Rooney Rule May Signal Zorn's Redskins Goodbye

Gray met with Snyder, official says

By Jim Iovino
|  Monday, Dec 28, 2009  |  Updated 10:00 PM EDT
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Rooney Rule May Signal Zorn's Redskins Goodbye

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LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21: Washington Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn looks on during a loss to the New York Giants at FedExField on December 21, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants beat the Redskins 45-12. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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The Rooney Rule makes sure that minority head coaching candidates aren't ignored in the NFL. It also seems to have reaffirmed the belief that owner Dan Snyder will give Jim Zorn the boot soon after his team's miserable season comes to a painful end.

The head of the group that monitors the Rooney Rule said Monday that the Redskins have interviewed secondary coach Jerry Gray for the head coaching position.

Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten said Gray interviewed with Snyder several weeks ago for the job that is currently held by Zorn.

Wooten said the interview satisfies the Rooney Rule that requires teams to talk to a minority candidate when filling a head coaching position. Wooten said it didn't matter that the job is not yet vacant.

"Dan Snyder handled it the way it should have been handled," Wooten said. "He made a call in and he did it the right way."

The news reaffirms the expectation Snyder will fire Zorn next week and replace him quickly. Former Denver coach Mike Shanahan is considered the favorite to get the job.

Zorn is nearing the end of his second season with the team. The Redskins are 4-11 with one game to play.

Last week, Gray gave confusing answers when asked whether he had interviewed for the job. He initially appeared to deny he had interviewed, then later amended the answer to "no comment."

Wooten said Gray interviewed before Dec. 17, when Vinny Cerrato resigned as head of the front office and Bruce Allen was hired as general manager. Because Allen is at least nominally in charge of hiring the new coach, Wooten said he would like to see Gray interview with Allen, but that it was not a requirement to satisfy the Rooney Rule.

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