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Zorn Press Release

Zorn Press Release

I don't normally post entire press releases here, but this one has a lot of good quotes from Zorn and Gibbs and sheds a little light on the process in general and how it arrived at Zorn in particular.

Jim Zorn, a veteran coach of 20 years and a renowned former NFL quarterback, today was named Head Coach of the Washington Redskins, succeeding Hall of Fame Coach Joe Gibbs, who retired Jan. 8.

"I've always dreamed of being a head coach with a franchise rich in tradition like the Redskins," Zorn said. "As a player who had to fight Redskins teams at RFK as well as at our home field, I know about the history of this franchise as well as the passion of its fans. I won't let you down."

"We're proud that our search was diligent, thorough, and resulted in today's announcement," said team owner Daniel M. Snyder. "Jim's track record and reputation as a player, great teacher, and as a coach makes us confident that they will translate to success for the Redskins."

Zorn, who signed a five-year contract with the team, spent seven seasons as quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks under Head Coach Mike Holmgren, where they shared in playoff trips for the past five seasons and one Super Bowl appearance.

His elevation to head coach at the Redskins adds his name to Holmgren's "family tree" of quarterback coaches who moved into the head coaching ranks, joining Andy Reid (directly from quarterback coach to the Eagles head coach), Jon Gruden, Marty Mornhinweg and Steve Mariucci.

Holmgren's tree also includes Jim Mora, Dick Jauron, Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman.

Zorn said he was excited about working with the Redskins from the first moment the team contacted him.

"I know about the history and great fans of the Redskins. I played against the Redskins. I played against our two newest Hall of Famers, Art Monk and Darrell Green," Zorn said. "Like all Redskins fans, I am a long-time admirer of Joe Gibbs.

"Thanks to him, today's Redskins have a solid foundation that will serve us well. I expect great things of our team, and hold myself accountable for providing the leadership to make us successful."

Zorn broke into the National Football League in 1976 as the first quarterback for the expansion Seahawks, starting all 14 games and earning Rookie of the Year honors.

He went on to play nine seasons for the team, then one year each with the Green Bay Packers, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring in 1987.

Zorn is one of only eight players in the Seahawks' Ring of Honor.

"Playing experience like Jim's is an enormous advantage for a head coach," said Gibbs. "Every move he makes, every play he calls, is based on the foundation of having actually played in real time and in the face of real opponents. You can't learn that on the sidelines or in the classroom."

"Dan and Vinny worked extremely hard on this process, and their research and diligence paid off after many long nights and hard hours. They're to be congratulated for that," Gibbs said.

"Dan was impressed with Jim from their first meeting. The first time he talked to me about hiring Jim I could tell what a strong impression he had made," Gibbs added. "Jim was a heck of a player, I know because I had to coach against him. But everyone also knows what a high-quality person he is, it's the first thing people tell you."

"I'm also extremely excited about the fact that Dan has maintained such stability and continuity among the staff. Not just the coaches, but also the entire infrastructure--strength coaches, medical staff, and others--that is required to maintain chemistry on a team," Gibbs said.

The Redskins began their search for a new coach on Jan. 9, following Gibbs' decision to retire.

Snyder, Executive Vice President for Football Operations Vinny Cerrato,and other team officials evaluated more than 50 potential candidates for the head coaching job over two days and selected 10 for interviews, which began Jan. 10.

"We knew of Jim's stellar offensive reputation, so we hired him as coordinator, but we also suspected he would be a strong candidate for head coach," Snyder said. "After our first six-hour interview with him, I told Joe (Gibbs), ?This guy would make a terrific head coach.'"

"But we stayed true to our commitment to interview every candidate. That took longer than expected because the Giants kept moving through the playoffs. Once we completed our interview with Steve Spagnuolo and concluded a day of discussion about all candidates, I called Jim and asked him to meet for lunch," Snyder continued. "I told him we were considering him as the next head coach, and asked if he wanted to move forward. Without hesitation he said "absolutely," and that's all I needed to hear."

"We spent two days taking Jim through the same interview process as every other candidate. Those sessions only confirmed my earlier comment to Joe (Gibbs): Jim Zorn will be a terrific head coach," Snyder said.

"I appreciate our fans' patience during this process. We promised a full search and we stuck to that promise. I also want to thank Joe (Gibbs) for his daily encouragement to stay the course, be patient, and fully interview everyone we identified as a potential head coach," Snyder added. "I also want to thank all the candidates for their time and hard work. They are all strong coaches and good people."

Vinny Cerrato, the Redskins Executive Vice President of Football Operations, said, "I'm proud of our work over the past 30 days, and I'm excited by the outcome. e worked seven days a week, late into the night. We were thorough, professional, and detailed. Our process was designed to identify the best candidate and it did.

"Jim (Zorn) is the only coach we offered the job to, contrary to some reports."

Zorn began his NFL coaching career following nine years as a quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator at Boise State, Utah State and the University of Minnesota. He joined the Seahawks in 1997 as an offensive assistant.

The next season he moved to the Detroit Lions as quarterbacks coach, where he was instrumental in the development of rookie quarterback Charlie Batch. In his rookie season, Batch's 88.3 passer rating ranks as the fourth-highest rookie mark in NFL history.

Holmgren brought Zorn to the Seahawks as quarterbacks coach in 2001, where he coached current Seahawk quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Trent Dilfer and Brock Huard.

In 2002, Dilfer began the season as the starter, with Hasselbeck stepping in to complete the season. That year, Seattle's passing attack ranked third in the NFL and Hasselbeck finished the season ranked first in the NFC with a 63.7 completion percentage and second in the NFC with a 87.8 passer rating.

With Hasselbeck entrenched as Seattle's starter, Zorn has worked with Holmgren in implementing the team's offense while also continuing the development of the quarterback.

Hasselbeck, now a perennial Pro Bowler, continues to rank among the NFL's best quarterbacks. Similarly, the Seahawk's offense regular ranks among the NFL elite.

Zorn, 54, and his wife Joy have four children: Rachel, Sarah, Danielle, and a son, Isaac. Rachel is married to Neal Mitchell. They have a one-month old daughter Hollis Joy.

Jim and Joy Zorn are active in Medical Teams International and Pro Athletes Outreach.

Medical Teams International is dedicated to implementing and supporting programs that address the causes and effects of inadequate health care worldwide. Their teams of medical, dental and other health professionals volunteer their expertise to serve hospitals and clinics worldwide.

Pro Athletes Outreach is led by former NFL offensive tackle Norm Evans and his wife Bobbe in its training of professional athletes and their wives to become leaders in Christ. In 1998, Pro Athletes Outreach expanded its scope to provide conferences to help train and equip coaches to support their work with athletes.

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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

Quick Links

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