- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WESTMINSTER, Md. | Jim Zorn is now in a place where he’s wanted, doing a job for which he is appreciated and living his life without being hounded by the media.

His role as quarterbacks coach of the Baltimore Ravens may not be as prestigious as head coach of the Washington Redskins, but he isn’t complaining. Not after last season, when Zorn was subjected to intense scrutiny, stripped of his play-calling duties and ultimately fired.

After going 12-20 in two seasons as Washington’s head coach, a reign he finished by losing 18 of 24, Zorn returns to FedEx Field on Saturday night when the Ravens face the Redskins in a preseason game.

“I’m familiar with the stadium, that’s for sure. I’ll be in the other locker room, which is OK,” Zorn said Tuesday. “I suspect I’ll have some good feelings about what those fans do, how they support the Redskins and some of the players I’m very fond of. It will be just interesting going there and being on the other side.”

Zorn was initially hired by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to be the team’s offensive coordinator. Before he could serve a day at that position, he was given his first head coaching job. His inexperience outweighed his knowledge of the game, as evidenced by what some of his former players are saying this summer.

One of them, asked to describe last season, put a finger to his mouth and made a gagging noise.

Veteran head coach Mike Shanahan is now in charge of the Redskins. Asked to describe the difference between this year and last, Washington defensive end Phillip Daniels said, “Everything. Attitude. More discipline. Focus. All that’s changed.

“And that’s just by having a guy as your head coach that you really believe in, that’s been there, that’s done it, that really gets the most out of all his guys. … Guys know that he knows exactly what he’s doing, you know what I’m saying?”

Zorn, 57, has no hard feelings. He hasn’t spoken to Snyder since the day of his dismissal, and he’s fine with that.

“I’ve never had any animosity. … You just get fired, thank you very much, and you move on. I really think that’s how we have to handle it, or we could go sit in our rooms for a few weeks and mope and feel sorry for ourselves. It’s not the way life is, really. We’re called to handle difficult situations as well as glorious situations.”

His current focus is making Joe Flacco a better quarterback and working with backups Marc Bulger and Troy Smith to make certain they’re ready if needed.

“My concentration is now to help this football team win. I’m really excited about being a part of the Ravens,” Zorn said. “I don’t spend a lot of time going, ‘Gosh, oh, gee whiz, I’m not this or that,’ because we don’t have time.”

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh hired Zorn within a month of his departure from the Redskins. Zorn replaced Hue Jackson, who became offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders.

With Cam Cameron as his offensive coordinator and Zorn as his quarterbacks coach, Harbaugh has the luxury of having two former NFL head coaches running his offense.

“Having Jim Zorn here makes us better. That’s not taking anything away from Hue Jackson, because Hue Jackson was a tremendous coach,” Harbaugh said. “Jim brings to the table playing experience, quarterback coaching experience, running an offense experience, head coaching experience. And beyond that, even more importantly — that’s resume stuff — is the kind of person he is. He’s got a great way of communicating, he’s got great expertise, he’s really easy to be around, he’s got great insight. It makes me better, it makes Cam better, it makes Joe better.”

Zorn insists he’s happy where he is, and that he’s “not in any hurry” to be a head coach again. At this point in his life, he’s still absorbing his experience in Washington.

“I’ve written a lot of things down. I’ve thought about a lot of things,” he said. “I’ve had some conversations with different people, just trying to get a feel for different issues. Some I wouldn’t change and some I wish I could have changed.

“And yet, I really believe this: We live in the circumstances, and we have to deal with the circumstances as they come. We tried to make the most of what we had there, and here I am. Here I am.”


AP Sports Writer Joseph G. White in Ashburn, Va. contributed to this report.

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