However longer Jim Zorn is coach of the Washington Redskins, he is going to exhaust every possible scenario in an effort to turn around a floundering offense that consistently comes up short of the end zone.
His halftime move to bench quarterback Jason Campbell on Sunday was perhaps the biggest of his 22-game tenure… until he agreed to give up playcalling responsibilities during a meeting with executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato hours after the Redskins lost 14-6 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
A team source said Sunday night that offensive consultant Sherman Lewis will call the plays.
Lewis called the plays for Green Bay in 1999 and Minnesota from 2000 to 2001 and was hired at Cerrato’s suggestion Oct. 6 to serve as a “fresh set of eyes.” Among those not chosen were offensive coordinator Sherman Smith and assistant head coach-running backs Stump Mitchell, neither of whom have NFL playcalling experience.
According to a Redskins spokesman, Cerrato told Zorn in the meeting: “I believe you have too much on your plate. We have to take responsibility off of you. I want you to succeed. I want somebody else to call the plays.”
Zorn responded, “I don’t disagree.”
Owner Dan Snyder did not attend the meeting.
Things came to a head when the Redskins were unable to score a touchdown against a Chiefs defense that entered 28th in points and last in yards allowed.
With the Redskins trailing 3-0 at halftime, Zorn inserted Todd Collins in hopes of igniting the offense, but the change produced only two field goals. The Redskins failed to score a touchdown for the second time this year.
Before his meeting with Cerrato, Zorn was asked about his tenuous future.
“That part isn’t up to me, so I won’t answer that question,” Zorn said. “It’s not up to me. I have to create answers on the football field.”
Snyder last fired a coach in-season 10 years ago when he dismissed Norv Turner with three games left.
“Mr. Snyder has chilled out since he took over the team,” fullback Mike Sellers said. “He’s become more patient. But I don’t know how much more patience he’s going to have.”
Because he is involved in all the major football decisions, Snyder’s patience with Zorn’s playcalling probably ran out against the Chiefs even though the necessary parts aren’t on-hand to combat injuries and the decision to draft two receivers and a tight end in the second round of the 2008 draft continues to provide little in return.
“From my standpoint, I look at and take full responsibility,” said Zorn, whose team fell to 2-4. “I’m the head football coach. Nobody has more responsibility than I do. I’ve got to come up with answers, and I will. We had a really good after-game [meeting], and it was to the point, and we have to come back out.”