The Washington Times - December 15, 2008, 11:17AM

Security at FedEx Field this Sunday might want to confiscate the shoes Redskins fans are wearing. Throwing them is all the rage now in freedom of expression, and there may be quite a few Redskins fans ready to toss their Guccis at Jim Zorn or in the direction of Dan Snyder‘s owner’s box. That is, unless they are using them to defend themselves from the Philadelphia Eagles fans who likely will flock to FedEx Field for the game.

Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals, who came into the game with a 1-11-1 record, will set off a firestorm of speculation about Zorn’s future — which is what most observers expected after the untested Zorn was hired by Snyder last winter.


The hire was a panic move, made when Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo spurned the Redskins’ offer and left them without a head coach in early February. So Snyder hired Zorn, the former Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach who Snyder had just hired to be an offensive coordinator, basically because he was the last man standing.

No one expected this Redskins team, overrated coming off an accidental playoff appearance under Joe Gibbs last year, to start the season as it did, with a 6-2 record. And then it didn’t seem possible that they could go 1-5 in their next six games.

What was entirely plausible — and expected — when Zorn was hired is what is happening now, a 7-7 record anda team in turmoil.

Snyder needs to see this through and give Zorn a real chance at building something. If he were to can Zorn now or at the end of this season, it would be another indictment of the dysfunctional way the Redskins owner operates this football team. It would be an embarrassment for the owner who, when asked at the press conference announcing Gibbs’ retirement in January if he was going to change the front office structure and hire a general manager, answered, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m surprised no one threw a shoe at him when he said that.

Speaking of throwing shoes, consider how ugly the scene could be at FedEx Field on Sunday when the reeling Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles (7-5-1), who are surging with impressive wins over the Cardinals and the Giants and are facing Ohio’s other lowly team, the Cleveland Browns, tonight in the Monday Night Football matchup.

Eagles fans generally make their presence felt at FedEx under normal conditions. Unless Redskin fans plan to stick by their team and show up in large numbers instead of selling their seats and watching from home, you can be sure Eagles fans will be easy to find at Fed Ex Field, particularly since their team has played well of late.

It could be a repeat of the Monday Night debacle against the Steelers at home, when there had to be about 30,000 Pittsburgh fans at FedEx Field, waving Terrible Towels. Eagles fans don’t wave towels. They wave fists, and with the game switched to a 4:15 p.m. start from the original 1 p.m. start, they will have three more hours to get their alcohol muscles all pumped up, while Redskins fans will have more time to practice their shoe-tossing in the parking lots.