- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jim Zorn repeated the same things at his news conference Monday that he has said week after week in this wreck of a season.

“I ask myself questions,” the coach of the Washington Redskins said. “What are we doing? Are we doing it right? Do we have the elements we need to be a successful offense? … The answers to those questions are sometimes yes and sometimes I am changing.”

But what does Zorn mean by change? A little tinkering in playcalling?

Zorn claims the Redskins are close to turning things around, that the difference between success and failure for this team is just one play here or there.

If that were the case, tinkering indeed would be in order.

But that belief is delusion. What is needed is not tinkering but a wrecking ball.

Major change needs to be on the table if the Redskins are to have any chance of salvaging a season headed - at best - toward a 5-11 finish.

What needs to be on the table is a change at quarterback.

Yes, Jason Campbell is just one item on a long list of things gone wrong for the Redskins.

But executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato already has done his damage, and he doesn’t seem likely to leave anytime soon. And as of Tuesday, Zorn was still at Redskin Park.

So if Zorn is asking questions, who should play quarterback certainly is a reasonable one.

Why not Todd Collins?

It’s not as if the Redskins are failing despite strong efforts from Campbell: He threw for fewer than 200 yards in his past two starts and in five of his past eight in the regular season.

Zorn said on his radio show Tuesday he is not considering benching Campbell.

“I don’t think there is a quarterback need to even have that discussion,” he said.

Based on what?

What could this team possibly have to lose at this point with a change at quarterback?

Would they score fewer points?

The Redskins scored 17 or fewer points in nine of their past 10 games and are on pace to put up 234 for the season, which would be their second fewest in a 16-game season. And save for the opener against the Giants, they have yet to face a good defense.

There always has been an underlying belief that the offense moves better with Collins than it does under Campbell’s direction.

Hall of Fame quarterback and Redskins radio announcer Sonny Jurgensen said before the loss to Carolina on Sunday that the Redskins would be 4-0 if Collins had been starting.

That’s a stretch - beating the Giants in the opener was problematic no matter who was at quarterback.

But it’s reasonable to wonder whether the offense would have been more effective with Collins against the roster of weak sisters the Redskins have faced since.

What do the Redskins have to lose now - given the state of the offensive line - other than Collins’ body? Collins might not be eager to get behind that patchwork line against Kansas City on Sunday.

The quarterback, whoever he is, likely will take a beating. He will have little time to drop back and make split-second decisions. If you believe your eyes, Collins handles that situation better than Campbell.

We should be long past the notion that Jason Campbell is the quarterback of the future.

It’s obvious that the one thing Dan Snyder got right this winter was his pursuit of Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez.

Why not make other changes as well? Why is preseason sensation Marko Mitchell not getting a sniff of playing time? Is it really because Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas are so much better? Or is it because Kelly and Thomas need to play to salvage Cerrato’s Great Draft Debacle of 2008?

You better believe political considerations in part determine who gets playing time on dysfunctional teams, decisions based on who has the most to lose for bad personnel moves.

Look at what happened with the Cowboys on Sunday. Miles Austin caught 10 passes for 250 yards. Do you think he even would have played if not for the injury to high-priced flop Roy Williams, who was acquired from the Lions for first-, third- and sixth-round picks and given a five-year, $45 million contract?

If Zorn really is asking questions, he should be long past the tinkering phase and into the try-anything phase.

That includes a change at quarterback.

• Listen to “The Sports Fix” co-hosted by Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro from noon to 2 p.m. weekdays on ESPN 980 or espn980.com.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide