. That would be 4 different systems at Auburn and 4 different with the SKINS. (2005-Gibbs, 2006-07-Al Saunders, 08-Zorn, n 09-with a new coach) If we had a tall reciever then we would be in perfect shape. In that case attempt to sign TJ Houshmandzadeh.

    PS – hey cowboy fan you are a homo just like tony romo

  • Connor Bailey

    Yo Rick, your right 100%. In the draft we need to go after an offensive lineman. I am from Virginia so the guy i want is an OT from UVA named Eugene Monroe. Mel Kiper has him as the #2 OT. We also need a little pressure on the DEF-line.

  • Bailey

    Hey Godsfavoriteteam, check this out-

    Nothing better than TO wearing a blind person’s glasses and crying for his boyfriend

  • Redskins Guy

    Well, except perhaps watching them break up messily in front of us all while they experience the greatest Dallas loss in over 20 years.  “Oh Tony you like Jason better than me!  Waaah!”

    That was pretty damn good too. :)

  • astroalice

     The Zorn and Campbell combo guarantees  8 – 8 as far as the eye can see – there is a LEADERSHIP vacuum throughout the organization – rather than give up – root for the opposition until the collapse – certainly 15 years of going nowhere cant last another 15 – - or can it – - –  with Snyder, cant rule anything out and Campbell has the leadership potential of a fencepost

  • Redskins Guy

    Root for the opposition?!?  Never!!! I’ll root for the opposition just as soon as hell freezes over. Not only is your suggestion grimm and depressing but it’s doomed for failure.  As you yourself pointed out, it’s entirely possible for a team to suck for years and years without correcting its mistakes, especially if an owner is involved in making those mistakes.  Just look at Dallas (12 years no playoffs), Oakland, and Detroit. 

    You’re wishing us to suck for no good reason at all. Would I like to see a real general manager? Yes.  But that’s something I can’t control, and I’m not about to wish my team ill will in the fruitless hope that the billionaire owner is going to realize he needs to change his ways. It won’t happen. Period.

    Zorn made it 8-8 with campbell in his first season as a head coach or coordinator at any level.  I don’t see how you can judge him based on one season, especially when it was a season we were looking to bust out for a while there.  We stalled mid-season.  Maybe next year he can get it going and keep it giong.  Why do you have to be so down on everything?

    With parity in the NFL, teams can go 1-15 one year and 11-5 the next. I wonder how many Dolphin fans last year said that their team would never get a winning season under their current owner.

    Dan Snyder does a lot of things I’m not crazy about, but he’s willing to pay big money to get a winning team. One of these days he’s going to get it right and we’ll be contenders. 

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    i’m not going to be very well liked here, but that is the same thing i say about jerry jones.” he does a lot of things i’m not to crazy about, but he’s willing to pay big money to get a winning team.” we have alot of things in common here redskinsguy, we are rivals, but we share the same trials of our football teams. it gets discouraging sometimes to say the least, but we stick with em, because we love em. we can’t help it, or do anything about it, and thats the frustrating thing as a fan. well we do have the hope that our owners are both aggressive to win, so the hope is always there. hell we could have a owner that no-one ever hears about and uses his team as a tax write-off? hey they are there!!! so hail to the redskins, and GO COWBOYS!??? what else have we got this off season to look forward too??? the freeagency frenzee is almost as wild as the season it’s self????

  • theMBIIIeffect

    A few things for you fellers, because some of you have it all wrong.

    Eugene Monroe isn’t going to be around long on draft day. There are too many teams with awful offensive lines that finished with a worse record with the Redskins. Most people have him going in the top 10, so unless there’s a trade, you won’t be able to get him.
    justin Says:  I almost feel bad for you you must have taken that drubbing to the eagles(whom we swept): Weren’t you losing to the 49ers that weekend? Aren’t they pretty awful? Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Neither of us are in the playoffs, and they are.
    Our draft day isn’t going to suck. In the last few years, if the skins have had a draft pick outside the top 10, it’s been a pretty bad move. Even then, there was only one real contributor from your draft last year in Horton. Our lone second round pick, TE Martellus Bennett, produced more than all three of your second round picks combined. Watch for the Skins to trade their first round pick away for an aging quarterback and a pile of magic beans.

    Also, I think it’d be best to keep Zorn. I think the guy has the potential to be a pretty good head coach. The only question is whether or not the jump from QB coach to head coach was too much and Zorn should have been an offensive coordinator before taking the reins for the Redskins.

  • Redskins Guy

    There’s no question that last year’s draft hasn’t given us any results yet, but one year is still too early to tell.  Remember when everyone thought Houston was stupid for passing on Reggie Bush and Vince Young after one year? 

    Also, we’ve had some productivity in our picks outside the first round. H.B. Blades,  Rocky McIntosh, Chris Horton, Chris Cooley,  Fred Smoot, and Stephon Heyer are all making legitimate contributions to the team at a minimum.

    And when we DO get a top pick, we tend to make them count.  Sean Taylor (RIP) and LaRon Landry are money.  Even Carlos Rodgers had a very nice year.  Chris Samuels is a pro-bowler.  So let’s give last year’s team a chance.  They’ve been a disappointment so far, but it’s still early and not everyone can be Randy Moss.

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  • sam


  • http://[email protected] javier yset


      MR.#17 do your job and no problem o.k (cutler? wanna be),