- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jim Zorn might as well have been named the interim coach of the Redskins.

He will last only 16 games with the Redskins unless he leads them into the playoffs and the team makes some noise there.

Coach Chin should be done with his self-imposed retirement after next season and ready to listen to the best available offers.

TWT Video: Redskins’ roster under Zorn

When it comes to dispensing offers that cause grown men to faint, no one is better at delivering them than owner Daniel Snyder.

That is one of Snyder’s principal qualities. He has a lot of George Steinbrenner in him in that respect. If he wants someone badly enough — and Bill Cowher’s chin qualifies as an A-list hire — he will wine and dine the person, or body part, promise the moon and then throw so much money in the direction of the person that it is impossible to turn the job down.

And Snyder, like every other owner in need of X-and-0 help, is obsessed with Cowher’s chin.

Zorn could eliminate this kind of speculation if he wins next season. Yet the latter is a long-shot proposition at best.

Here is what the supporters of the maroon and black know to be true: Both Zorn and quarterback Jason Campbell will be learning on the job next season.

More problematic, Zorn is ditching the telephone-like playbook of Al Saunders and introducing Campbell and the rest of the offense to yet another system that has its own language, nuances and secret codes written in invisible ink. And the team has a new coordinator of the defense that has been relatively sound in recent seasons.

All these variables suggest an impending disaster for the purple and white.

We do not know whether Zorn can run an offense, given his background as a quarterbacks coach, much less be the CEO of the aqua and Confederate gray.

This apparently is Snyder’s definition of continuity and stability.

Those were the talking points of Joe Gibbs on the day he stepped down as coach.

In the 32 days it took Snyder and his lap dog to find a suitable replacement, Saunders was told to get lost, Gregg Williams was interviewed a record number of times before being sent packing, the team’s 100-man coaching staff was pared to a workable number, and Zorn somehow morphed into the savior of the orange and white.

This prompts the notion of continuity and stability?

This warms the hearts of the organization’s long-suffering enablers?

The Redskins used to win the Super Bowl every offseason because of Snyder’s money.

Now they cannot even do that.

Then again, maybe Zorn is the next genius-in-waiting and merely needs this opportunity to show it.

That is why they play the games, after all.

Who would have thought at this time last year that Eli Manning would be a Super Bowl champion?

Zorn seems personable enough and inclined to deviate from the organization’s talking points.

He said he was as surprised as the radio call-in general managers by his emergence as a head coach candidate.

His friends and professional colleagues all insist he is one heck of a guy who devotes part of the year to helping the poor in Calcutta and lining up more African countries for Madonna and Angelina Jolie to adopt.

But that is what friends and colleagues are obligated to say, especially colleagues, who never know when they might need a pal to hire them.

Not that Zorn necessarily will have a job after next season, depending on how many games the Redskins win and how restless Cowher’s chin becomes.

Supporters of the racy pink and lacy mauve have three obligations next season — monitoring the on-the-job training of Zorn, the chin of Cowher and the body language of team mascot Tom Cruise.

This is what a painstakingly thorough, exhaustive and tedious coaching search can do for a franchise that embraces continuity and stability.

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