- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some Washington Redskins fans have passed judgment on coach Jim Zorn only 14 games into his tenure, clogging message boards and phone lines to voice their displeasure with all things Z-man. The majority are taking owner Dan Snyder and front office boss Vinny Cerrato to task for, well, everything.

But a team source said Danny/Vinny making a move on Zorn - regardless of how the Redskins finish - “would really shock me.”

“Yeah, we raised expectations when we were 6-2, but it’s not like we’re Detroit,” the source said. “We’ve lost to some bad teams, but we do have seven wins. … This is a new gig for Jim. He’s learned a lot. He wants to find ways to do it right and make it right. He’s been good about that, and I think Dan sees that.”

One year, unless the record is in the 3-13 to 1-15 range, is too small a sample size to consider making a change with a first-time coach/play caller, something ownership and the front office probably will realize if the Redskins aren’t destroyed in their final two games.

That Zorn inherited a flawed roster isn’t his fault - and he can blame the Redskins’ 2006 offseason as a prime reason.

Teams say draft classes should not be evaluated until three years down the line, which saves the Redskins’ most recent group from getting a D - Chris Horton saves them from an F - or an I for incomplete since most haven’t played enough to warrant a grade.

But using the three-year rule, an analysis of the roster moves of three seasons ago is in order.

It was a disaster. Period.

The end result: That offseason has left the Redskins scrambling the past two years to account for the errors.

cMarch 11: Brandon Lloyd is acquired from San Francisco for a third-round pick in 2006 and a fourth-round pick in 2007. He later signs a contract that includes $10 million guaranteed.

End result: Ran the same exact routes as Santana Moss - only not as well. Problem was the Redskins already had Moss. Lloyd threw tantrums, was benched a game for missing a meeting, uttered the classic quote, “I have a great attitude for a winning team,” dropped Jason Campbell’s first career pass, broke his collarbone midway through last year and was released after two seasons, 25 catches and no touchdowns.

cMarch 12-13: Free agents Adam Archuleta, Andre Carter and Antwaan Randle El sign six-year, $30 million contracts; Christian Fauria signs a two-year, $2 million deal.

End result: Archuleta was benched before the season began and only started seven games because Pierson Prioleau blew out his knee. He was banished to the bench at midseason and traded to Chicago for a late-round pick. Fauria was a zero - two catches in nine games before being injured and retreating to his Massachusetts home. Randle El is still here, but he clearly wasn’t worth the money. Carter has 19.5 sacks in nearly three full seasons.

The player Archuleta replaced, Ryan Clark, starts for Pittsburgh. Archuleta and Fauria are out of football.

cMarch 14: Todd Collins signs a two-year, $2.5 million contract.

End result: Who knew Collins would be called on to contribute? He started the final three regular-season games last year (all wins) to help the Redskins reach the playoffs. Collins was re-signed to serve as Campbell’s backup.

cDraft: Linebacker Rocky McIntosh is chosen in the second round.

End result: He couldn’t get on the field as a rookie, and only Gregg Williams’ objection kept him from being traded to Chicago with a draft pick for Lance Briggs before the 2007 draft. McIntosh came to the Redskins with knee problems, tore an ACL last December and was benched early in the first half Sunday at Cincinnati. This situation bears watching because McIntosh already may be showing signs of wear.

cTraining camp: Panicking after Clinton Portis injures his shoulder, the Redskins trade third- and fourth-round picks to Atlanta for running back T.J. Duckett.

End result: He carried the ball 38 times and wasn’t re-signed.

See a pattern forming? The Redskins seem unwilling to keep what they have (Clark, draft picks) and instead take risks. The results are still trickling down.

When Archuleta flopped, it created a glaring need at safety, which was addressed by drafting LaRon Landry sixth overall in 2007.

When Lloyd stunk and Randle El couldn’t be at least a No. 2 receiver productionwise and couldn’t scare defenses, the Redskins felt they needed to draft two receivers in the second round this year instead of addressing needs along the offensive and defensive lines.

Since McIntosh is close to being a question mark (and Marcus Washington is unlikely to return), the Redskins have considered adding another linebacker.

If Zorn is retained, the roster will have a different look next year - in many cases, a much-needed different look.

“We’re going to have to make some hard decisions on some older players,” the source said. “But we have to make them or we’ll be in the same boat next year.”



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