- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS — Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn confirmed this morning that he wants to re-sign free agent quarterback Todd Collins to serve as Jason Campbell’s back-up.

Speaking with two reporters for 30 minutes this morning at a downtown hotel, Zorn said he has talked to Collins since replacing Joe Gibbs nearly three weeks ago. Campbell remains the without-a-doubt starter.

Collins was 3-1 as the Redskins starter last year.

“He’s a guy that I’m concerned about and I want to nail that down if we can,” Zorn said. “Absolutely he has value because he’s a veteran, because he proved to himself and to the football team that he can play and there is confidence in him if he has to play.

“He’ll be good for Jason because it’s a veteran instructing a guy when I’m not in the room. He has a sense of rhythm and a sense of timing that it takes to run plays and get the ball out. He’s learned different systems. He hasn’t always been in one system.”

If Collins returns, that would likely mean Mark Brunell’s time with the Redskins is over. Zorn said Brunell has told him he wants to be, at the very least, a No. 2 quarterback.

“We’re trying to figure out Mark’s situation and he’s trying to figure out his situation,” Zorn said. “He wants to be a No. 2 as well. He’s highly competitive and has had a great career and still has some stuff left.”

Asked if it’s conceivable that all three quarterbacks could return in 2008, Zorn said he didn’t know.

On other personnel fronts, Zorn said he wants cornerback Shawn Springs to return and is hopeful kick returner Rock Cartwright can be re-signed.

“I think Shawn’s excited because he knows me and hopefully that will rev him up,” Zorn said of Springs.

Zorn has not spoken with receiver Brandon Lloyd. It’s assumed Lloyd will be cut before Feb. 29 to create salary cap space. When talking about the team’s receivers, Zorn mentioned Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El and Anthony Mix.

“I haven’t watched Brandon on video but he’s fresh in my mind because he’s fairly new to the program and hasn’t had success for whatever reason injury or lack of an opportunity,” Zorn said. “I would like to sit down and talk to him and see what his mindset is.”

Zorn touched on several other topics:

c On catching up with the rest of the league because of the late hire: “I hit the ground running and I think it’s a good pace. I haven’t really felt overwhelmed because there are a lot of people doing their job and when that happens, it makes it so much better. We’re getting a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. The thing we’re scrambling to do is get the playbook written up and written up in such a way that it’s clear because that will be some of the bigger changes will take place in the passing game.”

c On if the last two-plus weeks have seemed like a whirlwind: “I didn’t know really know what to expect but I’ve been observing head coaches for a long time and there are obligations, there are various facets that each head coach has to accomplish during the day. I’m not surprised. I’m trying to do the best I can to accommodate the requests and accomplish the things that are necessary.”

c On free agency and draft needs: “Not so much replacing guys but adding guys. You want to make sure we have the next guy in line so those younger guys are being taught and being helped by the guys who are playing now.” Zorn later mentioned cornerback (because of Carlos Rogers’ injury), safety (because of the youth of LaRon Landry and Reed Doughty) and offensive line depth (because every starter is age 30 or older).

c On pursing a veteran corner because of Rogers’ injury: “Absolutely. There are some guys out there that we’re talking about. We’re looking at all free agent possibilities and more than just the DB position. It’s our responsibility that if we can fill a gap, we fill it with the right guy.”

c On Campbell fitting into the West Coast passing game: “If Jason Campbell was a plodder, a guy who was a slow drop-back guy and couldn’t move, it would be difficult for him. Jason has excellent feet. When I watch him, I think he can move his feet very well. I’ll have to drill him on the idea of moving, changing direction and getting rid of the ball on-rhythm. I think he can do it.”

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