Jim Zorn on Monday made sure we all know he’s aware of what’s swirling around him and his Washington Redskins. Yes, he knows that there’s talk about his job security, and about myriad changes coming in the offseason.
But on Monday afternoon, meeting the assembled media less than 18 hours after his team’s 11th loss of the season, Zorn opened up a bit and explained how he’s dealt with it this season, his second in the District. Remember that he faced some scrutiny coming in to the 2009 season and the Redskins lost the opener at New York, 23-17. They followed that with a home win over the lowly St. Louis Rams, but the 9-7 victory was perhaps one of the team’s ugliest performances all season.
That’s when Zorn said he recognized the “first inkling of all the speculation” about his future. Probably because he got asked about it on his own radio show on the team-owned radio station.
“I made a decision then: I’m going to remain focused and see this through,” Zorn said on Monday as the session drew to a close. “I truly am having a great experience. It’s not fun, but it’s a great experience. There are better days ahead. … we’re trying to deal with all of the adversity that comes each day.”
Zorn doesn’t want people’s sympathy, he doesn’t want people feeling sorry for him. “I don’t want to moan and groan about it all,” he said. “I’m the head football coach. We have [four] wins under our belt; that’s not good.”
He and the Redskins have a good shot at getting a fifth win this weekend if the San Diego Chargers, who already have clinched a bye in the first round of the AFC playoffs, pull a Colts and rest some of their starters. But, as Zorn said Monday, “They can’t sit their guys for three weeks.”
And if his team doesn’t win at San Diego, well, Zorn might have a “morbid” feeling. But it essentially will put a cap on what, for him, has become a big, long (and evidently not always fun) learning experience.
“I’m a better football coach than I was when I walked into the program,” Zorn said.
- John Taylor