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Patience Required as Zorn Installs Offense


Jim Zorn was frustrated.

During Wednesday's OTA session at Redskins Park, he had watched a lineman commit a false start, disrupting the offensive rhythm.

After practice, Zorn chided players for the lapse in concentration.

"One of the things that I try to express is that every snap counts," Zorn said. "The coaches can't concentrate for them. We can't line them up. The players have to come out of the huddle knowing where they are and what the snap count is."

When it's June, practices are not usually crisp--and Zorn knows that.

That's why, in his next breath, Zorn was praising the offense's performance in red zone work.

"We had a better red zone package against our defense," he said. "It was really a back-and-forth between the offense and defense, which was pleasing. The offense ended up scoring a few, whereas last time when we ran the red zone drill we hardly scored."

Zorn is installing the West Coast offense this offseason, and patience is required at times.

On Thursday, the Redskins wrapped up their second set of OTA practices.

Players return on June 9 for one more week of practices before taking a summer vacation.

Clinton Portis and Jason Fabini were excused from Thursday's practice for personal reasons.

Portis strained his hip flexor earlier this week, so he came in to Redskins Park for treatment.

"We're just taking it easy on him," Zorn said. "There is nothing major."

The only other absentee was Shawn Springs, who did not attend the week of OTA sessions.

Through mini-camp and seven days of OTAs, Zorn continues to install more packages each practice.

"I would say that we have [put in] 70 percent of the concepts that we'll be mixing and matching during the football season," Zorn said. "There are still some things that we haven't touched on that we'll get to in training camp.

"We haven't even touched the two-minute [offense] yet. I don't want to do that yet because that will come in training camp, when we do situations and special categories. Now we're just trying to get the offensive concepts down."

Zorn is working closely with quarterbacks--Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Derek Devine, Sam Hollenbach and Colt Brennan.

One reason for the false starts is that linemen could be having difficulty adjusting to the cadence of each quarterback.

"Everybody sounds a little bit different," Zorn said. "Our goal is to try to make all the quarterbacks sound like Jason Campbell. So when you have a little different hesitations and voice inflexions, it does affect the players."

Zorn wants to see more consistency from Campbell in operating the offense.

"He needs to come out and put back-to-back days together," he said. "On Wednesday, I thought he had a decent tempo but he missed some throws. On Thursday, he slowed down but he completed everything. Now we have to keep him pushing."

Which young players have impressed Zorn so far?

He replied: "What I see is the speed of Devin Thomas and I see the size of Malcolm Kelly. I wouldn't say Chris Cooley is a young guy, but he is working hard down the field and we are trying to get him the ball. Fred Davis--you can really feel his power and speed, as well as his ability to break coverage.

"I like what Chad Rinehart is doing on the offensive line as a young guy. He is trying to get it and fit right in with an experienced group."

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