Redskins make coach Jim Zorn give up play-calling duties after 14-6 loss to ChiefsBy Howard Fendrich, AP
Sunday, October 18, 2009
At 2-4, Zorn relinquishing play-calling duties
LANDOVER, Md. — Head coach Jim Zorn no longer will be calling the plays for the Washington Redskins’ struggling offense.
Front office chief Vinny Cerrato and Zorn discussed the change during a 1-on-1 meeting after Washington’s 14-6 loss to the previously winless Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
According to Redskins spokesman Zack Bolno, Cerrato told Zorn he believes the coach had too many responsibilities and someone else should run the offense during games. Zorn did not disagree with that assessment, Bolno said.
The team planned to announce a new play caller Monday.
The Redskins (2-4) are averaging 13.2 points this season — and have not scored more than 17 in any game. Against the Chiefs, who entered Sunday allowing 27.6 points and 402.8 yards per game, Washington managed only 265 yards of offense, a grand total of seven first downs and went 2 for 14 on third-down conversions.
“This offense is better than six points, 100 percent. And that’s on me,” Zorn said, before the change in his duties was announced. “It’s my fault.”
He tried switching quarterbacks at halftime, lifting starter Jason Campbell in favor of Todd Collins, who hadn’t played since the end of the 2007 season. Collins led the Redskins to two field goals, but the team failed to score a touchdown at home for the second time this season.
Zorn said Campbell was “a little late in hitting some things” and “inaccurate.” Zorn did not make clear who his QB will be moving forward.
As the final seconds of Sunday’s loss ticked away, and the dwindling crowd booed, Zorn stood alone on the sideline, his headset off, his arms folded across his chest.
He began his postgame news conference with a loud, lengthy sigh into the microphone. And the coach kept on sighing as he discussed his team’s latest setback, which made Washington 4-10 over its past 14 games.
“I’ve got to be better. And it really irritates me. Truly irritates me,” Zorn said. “And I’m just not going to rest until I get that taken care of.”
As it is, the Redskins are the first team in NFL history to face six consecutive winless opponents, but they haven’t managed to take advantage.
In Week 3, the Redskins lost to the Detroit Lions, 0-2 at the time and riding a 19-game losing streak. Last weekend, the Redskins lost to the Carolina Panthers, who were 0-3 entering that game.
Now comes the loss to Kansas City, which was 0-5.
“It’s going to be a very hard week. Last week, I thought that was as hard as it can get,” Zorn said. “It just got harder.”
Asked directly whether he is concerned about his future, Zorn replied: “That part’s not up to me, so I won’t answer that question.”
There were issues other than the offense Sunday, including special teams problems (Washington had a punt blocked), penalties (two of Kansas City’s scores were essentially set up by personal fouls) and clock-management trouble.
All of this happened against a Chiefs team that had lost 28 of its previous 30 — a run of futility that not only sounds like something an expansion team would do, but is: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got started in the 1970s by going 2-28.
“We’ve got to come together as a complete team,” Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels said. “If you don’t get all three phases, then it makes for a bad day. We just didn’t have all three phases today.”
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