Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flops And Fruits

Did Jim Zorn get hold of the Denver Broncos playbook for 1983? Watching the Redskins struggle with the Saint Louis Rams this past Sunday, it seems so.

While Washington barely won in spite of Zorn's inept play calling, it was a victory so shallow that the most loyal of Redskins fans sent boos cascading down onto the field after the final gun. Hopefully the reactions sunk into Zorn enough to understand where he is at.

The Redskins play in the NFC East, not the AFC West. The weak finesse style of play Zorn seems to want will not work in Washington's division. The West Coast system may work in other divisions, but it has never produced a champion out of the rough NFC East.

This is a division known for being won by the strongest, not the prettiest. Though some of the mashers who became champions out of the division were deemed pretty by some after successes, usually the champion limps into the playoffs having battled some of the NFL's best teams which happen to reside in the NFC East as well.

The inadequacies of Zorn's offensive philosophies shone brightest under the spotlight of scrutiny on the teams final drive. As the Redskins clung to a 9-7 lead with the game clock winding down, they found themselves inside of the Rams 10-yard line. It was first down, and critical the Redskins to score a touchdown to put the game out of reach.

Zorn then resorted to calling a series of plays that were both ludicrous and baffling. The first play was an attempted shovel pass that was incomplete, and was destined to go nowhere. Then it was fourth and less than a yard. Zorn decided to go for it.

Conventional wisdom would mandate either a sneak play from quarterback Jason Campbell, or a run up the middle with running back Clinton Portis. Zorn elected to do neither. He called a sweep play with Portis that went nowhere, and caused the Rams to acquire possession of the ball.

Luckily for Zorn, the Redskins defense held the Rams from moving the ball. The game ended in favor of the Redskins, though it was viewed unfavorably by many of their fans. Going into Detroit next week, they may find refuge on the opposing teams field. Hopefully Zorn will also left have some pages of his playbook in Washington as well.

Many pundits of the NFL say that a head coach usually gets a pass in their first year on the job. Zorn is now entering his second season, and his offensive scheme is as ineffective as it was last year. If this season continues on as it has started, it would be hard to imagine him back for a third season.


The NFL Rules Committee is out of control. Last year we saw a defensive player getting a fifteen yard penalty for hitting Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan as he was releasing the ball. The reason for it? Putting too much weight on the quarterback.

Most know the quarterback has had many rule changes since 1979 to make his job obscenely easy, but now it is quite clear that the NFL quarterback is no longer a football player. They have become a media image full of unworthy hype and adulation.

I guess now the powers that be decided to change the definition of a touchdown now. Last week saw rookie Louis Murphy catch a ball in the end zone. He came down with both feet, and had full control of the football. Murphy then landed on his elbow, which is considered down and makes it a dead ball. Though that should not matter, because the ball itself is supposed to be dead once it crosses the goal line.

The thing was that Murphy then lost the football after crashing down to earth. The new rule states it is an incompletion, not a score. This is perhaps the dumbest new rule farted out of the bowels of the committee, though the new rule on only having two players form a wedge to block on kickoffs is pretty darn close as well.

When does enough become enough for this group trying to justify their paychecks. These rules all subtract from the game, and proves that not all busybodies contribute positive contributions. Perhaps, in these lean economical times, it would be prudent to disband this insipid council for at least a decade so the players can play football with the little rules left that allows them to do so? This is not the NBA, though Paul Tagliabue tried to make it so.

My NFL Power Rankings After Week Two :

1. New York Giants
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Minnesota Vikings
4. New Orleans Saints
5. New York Jets
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
7. San Diego Chargers
8. Indianapolis Colts
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. New England Patriots
11. Houston Texans
12. Denver Broncos
13. Philadelphia Eagles
14. Chicago Bears
15. San Francisco 49ers
16. Tennessee Titans
17. Dallas Cowboys
18. Buffalo Bills
19. Arizona Cardinals
20. Oakland Raiders
21. Cincinnati Bengals
22. Green Bay Packers
23. Seattle Seahawks
24. Washington Redskins
25. Miami Dolphins
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
27. Carolina Panthers
28. Kansas City Chiefs
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
30. Detroit Lions
31. Saint Louis Rams
32. Cleveland Browns


Anonymous said...

So how do you really feel about Jim Zorn? Good post ... and as the Bengals approach cracking the top 20, 3 straight division games are in the road.

Evan "McSpazz" Edwards said...

Great post Stone. I wasn't a Zorn believer last year and he doesn't look to be changing my mind anytime soon. Football "Steinbrenner" (D. Snyder) needs to find a real coach. Not a relic like Gibbs, not a so-so coordinator like Zorn. Definetly not a to college guy either. Somebody from left field that has nothing to lose and everything to gain from being successful in DC.

The rules have gotten out of control and the next thing will be two-hand touch for the QB. Even then you may get a penalty if you tag him in the wrong spot on his body.

David Funk said...

Good post which I agree with. I was very surprised the Redskins struggled like they did, but the play-calling is the reason why. While they are 1-1, we all know Snyder doesn't have the patience for mediocrity from anyone so Zorn had better get it together on offense. The NFC East isn't forgiving either.

Nice post again!