- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2009

Russ Grimm again is a semifinalist for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and nothing would delight Washington Redskins fans more than an August trip to Canton to celebrate the induction of one of the legendary Hogs.

Nothing, except, that legendary Hog being named coach of the Redskins before his induction.

Speculation and hopeful anticipation abounds that one of the available Super Bowl coaches - Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren, Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy - will come to Washington in the offseason to lead the Redskins out of the abyss.

But some fans instead would rather see an old favorite make his return to Washington.

I don’t quite understand why so many believe Russ Grimm is the man to fix the Redskins’ problems.

Grimm, the offensive line coach for the Arizona Cardinals, has been considered for other head coaching jobs around the league - and always passed over.

Five years ago, he was a candidate for the job in Chicago that went to Lovie Smith.

Last winter, he reportedly was considered for the vacant New York Jets job that went to Rex Ryan.

Most notably, Grimm several years ago was said to be the leading candidate for the Pittsburgh Steelers job that ultimately went to Mike Tomlin.

And now, according to Charley Casserly, the former Redskins general manager and current football insider on “The NFL Today” on CBS, Grimm is a candidate for the Buffalo Bills job.

You have to wonder why Grimm keeps getting passed over. You have to wonder why Grimm, with no head coaching experience, would be preferable to a candidate like Shanahan, who over 16 NFL seasons compiled an impressive record of 244-146 and won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos.

The allure in some ways is understandable: Grimm was a big part of the Redskins’ glory years, a four-time Pro Bowl guard who played on teams that went to four Super Bowls and won three of them. It’s part of the “let’s get the band back together” feel-good theory.

So why not bring Charley Casserly back to serve as general manager for coach Russ Grimm?

Why not bring in Joe Jacoby, who spent this season as a volunteer assistant coach at Shenandoah University, as the offensive line coach?

Earnest Byner, who serves as the position coach to running back Chris Johnson for the Tennessee Titans, could return to Washington for a second stint in that spot for the Redskins.

How about Monte Coleman, now the coach at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, as the defensive coordinator?

It was the band that saved the orphanage in “The Blues Brothers.”

“The band Elwood. The band!”

But, of course, there already is a band, led by Jim Zorn, in place at Redskin Park - only no one believes this group will get booked for a return engagement.

Save, perhaps, for Jim Zorn.

At his news conference Monday, Zorn said he thought the offense was on the right growth track, based on the development of the West Coast offense he was part of in Seattle. He also said he will benefit as a coach from the tough times his team has endured this season.

“I will be a better coach because of what I am going through,” Zorn said.

On Tuesday on “The Jim Zorn Show,” Zorn again said he believes his offense is on the right track.

“If you look at what New Orleans is doing, they’ve been together,” Zorn said. “This is, what, Drew Brees’ fourth or fifth year in the system? Now this thing is really starting to go. It does take a while to get comfortable to understand how to play fast at all positions. Some guys will improve quicker than others. … The younger guys are still coming on. Our running game has been stymied because Clinton [Portis] has been unable to stay healthy. Our group of backs are playing hard. Things are looking up.”

This, of course, is like listening to a skipping record. But Zorn hit the note that counts when he added, “The problem in talking about all this stuff is still the ‘L.’ I’ve got the ‘loser’ slapped right on my forehead. I know it doesn’t matter unless we win.”

Russ Grimm has never lost a game as a head coach. And as far as Redskins fans are concerned, the only thing tattooed on his forehead is three Super Bowl trophies.

c Listen to “The Sports Fix,” co-hosted by Thom Loverro and Kevin Sheehan, from noon to 2 p.m. on ESPN 980 and espn980.com.

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