Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent, who knows a thing or two about taking a stand against management (except when it’s time to cross the picket line), told KJR in Seattle that his former quarterback, Jim Zorn, almost quit his job as head coach of the Washington Redskins when asked to give up the ability to call plays.
“Yes, he did consider it, and no, he did not want to give up those responsibilities,” Largent said, via NFL.com. “But they went to the point of pulling out his contract and saying, ‘You’ve got to do whatever the owner tells you to do. And so his choice was to resign or continue on under the current scenario. And Jim’s not a quitter, and he said, ‘I’m not going to quit on my coaching staff. I’m not to quit on this team. I’m going to do everything in my power to try to pull this out and get us going on the right track.’
“But, you know, in my opinion, and this is just totally my opinion -- Jim has never said this, never implied this -- I think what [Redskins owner] Dan Snyder was trying to do was to force Jim to resign so he was not liable for his contract any longer. And Jim just isn’t going to do that. He’s not a quitter, and he’s not going to give up. And it wouldn’t be right for his team and his coaching staff to do that.”
(Maybe Zorn’s next move will be to tie those three Super Bowl trophies to the bumper of his car and drive around the parking lot, or don a flesh-tone body suit.)
While the situation is an embarrassing one for Zorn, Largent said he feels more ashamed for the Redskins than for Zorn.
“I think it will be humbling and it will be embarrassing, but not for Jim,” Largent said. “I think it’s humbling and embarrassing for the Redskins and the Redskins owner and Redskins management that made the decision. To think that you can bring a guy in from a retirement center, who is pulling out ping-pong balls in the Bingo games -- and literally, that’s what he was doing in Detroit -- bring him down here for two weeks and say, ‘You are going to call the plays for the next game against the Philadelphia Eagles, a division opponent, on Monday Night Football,’ and think that that’s going to be successful, that’s a joke. That is really a joke.”
We agree with Largent on all points except for one. It’s embarrassing for Zorn, too. And in a society where some folks believe that it’s never OK to resign, sometimes the right thing to do is to get up and leave.