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“Graham might have been a great quarterback, but he’s the dumbest coach I’ve ever seen,” one Redskins veteran told a sportswriter posing as a fellow barfly in midsummer 1966 after knocking back a few brews.

Edward Bennett Williams, then running the team, responded by hiring arguably the smartest coach anybody had ever seen three years later, producing wild excitement in this supposedly jaded capital.

Vince Lombardi proved as good as his reputation, cajoling and cursing the long-dormant Redskins to 7-5-2 respectability in 1969. But after cancer speedily felled Lombardi the following year, it was left for Allen to fully restore the team’s honor.

Throughout seven decades, the Redskins have alternated periods of glory and ghastliness. Now Jim Zorn is being asked to shepherd Washington’s favorite sports team into a new era where big games and big victories once again dominate our autumns.

Can he do it? Your guess is as good as mine. The preseason presented no definitive clue, what with three early victories and then two lopsided losses. Let’s put him down for a 7-9 start and hope for better.