- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jim Zorn practically warned fans what to expect this season even before it began.

“When you work each week and you live and die by success and failure, you have to work through both the good times and the hard times,” the Washington Redskins coach said when asked about his relationship with quarterback Jason Campbell. “It is easier with the successes. But this is a work in progress. … I think we are on our way there. But I think it is going to take this football season again to recognize it and to keep it going.”

A work in progress.

Take this football season again to recognize it and keep it going.

The progress had better show quickly. Zorn, Campbell and Co. have only Sunday’s game against the Chiefs and the following “Monday Night Football” contest to recognize it and keep it going.

Zorn’s career as an NFL head coach likely will end after these two games unless he finds a way to beat the Chiefs - yet another opponent without a win - and pull off a stunning upset of the powerful Eagles before a home crowd.

The bye week follows, and you can’t fire a coach with a 4-3 record coming off a win at home against the Eagles.

A victory, of course, might buy Zorn only the rest of the season - unless the progress is such that we’ve never seen before and the Redskins keep it going like it’s never been kept going before.

But a strong finish would be extremely difficult against the varsity portion of the schedule that follows the bye week: Falcons, Broncos, Cowboys, Eagles, Saints, (the gift of the) Raiders, Giants, Cowboys and Chargers.

The Raiders, it’s realistic to believe, are the only team on that list the Redskins can beat - and, heck, that’s a road game.

First, though, the Redskins must deal with the winless Chiefs - no simple task based on their performance to date.

The Redskins hold a 6-10 record in their past 16 games, a stretch that includes woeful performances of late against terrible teams - the Lions, Rams, Bucs and Panthers.

There is every reason to believe Washington can lose this game.

My goodness, even Joe Theismann, who raised blind optimism to new levels with his preseason predictions for the Redskins, picked the Chiefs to win on the NFL Network show “Playbook.”

When Theismann is picking against the Redskins, you know poison is in the air.

Maybe the Redskins players consider Theismann to be part of the troublesome media that has had the nerve to ask why this team is bad.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall has an answer: The Redskins are bad because they are not very good.

“You want to blame somebody?” he asked reporters this week. “Look at the film. Look at the guys trying to play. We haven’t been doing a great job, and I think the blame lies with us. We’re the ones playing every day, practicing, trying to do the right things, but I don’t know if we have the right personnel to do it.”

The time for progress and recognition is past: The Redskins are on pace to score 233 points.

Questions are being asked for good reason. Zorn and his players have two games left to answer them.

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

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