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Zorn's earned a second season

12/22/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
As one of the nation's leading Jim Zorn apologists, I will admit to being lonely the last few weeks. In some walks of life, we admire men who admit fault and call themselves "the worst coach in America." But that's not how it works in the NFL. Not even Rod Marinelli would make that statement -- and he has a lot more ammunition than Zorn.

Mike Wise of the Washington Post has done a really nice job describing Zorn's first season as a head coach. In Monday's column, he talks about the coach's "Zornball" approach. He also includes a telling quote from longtime Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel.

Zorn is very unorthodox at times -- and that's fine. But sometimes you can be too smart for your own good. This is a highly intelligent guy whose news conferences sound at times like an Ivy League lecture. Not that I've heard one of those, but you get the point.

Sunday was a gut-check moment for the entire organization. Zorn had to be feeling the heat after watching a 6-2 record turn into 7-7. Now the Redskins have an opportunity to finish the season 9-7 and build a little momentum heading into the offseason. The club needs to take a long look at where it went wrong in the 2008 draft and Zorn needs to identify the areas where he can improve.

It's an endearing quality to have friends who admit they're not perfect. But those guys don't always make it in the head-coaching business.