Zorn Complies With Cerrato's "Suggestion" to Hand Play-Calling to "Consultant"

Starting quarterback decision to come

By Matthew Stabley
|  Monday, Oct 19, 2009  |  Updated 7:25 PM EDT
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ASHBURN, Va. -- In an announcement that surprised only those who thought (hoped) Jim Zorn would be fired today, the Washington Redskins head coach confirmed that offensive consultant Sherman Lewis has been promoted to play-caller, just two weeks after joining the organization.

Following a meeting with Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato after Sunday's embarrassing 14-6 home loss to previously win-less Kansas City, Zorn decided, of his own volition, to follow Cerrato's suggestion and hand over play-calling -- the job he was originally hired to do in 2008 before the team failed to find anyone else willing to take the head coaching position -- to Lewis.

"It was strongly suggested to me after the game," Zorn said. "[Cerrato] just suggested that I make a play-caller change."

When Cerrato suggests Zorn step down after next week's Monday night loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, we imagine the future ex-coach of the Skins will decide to comply.

"My comfort level is somewhere between one and 10, it's not 10," Zorn said.

Zorn spoke almost apologetically about handing Lewis the keys to this unfamiliar, broken-down car, and can you blame him? The team lacks a proven starting quarterback and plays a sieve of an offensive line. They may have an (aging) star at running back, talent at wide receiver and one of the best tight ends in the league, but how do you get the ball in their hands without running the wildcat?

The offense will prepare for next week's game as usual, Zorn said. The entire offensive staff will game plan. Lewis is a West Coast offense expert, and elsewhere, the staff will continue to try to bring him up to speed. Then on Monday night, he'll be making the calls from the booth.

About those second-string quarterbacks, next week's starter hasn't been decided, but it's Zorn who will make the decision, presumably after getting a suggestion from Cerrato.

Zorn explained that he still likes Jason Campbell's skill set, even after benching him for the second half yesterday.

"It was hard for me," the coach said. "Late in the second quarter, I decided it's either going to be a good drive or I'm going to make a change."

The Skins pulled another three-and-out, and Todd Collins took over, finding Santana Moss for a 42-yard completion to start the second half, but only managing to lead the team to two field goals.

Making football decisions around here apparently is harder than Chinese algebra. Dan Snyder, Vinny Cerrato and Jim Zorn all suck at 'em. Maybe a man who's been away from them for five years -- until the past two weeks -- is the answer.

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