Zorn stripped of play-calling duties

October, 18, 2009
10/18/09
9:35
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Just when you thought this Redskins situation couldn't become any more bizarre, owner Dan Snyder has taken it to a different level. In the aftermath of Sunday's 14-6 loss to the Chiefs, Jim Zorn was stripped of his play-calling duties, according to the Skins' executive director of communications Zack Bolno.

Executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato met with Zorn after the game and told him he thought he had too much on his plate and needed to let someone else call the plays. Zorn didn't disagree with Cerrato, according to Bolno, and the coach will meet with Snyder on Monday to decide who should call the plays. And if you think this arrangement seems completely ridiculous, I'm right there with you.

Why in the world would you keep Zorn around if he's not calling the plays? That's the whole reason Snyder hired him in the first place. He wanted him to call the plays and manage the quarterbacks. It's like Snyder's trying to get Zorn to break up with him.

If Snyder's going to strip Zorn of his play-calling duties, he might as well go ahead and fire him. I hate that Zorn actually accepted this arrangement. It makes him look so weak. Snyder's already brought in a 67-year-old offensive consultant who's been on ice for five years.

Now Zorn looks like the ultimate lame duck. Perhaps Snyder and Cerrato thought that Zorn would resign once they stripped him of his play-calling duties. But it sounds like he's going to hang in there and keep taking punches. Now the Redskins will prepare to play the Eagles without knowing who their playcaller is. Zorn will probably push for offensive coordinator Sherman Smith to get the nod, but I'd be surprised if Snyder signs off on that.

When The Washington Post reached offensive consultant Sherman Lewis on Sunday evening, he hadn't heard about Snyder's decision. The other candidate for calling plays would be assistant coach/running backs coach Stump Mitchell. And I'll throw in one more wild-card candidate. That would be offensive assistant Chris Meidt, who has worked closely with the quarterbacks since joining Zorn's staff in '08.

I'm sort of hoping Zorn sleeps on this decision tonight and then decides to resign. It just doesn't make any sense for Snyder to keep him around now that he's stripped of everything except his dignity -- and I'm afraid that's next.

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