Friday, September 25, 2009
The doomsday scenario at Redskins Park
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn won a football game last Sunday -- but you'd never know it by reading or listening to the local media. At least the in-house columnist still has Zorn's back -- sort of.
You would think that the 0-for-'08 Lions would be the desperate team heading into Sunday's game against the Redskins, but they've got nothing to lose. No one's heaping pressure on first-year head coach Jim Schwartz and rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford to win now -- except maybe themselves.
With the Redskins, you have a second-year head coach and a quarterback who don't have much if any margin for error. Even on a Dan Snyder-owned radio station (980 ESPN), Zorn was asked about his job security heading into Week 3. And unfortunately it's a relevant question at this point. If Zorn and the Redskins lose Sunday, fans and some members of the media will start calling for the coach to be fired.
Just ask Norv Turner whether Snyder's willing to make an in-season coaching change. Turner's Redskins were 7-6 in 2000 when Snyder turned things over to Terry Robiskie for the rest of the season. And with an experienced defensive coordinator like Greg Blache on the staff, history could repeat itself.
Is it poor form to speculate on a man's job only two games into a season? Well, maybe that was the case in a different era. This is now a league that produces wild overreactions from week to week -- and that's just from the owners. With all that's going on in the Redskins organization -- the crackdown on financially strapped season-ticket holders and overall discontent with the on-field product -- Snyder's not going to take the patient route.
As ridiculous as this sounds, Zorn might be in a must-win situation heading into Detroit. I don't think he would be fired after a loss Sunday, but it would certainly get the ball rolling in that direction. If the Redskins are no better than 3-3 heading into the Oct. 26 game against the Eagles, I think there's a chance Snyder fires Zorn. When I brought up a scenario similar to that with Chris Mortensen on Thursday, he didn't rule out the possibility of that happening.
Honestly, I'd like to see Zorn get a full second season. Will it happen?
I wouldn't bet on it.