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Zorn must stay

Zorn must stay

Here I go again.

After standing up for the status quo a couple of weeks ago in saying that Jason Campbell should stay behind center for the Washington Redskins, here I am calling for some more stability.

Jim Zorn needs to be given at least one more year, preferably more, to make the Redskins into a team that is capable of going deep into the playoffs.

I'm not saying this because I think that Zorn is without flaws that need to be corrected. He has made mistakes and I'm not going to call them rookie mistakes. Rookies come into the league and enter an environment that is totally different from the one that they were used to in college. Zorn has spent virtually all of his adult life in the NFL.

Through observation he should know that you have to have your finger on the pulse of the team and know that a player like Clinton Portis isn't going to knock on his office door when he's ticked off about a coaching decision. You can't let Carlos Rogers stand there in the tunnel waiting to get introduced as a starter when everyone in Washington who had Internet access could find out that he had been demoted to second string.

From watching Mike Holmgren over the past seven years he should know that your sideline demeanor can set the tone for the rest of the team and that if you act frustrated that feeling can spread.

He appeared to be unprepared for other teams catching up with his offensive schemes. In this league, as soon as something starts working, you had better make plans to tweak it.

However, I will go on the assumption that he recognizes these mistakes, that he's not stuck on stupid, and that he wants to improve. In other words, I figure he meant what he said in his Monday presser when he said he felt like "the worst coach in America" and basically took responsibility for everything that's gone wrong short of the problems that General Motors is having.

If you're reading this, I don't have to chronicle all of the upheaval that the team has undergone in the past 10 years. The number of changes at the key positions—head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators and quarterback—has been staggering. You have to give Zorn some time to grow and learn and get the players to ingrain his system and philosophy into their brains and bodies.

I don't think that Dan Snyder will pull the trigger on firing Zorn this soon. If nothing else, to do so would be to admit that the long, drawn out coaching search of last January came to a disastrously wrong conclusion.

Had the Redskins reached their 7-7 record by winning one, dropping a couple, going on a mini-streak followed by a mild slump, there would be no talk of Jim Zorn being fired. They would be meeting the mildly optimistic preseason expectations of a .500 season. But the way they have gone from 6-2 to 7-7 has many people fired up.

But you are what your record says you are not matter how you get to that record. The Redskins are about where they've been for the past decade, not horrible but also not ready to contend for any kind of playoff run. Their best shot at changing that in the near future is to resist change and stay the course with Jim Zorn.

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

pryor_vs_chiefs_usat.jpg
Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

nicholsonl_int_vs._oak_usat.png
usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199