News | Washington Commanders - Commanders.com

Jim Zorn Monday Press Conference

On what advice he gave his team heading into the offseason:

"I gave them a sheet, I called it Pursuits. I wanted them to have a sheet that they could take with them of ideas, of things to pursue in the offseason and things that can help them get better. We all have to get better, so how can you do that? You can't just talk about it. The quote that I started with was from John Wooden and that was 'Don't mistake activity for achievement,' and tried to explain that. That just being active doesn't mean that all of a sudden we are getting better. We have to have purpose in our offseason pursuits so it allows us to get better. I went into some more detail too"

On if he looks at the season in terms of opportunities missed or in looking forward:

"We looked at some of the opportunities missed. You can easily divide our season into two seasons--the first half and the second half. I like to divide it up still into those quarters and look at that third quarter and see what happened to us there. We fell down on several of these games that we felt like we had a great opportunity to win and didn't. We talked about falling short. I didn't get real specific though in plays, players--just basically the overview."

On if he thinks there are going to be a lot of changes to the team:

"I can't say quite yet. We always say a lot is three, many is two, so I don't know what a lot would be. I really don't. I can't answer that. Our goal is to evaluate our players from both the coach's angle, the scout's angle then come together with a consensus. Our goal is to scheme evaluate as well, not just the players, but we have to look at our schemes. I'm not talking about coming up with a whole new scheme on offense because we didn't score points, I'm talking about looking at our schemes, building on our strengths, and this goes with players as well, we are going to build on our strengths and then, we are going to try to improve or close the gaps on our weaknesses. That is where, as we evaluate our players, as we evaluate our schemes that is where is it all going to take place."

On if age and the salary cap will affect personnel decisions:

"I think the salary cap will and who we have under contract [will affect the decisions]. I think really where our guys are at in age and ability and the guys that are excelling, there will be guys that we probably see that will be declining. We are not going to make wholesale changes. Again, my charge to all of players is to get better. Even the guys who have been around a lot of years, they can improve. We're not just going to go ahead and say we are going to replace 10 or 15 guys. Things do change and every year there are new players and every year players happen to move around a little bit. They all won't come right at one bell swoop, so it will kind of weave its way as it goes along."

On if he expects his staff to remain intact:

"I hope we can maintain our group. We are going to look at ways we can improve ourselves as well. I have a staff meeting this afternoon at three. We are going to meet again tomorrow and partly on Wednesday. We are going to get some time off and I am going to really work on our offseason schedule on how we can accomplish a lot. My preference would be to bring everybody back.

On Rennie Simmons returning:

"We [Rennie Simmons and himself] haven't had a chance to talk. I know Rennie (Simmons) has been around for a long time. He is energized by what we are doing. We will see what is in store for him. What is in store for really everybody on the staff. I can't make any predictions because I haven't even had my staff meeting yet."

On off-season surgeries:

"I know Randy Thomas is going to have surgery. (Kedric) Golston is going to have some bone spur surgeries on both ankles I believe. Anthony Montgomery is going to get a knee scope. Colt Brennan is going to get a knee scope, he has a little meniscus tear in there I believe. That is all I know of right now."

On what he learned about being a head coach and where he thinks he needs to improve:

"Well, first of all, let me say how excited I was that Dan Snyder entrusted this franchise with me as the head coach from the beginning. He really allowed me to be the head football coach, which I was very, very excited about. I didn't ever feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of being the head football coach here. I tried to take pride in all the things that this franchise stands for and even try to further the franchise. Now, we didn't make the playoffs and that is disheartening for me, but that is why I really need to improve. I want to be able to coach a team that is a playoff team, and I have said this before, not just a team that gets to the playoffs. I want these guys to be perennial playoff participants."

On if he will relinquish some of his responsibilities next year:

"No. We got better at the quarterback position and we are going to get better this offseason, so you are going to notice something better even next year. Again, I feel like it is where one of my strengths actually is. My hope is that I am going to be stronger in the overall managing of the total team as I was this year, even getting stronger and stronger as a head coach. Coaching quarterbacks? I have a great assistant in Chris Meidt and he takes on a tremendous amount of responsibility, but I am still going to be involved with the QBs."

On his impression of the Redskins fans:

"To me it all started with my first press conference and having that whole auditorium full. Secondly it was going to the stadium for the draft and seeing thousands of people there when I was going, 'Where is the team, there is no team there, it was just a few coaches and yet there were thousands of people excited about football in April. What was that all about? That just continued to build. When we had training camp out here, everybody was out here for that day that looked like we had some kind of security issue. I just can't say enough about how the fans, their enthusiasm really infects the football team. I hope that continues. Even when things weren't going well, when we had that little losing streak, and things were hard in the media, there were a lot of questions that had to be answered. The fans, when we were winning, they were ecstatic, even when we were losing the fans are supportive. I truly appreciated that and I know our players did as well. Think about the last game against Philly--and congratulations to Philly for getting in to the Playoffs, that was pretty incredible--but even that last game there were 80,000 fans there in full Redskin mode. I think that is a real tribute to how supportive they are of this football team, win or lose. It has been good."

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