Beast exclusive: A conversation with Jim Zorn

March, 24, 2009
3/24/09
7:36
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

DANA POINT, Calif. -- Had a nice visit with Redskins head coach Jim Zorn and his teenage son Isaac on Tuesday at the NFL owners' meeting. I'll stop by and visit with Zorn again tomorrow morning at the NFC coaches' breakfast, but here's what I came up with during our 10-minute chat:

Beast: How did Albert Haynesworth's first week in the conditioning program go?

Zorn: I was excited when he showed up Monday morning. He showed up with a great attitude. And then the same thing happened the next day and the next day.

Beast: What will Haynesworth bring to your team?

Zorn: He can No. 1 create distortion inside, which will draw attention. He can destroy blocking schemes. He will help. Our hope is that he helps the rest of the D-line and defensive backs. Some of it you're not going to be able to see. We'll make a play downfield, and it may have been because of his pressure.

Beast: Does Haynesworth remind you of anyone?

Zorn: I know he likes to look at Reggie White as a guy he wants to be like. He wants to be that type of impact player.

Beast: He's had his best couple of years when the Titans were dangling a contract in front of him. Does that concern you at all?

Zorn: Our job is to help him to realize all the potential that he wants to achieve. He is motivated and I think it's a lot of inner-motivation. He wants to achieve a lot of things. It's just about working hard and then us trying to envelop him into our program and into our team.

Beast: Are you concerned that you have old players at defensive end?

Zorn: It's still a need. We have to definitely be looking at that. But we think he can make some of the guys we already have even better.

Beast: When you look back on the second half of the 2008 season, what was the biggest thing that went wrong?

Zorn: It was an area on the field, from plus-50 to plus-20. That was a nemesis for us. When you look overall, that's where we struggled.

Beast: What are you looking for from Jason Campbell this season?

Zorn: We're looking for him to improve and have a great attitude and we're not worried about the contract issues.

Beast: Do you see him as the quarterback in Washington for years to come?

Zorn: Yes, he's on a good road. He's progressing and I look forward to him working through his second offseason in this offense. We want him to just work through the football program and find his comfort zone. I want him to have the same learning curve and develop a mastery of what his duties are.

Beast: Where are Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Fred Davis in terms of their development?

Zorn: They had to catch back up. And Devin and Fred caught back up late in the season. You would've seen a lot more from them had the season been longer.

Beast: How much different do you feel now as opposed to last year at this time?

Zorn: Last year, I was getting to know part of the staff. There was so much start-up going on. Now I know our players and they know me. We have a better understanding of all the players, coaches and the entire system.

We then talked about the time Zorn and his son went mountain-biking with President Bush last year. But we'll stick to football for now. Thanks for your continued support.

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