After a disastrous 2009 campaign as head coach of the Redskins, no one would have blamed Jim Zorn for taking a season off and enjoying the $2.4 million that he's reportedly owed by Dan Snyder in 2010. But on Saturday, Zorn instead agreed to become the quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens.
It's about as good of a situation as Zorn could've hoped for from both a professional and personal standpoint. For starters, he won't have to uproot his family again after two years in the Washington D.C. area. And he'll be back on firm ground as a quarterbacks coach.
Zorn was overwhelmed by the responsibilities that now come with being a head coach in this league. The Redskins asked him to coach the quarterbacks, call plays and preside over the team. Despite the team's quick start in '08, this was a poor fit from the beginning. Zorn was so cerebral and thorough that he could often turn a 30-minute meeting into two hours.
Zorn had the respect of quarterback Jason Campbell in the beginning but that started to erode once Snyder and Vinny Cerrato spent last offseason trying to find Campbell's replacement. I don't think multitasking was a particular strength of Zorn's and that's a problem when you're running a team.
As the quarterbacks coach in Baltimore, Zorn will be able to return to a position of strength. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck swears by Zorn and gives him much of the credit for his success. I think the biggest problem for Zorn is that he skipped a step in becoming a head coach. It would've been interesting to see how Zorn could've performed as an offensive coordinator in Washington.
Unfortunately, he never got that chance because the Skins ran out of legitimate head-coaching candidates. Now Zorn has the opportunity to hit the reset button (sound familiar?) on his coaching career. And I think he has a much better chance of succeeding with the Ravens than he had with the Redskins.