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Paralysis by analysis

Paralysis by analysis

I've been suffering from paralysis by analysis for the past 48 hours. Every since the hiring of Jim Zorn, I've been bookmarking articles about the hire and about the process, ready to pick them apart and point out the biases, the illogical and untrue statements, and the hypocrisy present in so many of them. But as soon as I found one that was good fodder, I'd find another one that was even dumber.

So, first I'm going to go into a little more detail about my opinion of the hiring and then, over the coming days when I've gathered enough of the good, the bad, and the Adam Schein take on the Zorn hiring and do a few prize pull quotes from them with a reasoned response.

While it was surprising, I like the hire. It was absolutely nothing like what everyone said a Dan Snyder hire would be. He was a small name, an outside-the-box idea, a tiny splash in the pool. It's as though Zorn was hired by the Bizarro Snyder, at least according to his media image.

As far as the hiring process, I'm just glad it's over. I don't buy for a second that he was brought in as OC with the notion that he was a candidate for the head job. Snyder and Cerrato were suffering from their own case of paralysis by analysis and it occurred to the latter that the solution to their dilemma was the guy that was settling into the office down the hall from the one that used to belong to Joe Gibbs. If you're obsessed with process, as many in Washington tend to be and as many writers tend to be, the search was a black mark. If you're interested in results, all's well that ends well.

I like Zorn, from what I've read about him and what I've heard from him. Speaking of outside the box, that defines his thinking. Whether it's having his QB's play dodge ball or romp on a Slip 'n' Slide (see video embedded below) or riding his bicycle to work, he thinks about thinks and does things just a little bit differently than the rest of us. It's not necessarily a case of different is better (more on that later), but the change from the cookie-cutter approach is refreshing.

Zorn's introductory presser yesterday was not a virtuoso performance by a polished performer by any stretch of the imagination. He sounded nervous and he committed a few gaffes like the maroon and black reference, which was especially embarrassing because he volunteered the incorrect information. He'll be consulting with a PR firm before the media blizzard starts in the summer.

We don't know whether or not Zorn will be successful as a head coach. Many, of course, have buried him as one of the worst hires in years. I don't think that he will be, but there's no way of knowing for sure. Of course, it's the fact that we don't know that makes the two thumbs down reviews so utterly void of credibility.

His success, or lack thereof, will not be determined by his lack of experience as a coordinator. I'll take that back partially; it may hurt him this coming season. Plenty of coaches have been successful with limited or no experience as an NFL coordinator, Andy Reid (zero seasons), Tom Coughlin (zero seasons) and Mike Tomlin (one season). On the other hand, many star coordinators have flopped as NFL head coaches (look no further than Turner, Norv and Petitbon, Richie). It may take a year for him to get down the mechanics of things, but, ultimately, he either has "it" or he doesn't.

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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 18, 39 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at next year’s free agents

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens.

Note: I’m not including Brandon Scherff here because the team has a fifth-year option on him that they surely will activate before the May 2 deadline.

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard).

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility.

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon.

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup.

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight.

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Regarding the reported visit of defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins with the Redskins:


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 29
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 131
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 175

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Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon


Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon

The Redskins will be taking visits from two former NFC East foes in the next few days.

Former Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick will visit Redskins Park on Monday. Scandrick, 31, has been with Dallas since them made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. He has eight career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

The Cowboys released Scandrick on Friday in a salary cap move. The Redskins would be attracted to Scandrick’s versatility. He can play either side at corner and, of particular interest to the Redskins, in the slot. That is a position of concern for Washington since they traded Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs as part of the deal for quarterback Alex Smith.

The Redskins have been trying to get former Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to sign for the past several days, but they can’t come together on money. Scandrick could be a fallback if they need one.

The other visitor will be former Giants defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins, per John Keim of ESPN. Hankins, 25, was a second-round draft pick and played his first four years in New York. Last year he moved on to the Colts as a free agent. They are changing their defense and decided to release Hankins after paying him $10 million last year.

Hankins could bolster a defensive line that still needs young talent. It’s not known if he would be considered a nose tackle in the Redskins’ scheme. The Giants ran a 4-3 defense and in the Colts’ 3-4 he was used as an end.

The Redskins had former Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in for a visit earlier this week, but he decided to sign with the Packers.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.