- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2009

As is his wont, second-year Redskins coach Jim Zorn chose to look on the bright side a day after Washington’s season-opening 23-17 loss to the New York Giants, a defeat which dropped the Redskins to 0-3 against Big Blue during Zorn’s tenure.

“It was frustrating to watch from the things we did not do well, [but] that’s a hard statement to make because there’s a lot of good things in there,” Zorn said during his Monday afternoon press gathering at the team’s headquarters in Ashburn, Va. “What we’re going do is try to build on the positive things. When our guys see what happened and how it happened, there’ll be a lot of recovery here … and I believe we’ll improve.”

Zorn and quarterback Jason Campbell beat the Cowboys in Dallas and the Eagles in Philadelphia in 2008. But when it comes to the Giants?

“I wouldn’t single Jason out,” Zorn said. “I haven’t won [against the Giants] yet either. It’s important for our football team to beat this New York team.”

Zorn said he doesn’t regret calling the option pass for Antwaan Randle El on the second play of the game after Clinton Portis had run for 34 yards on the opening snap. The coach likes the threat of the former college quarterback but “I would trust that Antwaan would just throw it away” instead of taking an 11-yard sack which knocked the Redskins back to the Giants’ 48-yard line and helped force a punt.

The coach also lamented two mistakes by Campbell: the failure to step up in the pocket and away from Osi Umenyiora on the fumble Umenyiora returned for a touchdown and the decision to throw a pass past the line of scrimmage; that pass was intercepted by Corey Webster.

As for the secondary’s failures on third-and long, Zorn said: “We just gave a little bit too much cushion. … When we [did] and the [Giants’ pass] protection was there, it just seemed to be easy [for New York quarterback Eli Manning and his receivers].”

Zorn said he kept rookie receiver Marko MItchell active and deactivated former starting defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery in order to be able to still use a 4-receiver set if one of the more proven wideouts was hurt.

On the topic of All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth playing only so many snaps, the coach said he understands that a 6-foot-6, 350-pound man can only play so hard so long without a break.

“I thought we did a nice job on a couple of drive-stopping plays in the red zone to force them to kick field goals and Albert was a big part of that,” Zorn said. “When he is in there, he’s going as hard as he can. He really is. This was our first game with all of our starters playing the whole game so we’ll get a better feel for what we can do and what we can’t do and what that rotation will be. I wasn’t displeased with the type of play he had and the amount.”

Zorn didn’t condone receiver Santana Moss getting into a scuffle with Webster or safety LaRon Landry’s late hit on Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, but said he understood the reactions of his players in those situations.

Zorn said the Redskins suffered no injuries of consequence with left tackle Chris Samuels taking a blow to the head and rookie linebacker Brian Orakpo hurting an elbow. Both stayed in the game. Cornerback Carlos Rogers (calf) said he experienced no discomfort during the game.

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