By Clifton Brown - SportingNews
Dan Snyder took his time hiring a head coach. Now he needs to be patient with the coach he selected.
Snyder believed enough in Jim Zorn to name him head coach of the Redskins, even though Zorn has never been a head coach or a coordinator. Now Snyder, the Redskins' owner, needs to back up his decision. Stay out of Zorn's way. Let him grow into the job. And don't fire the guy if the Redskins don't make the playoffs next season.
Zorn is the Redskins' sixth head coach since Snyder bought the team in 1999, and while it was not Snyder's fault that Gibbs retired, the Redskins franchise could use more coaching stability. If Snyder hired Zorn because he was the most impressive candidate, that's fine. If Snyder thinks Zorn will be a yes man, that's bad.
It is easy to be skeptical of Snyder's decision to hire Zorn, who spent the past seven seasons as the Seahawks' quarterback coach. The Redskins could have gone a more conventional route by hiring a former NFL head coach like Gregg Williams, Jim Fassel or Steve Mariucci, or a more high-profile assistant coach like Ron Meeks of the Colts or Rex Ryan of the Ravens.
The truth is, none us of knows for certain if Zorn will flourish or flop. But whatever Zorn said to Snyder must have impressed him, so if Snyder thinks he has found a gem, he should have enough faith to stick with him for the long haul.
The Redskins made the playoffs last season, but most people would not put them on a short list of Super Bowl contenders for next season. They have a young quarterback, Jason Campbell, who is still evolving. They are in a tough division, the NFC East, with a Super Bowl champion (Giants) and a Super Bowl contender (Cowboys). And Zorn is following a Hall of Fame coach in Gibbs.
Zorn said all the right things at his Sunday press conference, but he is in a tough spot. The players know that Snyder's fingerprints are all over the coaching staff. Williams was a popular defensive coordinator, and many players assumed Williams would get the job when Gibbs retired. Instead, Snyder fired Williams. Snyder also fired offensive coordinator Al Saunders, and promoted Greg Blache to replace Williams. Then Snyder let the head coaching search drag out for a month, auditioning more hopefuls than an episode of American Idol.
Zorn does not come off looking like Snyder's first choice, not when Snyder originally hired Zorn to replace Saunders as offensive coordinator. Just a few days ago, Snyder interviewed Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for the head coaching position. It was only after Spagnuolo took himself out of the running that Snyder began lengthy discussions with Zorn about becoming the head coach.
Snyder says he has put together an experienced coaching staff that will help Zorn with the transition. And Zorn has gotten high praise from Seahawks players, such as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who believe Zorn will make an excellent head coach and will help Campbell develop.
Maybe Zorn will make a fine head coach, and it is certainly not important that Snyder took a month to make a decision. Better to take one's time and get it right, than to rush and get it wrong.
By hiring Zorn, Snyder made a bold decision, and that's fine. But here's the biggest question: How much patience does Snyder have to stick with the decision he made?
He will get eatin alive by the forskin fans, going from QB coach to Head Coach snyder has put this team back 4 - 5 years