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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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Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

With NFL RedZone, All-22 footage and GamePass, it’s literally never been easier to access information about your favorite teams and players. Still, nothing can quite beat the actual players and coaches, especially those who drew up those plays in the first place.

Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was happy to share some insight on the touchdown pass Alex Smith threw to Vernon Davis to kick off the scoring against the Panthers in Week 6. 

The Redskins took over possession after a Carolina turnover, and the offense was ready to strike quickly. Smith found Davis wide open in the end zone and connected with his longtime tight end to give the ‘Skins an early 7-0 lead.

Interestingly, as Cavanaugh points out, the play was designed to clear out space for the team’s top tight end, Jordan Reed. Instead, the Panthers safety rolled towards Reed, who is generally seen as the more likely receiving threat. You can see in the video of the play that Smith does look towards Reed first, and then noticed the rolling safety leaving Davis wide open down the seam.

Cavanaugh also emphasizes how vital it is for the offense to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“When we’re not on the field and the defense creates a turnover and all of a sudden we’re back out there, we gotta be ready to score, particularly when we get the ball in that great field position. It’s huge, it obviously set the tone for the rest of the game for us.”

A one play, 22-yard drive certainly does show off an offensive unit ready to score quickly and without the benefit of a long possession to get into rhythm.

Hopefully Cavanaugh doesn’t give away too many of his X’s and O’s secrets, but it’s always fascinating to experience a behind-the-scenes look at important plays. It’s even more fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns, and it’s the most fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns that come in Redskins victories.

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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