Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jim Zorn was introduced as the Washington Redskins’ next coach during a 45-minute press conference today, an event that ended only when power was lost in the auditorium.

Afterward, Redskins owner Dan Snyder defended the monthlong process that included the firing of assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams and offensive coordinator Al Saunders. Snyder said continuity is intact even though quarterback Jason Campbell will have to learn a new playbook.

“We set that out as the goal and we accomplished it,” Snyder said. “I have a nice satisfied feeling about that and we all feel good about that. We’ve positioned the franchise to move forward in a transition mode from Coach Gibbs to Coach Zorn.”

Snyder also said that hiring Zorn wasn’t a gamble.

“Life is full of risks,” Snyder said. “I think this is a smart move that gives us the best chance to win in the long term and the short term.”

Zorn was hired as offensive coordinator on Jan. 26, but when Steve Spagnuolo decided to stay with the New York Giants, Snyder and executive vice president Vinny Cerrato interviewed Zorn for the head position. He accepted the job Friday night.

Cerrato said Zorn was the only person offered the job.

Zorn previously served as the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterbacks coach and has no coordinator or play-calling experience in the NFL.

Zorn agreed with the strategy adopted by the Redskins to fill out most of their coaching staff.

“It would have been pretty difficult for me to start from square one and put my staff together when we’re already getting into the combine and free agency and all of those things,” Zorn said. “We’ve got a solid group and we can absolutely go hard and fast into free agency, into the combine, into the draft and then with our offseason program.”

Before heading to the combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 20, Zorn must hire an offensive coordinator to replace himself. The quarterbacks coach position is also open if the Redskins opt to fill out the staff.

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