For years, coach hirin’, free agent spendin’ Dan Snyder has hapzardly thrown money around as owner of the Washington Redskins, hoping – really, praying – that something would stick. Well nothing really stuck, at least permanently, until Washington once again mortgaged its future for Robert Griffin III. A good decision, in retrospect, but a long time coming.
The Redskins’ coaching carousel is the shining example of Snyder’s ineptitude, cycling through Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan since 2000. Even Shanahan, whose future seems secure for now, looked to be on the outs before the season – his 11-21 record dug his future in a deep hole. But 10 wins, 6 losses and one Tony Romo interception later, all’s well in Redskins land.
Remember back to 2008 for a moment, when Seattle Seahawks quaterbacks coach Jim Zorn somehow weaseled his way into the Washington Redskins head coaching job. Nobody really knew what happened. On January 26, the Redskins hired Zorn as their new offensive coordinator in what was to be his first opportunity in that role. Two weeks later on February 11th, offensive coordinator Jim Zorn – who hadn’t coordinated anything – was promoted to head coach. The hiring caught everyone off guard, mostly because:
a) Jim Zorn was just hired as the offensive coordinator.
b) Jim Zorn had just jumped from QB coach to head coach.
c) Dan Snyder gave him 5 years, $15 million.
There was the vague notion that, because of the mostly failed rash of high profile hirings (Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs was the only one who sort of worked) in Washington, Snyder wanted to go with a hard-nosed, low-profile, scrappy-dirty-scrappy kind of coach. Well, Zorn failed too, compiling a record of 12-20 over two seasons, and Snyder went back to his high profile ways by hiring Mike Shanahan.
In longtime New York Daily News columnist Gary Myers’ new book, “Coaching Confidential”, some of the curtain concerning Zorn’s curious hiring has been lifted. Apparently former Washington GM Vinny Cerrato was buddy-buddy with Zorn, and so the hiring, more or less, can be chalked up to a guy going with his friend. (Jim Fassel thought the job was his until Zorn leapfrogged him.) According to Myers’ book, this did not please Dan Snyder. Because, as Snyder puts it, it was Cerrato’s job to keep Dan Snyder from being a moron. Cerrato failed to do this, and so Snyder, by his own volition, acted like a moron. You know, because Dan Snyder thinks Dan Snyder left all by his lonesome is a moron.
Via DC Sports Bog:
“The general manager needs to prevent the owner from hiring someone who’s not qualified. And that’s why Vinny is no longer here, to be truthful with you. He’s not here because his job was to prevent the owner from hiring a not-qualified coach. Having said that, we went in and had the worst two-year experience I ever dreamed. I apologized, according to my wife, ten thousand times. I apologize openly. I made a big mistake. It’s a terrible experience when you know you got the wrong guy to lead the franchise.”
At least he’s self-aware?