Jim Zorn used a telling word when he discussed the way he was stripped of his playcalling duties Sunday by Vinny Cerrato, the Washington Redskins’ executive vice president of football operations.
“It was strongly suggested to me after the game, with a meeting I had with Vinny in my office at the stadium, that I make a play-caller change,” the Redskins coach said at his Monday news conference. “Very difficult for me to think about it then. Thought about it, talked again with Vinny later on, and I’m going to comply with that.”
Not agree. Not go along. Comply.
The word often is used in situations involving police or government agencies or in legal proceedings. You don’t often hear an NFL coach say he is going to “comply” with a suggestion from his boss.
Type “comply” into Google News and see what comes up.
“The parents of a child who was abducted after they failed to comply with DSS requirements have been arrested, according to Henderson County Sheriff Rick Davis.”
“The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the Marina, Calif.-based operations of Mexican cement maker Cemex to comply with the Clean Water Act, the agency said.”
“Afghanistan is in the midst of a legitimacy crisis. The recent elections there did not comply with Afghan law, nor with international standards.”
And, there, amidst the arrests and EPA orders and international crises is Zorn saying he would “comply” with the suggestion, as he put it, that Sherm Lewis take over the playcalling.
It sounded as if he were repeating contract language that was put to him after the embarrassing 14-6 loss to the winless Kansas City Chiefs.
Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said what many were thinking: Zorn should have told management, “Hey, I’m in charge of this team on the field. If I’m not, then get rid of me.”
After all, Zorn by now must see he won’t be wearing the “maroon and black” much longer. What would he have to lose if he refused to go along?
He could get fired earlier and take the rest of his money - likely more than he has earned in his entire career as a player and coach - and go back home and mountain bike.