Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Midseason Coach Swap: Is a team better off sticking with its head coach even if it plans to fire him after the season is over?

Here is my opinion piece for today's Washington Post's NFL Discussion Panel which can be viewed on TWP's "The League" front-page.

Today's question is:

Midseason Coach Swap: Is a team better off sticking with its head coach even if it plans to fire him after the season is over

Check it out!

With a number of coaches currently sitting on the hot-seat, including Jeff Fisher, Norv Turner, Wade Phillips, Dick Jauron, Tom Cable, and Eric Mangini - only one team, the Washington Redskins, should pull the trigger on switching their head coach midseason.

Let's face it, soon or later Jim Zorn is a goner. So why not just do it now? Can you imagine anyone thriving in a job situation like his? How is that supposed to work?

Washington's management has created this mess since they have set this tone beginning in the pre-season, by essentially saying they do not have confidence in Zorn. Has this affected the 2009 Washington Redskins in a negative way? I think we all know the answer to that.
Here's the rationale on why Washington should pull the trigger on making a head coaching switch ASAP.

Zorn has lost the team. Just last week, players openly asked Washington management to make a decision on Zorn so the team can move on and focus on football. The team has looked uninspired throughout the season and has gone 2-4 against an incredibly soft opening schedule (teams played are a combined 9-26).

Zorn's game decisions have also been compromised. In the last two games, down late in the fourth quarter, Zorn has punted, instead of going for it on 4th down to extend the game and give his team a chance. Zorn did not go for it because if his team had failed, he would have been blamed. This is a common characteristic of a compromised coach because in doing so, he is switching the blame from himself onto his players.
Zorn has also hit the panic button, benching starting quarterback Jason Campbell during last week's game, in favor of a much less desirable Todd Collins.
On the bright side, Washington's season is not a complete lost cause. If they fired Zorn, and implemented an interim coach, a huge weight would be lifted from the team, and could create a spark. Just look at San Francisco last year with Mike Singletary. Also, Washington still has the rest of the season to make an educated evaluation on whether Jason Campbell can play or not.
Now, going into a Monday Night Football match-up versus the Philadelphia Eagles, Jim Zorn is dead-man walking. If I were Dan Synder, I would have put Zorn out of his misery three days ago.

1 comment:

  1. Jim Zorn feels like he is walking on hot coals. He won't try anything special that can improve the status of the Redskins. A coaching change would be best in Washington. At this point in time, Zorn is not going to change it around. The team has nothing to lose. They are already in last place. It's time for Zorn to go.