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Q & A with Washington Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn

    <span>              <span style="">Washington Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn</span>                   
            <span style="">Wednesday, December 2, 2009</span>                 
            <span style="">Q: Last year the Saints came up to Washington and you guys came from behind to win the game. What do you remember about that game?  

Jim Zorn: "I just remember it was a great game. We just hung in there. They were a very good team. It was a battle both ways. I think that we were fortunate at the end and we ended up winning, but it certainly didn't stop them. It certainly didn't ruin their confidence in who they were as a New Orleans Saints group. I think they've just continued to improve as they've gone along."

Q: After watching them, what do you think is the difference in them between this year's team and last year's?

Jim Zorn: "It's execution. They're executing very well. They really have a great feel for the concepts that they're doing. Drew (Brees) is playing with tremendous confidence. The offensive line is protecting him, but more than that, the receivers know at any point, they can get the ball. You can just see the effort level is very high on that football program and it should be. They're just continuing to build and build. The group, the coaches, the players are putting it together. They're getting great effort. Everybody's got probably problems we all don't know about. They're certainly on Sunday putting them aside and playing hard."

Q: Do you maybe shake your head a little bit after watching how they performed on Monday night against the Patriots?

Jim Zorn: "No, I didn't shake my head at all. I think that's something that…I don't think they surprised me or anybody else in the National Football League. They have been playing that way. They've come to play like that every game. They're battle tough, they're battle ready and certainly any team that comes up against them is going to have to play their very best."

Q: What are the differences in this year's and last year's Saints team defensively?

Jim Zorn: "I don't know about last year. All I can see is what I saw on this year's team, because I don't remember their whole season. I'm watching them this year so far in the games that we've broken down. I think on defense, the thing I would observe is they play a team game. I don't think anybody sets themselves up above another guy. At least it looks like that. I don't see somebody out there trying to do his own thing. They're not all that confused in their schemes and things of that nature. Those are the things I see the most. They really have been a ball hawk type of defense when the ball's in the air. When the ball's on the ground, you have guys flying around trying to get it. That's been their signature this year and it's really been great for them."

Q: Can you talk about LaRon Landry and what he's meant to your defense?

Jim Zorn: "Last year, he started out real slow. He pulled a hamstring in training camp. The whole year, he was kind of building. You really saw, at least I did, and this was my first year last year, I saw LaRon Landry, the kind of player he was about the last five or six games and then this year, he came to camp ready to go. He didn't skip a beat. He played all of training camp and all the way through. He's present. He's a skilled athlete. He certainly wants to play in the secondary like a linebacker would. He's very sudden. What I like about him is he's very rangy. Guys can be a little bit out of position and they know, I think the corners really trust him to help them out as the game goes along own the field."

Q: Early in the season, it was well documented how you gave play calling duties to Sherman Lewis. How difficult has this season been and how difficult was that decision for you?

Jim Zorn: "Yes, I know. The season's been difficult in that we're 3-8, so that kind of speaks for itself. It's been compounded with different decision-making situations and yet, I feel like we're making the best of what we're about and where we're headed. It just hasn't transferred into wins and that's probably the worst thing about anything that we're doing here with the Redskins, because the group I'm working with as far as coaches, the group that I'm working with as far as our players, I feel privileged. I feel very solid about the things we're doing."

Q: Have the injuries you've dealt with this year been one of the most frustrating things?

Jim Zorn: "It's just been week in and week out. It started with our left tackle and our right guard and then it's compounded with Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley. It just continues to go. We've got nine guys on injured reserve, you can add a tenth in Jeremy Jarmon. That's a frustration, because you like to build continuity. We certainly haven't been able to do that on the offensive line. We've had guys in and out on the offensive line all year. It's been hard there. They're battling, but it's been hard. The continuity is so important. Guys playing together week in and week out. You do get better as the season goes along. We haven't had the opportunity to do that. Let me say this: nobody cares. In the NFL, nobody cares and that's really the way it should be. What we're about is putting that next guy in. Those are the guys that are fired up about helping as well and they're doing a good job, so we don't make any excuses. I think that's what part of Redskin football is about, dealing with what you do have and moving forward."

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