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Jim Zorn Implies That He Was Told, Not Asked, About Play-Caller Change

zorn.jpgThere’s no doubt in my mind — and probably not in yours, either — that Cerrato told Zorn after the game that his balls we’re being ripped from his body and handed to Sherm Lewis in a little glass jar. There was certainly no polite back-and-forth between the two.

(Cerrato: So, listen buddy, I was thinking … maybe we should give the new guy a shot at calling the plays. You know, for giggles. Would that be cool with you? Zorn: Strip me of my most important duty as head coach, and hand it to a guy who’s been here two weeks and knows none of the players, let alone the plays? Gladly, sir!)

During his press conference today, Zorn pretty much confirmed all of this by strongly implying that he didn’t really have a choice in the matter:

Zorn: “It was strongly suggested to me after the game, in a meeting I had with Vinny in my office at the stadium, that I make a play caller change. Very difficult for me to think about it then, thought about, talked again with Vinny later on, and I am going to comply with that. He suggested that Sherm Lewis be the new play caller. This is not an easy thing.”

Alright, it was “strongly suggested.” Which means disagreeing with the suggestion was an option?

 Zorn: “Yes, that is my own free volition.”

Alright. Why agree to do it then?

Zorn: “Because I want to stay here and win.”

Yeah, so, make of that what you will.

Also: Zorn hasn’t decided who will start against the Eagles and Chris Samuels definitely won’t play. Monday night is gonna be a doozy.

Former Managing Editor at UPROXX; former Senior Editor at @SBNation; former ska-zine editor, fan of bad sports teams and good beer.



  1. Jamie Mottram

    October 19, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Sure he had a choice: take the demotion or walk.

  2. Chris Mottram

    October 19, 2009 at 4:43 PM

    Wait, isn’t that my point? He was told to make the change or he was fired.

  3. Jamie Mottram

    October 19, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    I suppose it was. Also, I think Dungy addressed this on Sunday Night Football, saying he would’ve walked.

  4. Chris Mottram

    October 19, 2009 at 4:51 PM

    Yeah, Dungy did. Probably easier said than done, especially when you’re a first-time head coach as opposed to a Super Bowl-winning coach.

  5. Julz

    October 19, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    I’m glad Zorn hasn’t walked. At this point I hope he makes them fire him so they have to pay him. They’re the ones who put him in this position. He should have never been made head coach in the first place and while I think his play calling is shit they’re completely undermining him with this move.

  6. trumpyoc

    October 19, 2009 at 7:26 PM

    I guess the biggest shock is that sherm lewis has only been in Ashburn for 2 weeks. Forget knowing the playbook and terminology – he has no idea about the individual players and their strengths and weaknesses. Absolute clusterfuck. Good for Zorn for refusing to resign. Thats what danny and vinny want him to do – take the money jim, cause lord knows you aren’t getting a job anytime soon in the NFL

  7. truthseeker

    October 19, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    I asked a question on riggosrag that I’ll ask here. Who would you like to see coach the Redskins after Jim Zorn is fired. Would it be – Jerry Gray? Greg Blache (who reportedly won’t)? Chuckie? Mooch? Fassel? Billick? Cowher (who reportedly won’t)? Sherman (who reportedly won’t)? Holmgren (who would insist on being both GM and coach like Cowher and Sherman)? Marty Mornhinweg? Tony Dungy (too much class to endure Snyder)? Russ Grimm? Jeff Fisher (if he becomes available)? Greg Williams (probably wouldn’t want the job now)?

  8. fds

    October 19, 2009 at 9:39 PM

    Who should be the next coach of the Redskins? The question is who “would” be the next coach of the Redskins? Nothing…(NOTHING!!!)…will change until ownership or management philosophy(ie get DS out of football operations) changes.

    /42..born and bred Skins fan
    /Won’t eat at Johnny Rockets and won’t go to Wally World

  9. Jake

    October 20, 2009 at 1:19 AM

    I’d like to see more reporting on what Sherm Lewis’ motivation is for being here. I assume Snyder’s paying him more then the bingo hall and that probably helps, but he had to know coming here would cut Zorn’s legs out from under him. And now, 2 weeks into it, he’s calling the plays. Is Lewis delusional in thinking he’s prepared to do that? Was he really that eager for the money to throw himself into this clearly dysfunctional situation? I’d like an in-depth interview with the man. Someone get on that.

  10. Diceshooter

    October 20, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    Does anyone else think it’s strange that the Redskins are replacing a guy who doesn’t seem to be a very good playcaller with a guy who never really was a very good playcaller? With all due respect to Sherman Lewis, I don’t recall him being a playcalling god back when he was in football, and he’s been out now for what, five years? I can’t imagine that a two week crash course in the team’s personnel and playbook has gotten him ready to succeed where Zorn has not.

    If Sherman Lewis were brought in to be a long term solution, whoever thought that up is insane as age and resume would dictate that he is not the long term fix. And he were brought in to be a short term solution, then I think he has been set up to fail, as the chances of the Redskins suddenly morphing into a 30+ points per game team through this one simple change is extremely unlikely. Either way, I think most will agree that the fundamental problems with the team start higher up in the organization than either Zorn or Lewis, and that in a few weeks/months, we’ll be looking at one or both of their heads on the cutting board.

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