Washington Redskins: The Play Calling Fall Out

The Washington Redskins

The Redskins are struggling this year.
The Redskins are struggling this year.
Head Coach Jim Zorn, was put on the spot when asked to relinquish his play calling duties.
Head Coach Jim Zorn, was put on the spot when asked to relinquish his play calling duties.

Washington Redskins: A State of Emergency

As a former football player, I understand the "want" to win now theory. I understand that owners have a desire to win, because for them it is a business. Purchasing a team was a big investment. With that being said, there is a line. A line that the owner, for the sake of the "game", should not cross. Yes, it is his team, it is his money. If he doesn't understand the game of football, then he should surround him or herself with consultants, who do know the game.

Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, has crossed that line. He has also put a tag on his ownership that says he will not allow his head coach to coach the team. If he consulted with anyone and they told him to change play callers. They should be fired on site! Vice president of football operations, Vinny Cerrato, should be first. Although Cerrato is the GM, everyone knows that he is just Snyder's puppet.

There are very few teams that succeed, where the owner plays a public-dictator role. You hired someone to coach your team, let him coach. If you could do it better, then why did you hire them. If nothing else, fire him if he is not doing the job. Firing him, would be far better than disrespecting him as a coach and as a man. Oh, wait, firing him would mean you would have to pay out his contract. So, you try to demoralize him and hopefully he will quit. But Zorn was not as dumb as you thought. He knew that if he quit, he would forfeit his pay, for his last year on his contract. Just another sad day for the Washington Redskins.

A blind man could see that when you brought Sherman Lewis in, he was going to either take over the head coach position or the offense. But, once again, you would rather disrespect your head coach, and say he was strictly there as an offensive consultant.(smh) Then, in a Texas minute (two weeks), you ask Jim Zorn to turnover his play calling duties to Lewis. (Lewis' success in the NFL is well documented) Lewis has been retired for five years. In two weeks, there is no way he could possibly understand the level of the players on the team. Although it would seem unethical, you would have to think that as much as Zorn would like to win, he would be hoping that the play calling change did not work.

The Big Picture

As GM, Cerrato is a failure. A GM has to be strong in his decisions. A GM will have to tell people, players, coaches and sometimes the owner, no. He has to be a strong individual. When you look around the NFL, the teams that have owners that try to be football guys, those teams seem to struggle every year. Normally, the good coaches don't want to go there because of the owners control. So they get the coaches who are just trying to get a foot in, and they control them. A good GM controls all the strong egos and personalities in his program.

A GM has to be very competent in the team's "needs" department. If your offensive line is struggling, you need to look at drafting a couple of linemen. So, it just boggles me that Cerralto would go out and find three pass receivers. I am a Clinton Portis Fan, but lets be honest, he is injury prone. He also has bad arthritis in his ankles. It's like having four bad tires on your car, but, you go and have the car painted.

Then there is the case that the Redskins decided that they would go to a west coast offense, without consulting with the head coach. Ooops, they didn't have a head coach at the time. Even worse, they didn't even think about would it fit their personnel. This is their leadership, their owner and GM. They have created a system that is guaranteed to fail. So, they are looking to place the blame on the head coach, Jim Zorn.

Players come and go in the NFL. Some players we wish could play forever. However, as a GM, you have to be cautious of how much you pay a player. His salary can cause a fall out in the locker room. Also, evaluating talent is more than just looking at a couple of game films. It is a very detailed job. You have to search every level of college football. There are a lot of hidden gems out there. Then you have to tell yourself that you can't only fall in love with the skill positions. You have to find the guys who are willing to do all of the dirty work. You must be able to detach yourself from personal feelings and make the decisions that are best for your organization.

The Future of the Redskins

The Washington Redskins are a team that's on the bubble. The defense is strong and getting better. The offense stumbles, but at times show a lot of potential. They really don't have the personnel to run the west coast offense. With QB Campbell running for his life, he seems to only be getting worse. His decision making and check down on passes is below average.

Zorn is not the failure in this organization. The failure is the management, Snyder and Cerralto. Zorn, like most head coaches who are only working with what they have, will be the scape-goat. The botttom line is if you don't get rid of Cerrato and if Snyder is not willing to sell the team or hire a strong GM, the Washington Redskins will continue to struggle.


After watching the Redskins- Eagles game, there is only one conclusion. There is no execution of the plays being called. OK, they opened up on offense with a 18 yard pass play to Cooley. You could hear the excitement in the crowd, as they hoped the offense would turn it around. Then the "real" Redskins offense showed up and made Sherman Lewis look like Jim Zorn. I don't care who is calling the plays, if the players are not executing them, then they just don't work. Then, with seven minutes left, I saw the worst clock management I have probably ever seen. I have seen little league coaches manage the clock better. Time was not on their side, but they chose not to run plays from the line. Instead they slowly came out of the huddle. They didn't take any shots into the end zone. When they turned the ball over, they decided then to start using their timeouts. They were so confused, that they had me confused. The only thing that was different about the Redskins last night, was that someone else was calling the plays. Plays that look good on paper but, if the players do not execute the plays.....well, then you get the Washington Redskins.

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Drew Breezzy profile image

Drew Breezzy 7 years ago from somewhere in my mind

"I don't care who is calling the plays, if the players are not executing them." Very true!

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