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Zorn Updates Redskins' Roster Meetings


Head coach Jim Zorn continues to huddle with coaches and personnel officials this week as the team evaluates the roster following an 8-8 season.

Zorn took time out for an interview with Larry Michael on "Redskins Nation," broadcast locally on Comcast SportsNet.

The full interview aired on Friday, Jan. 16, on "Redskins Nation."

Zorn discussed his thoughts on the Redskins' offensive and defensive lines, but emphasized the evaluation was still in the early stages.

"We have a solid offensive line, but we're always looking to build," he said. "Guys do get injured, so when you have to put a new guy in, you would love to have him come in and have it be seamless."

He indicated that offensive line could be a position the Redskins address this offseason.

If the Redskins spend a high draft pick on an offensive lineman this year, then they would expect that player to contribute right away, Zorn said.

"You would want him to step in and be the guy," he said.

The Redskins have the 13th overall pick in the NFL Draft this April.

Regarding the defensive line, Zorn said he would like to see Greg Blache's unit generate a stronger pass rush in 2009.

Washington had 24 sacks last season, tied for 28th in the league.

A stronger pass rush would force quarterbacks into mistakes, leading to more interceptions, Zorn said.

The Redskins had 13 interceptions last season, tied for 17th in the league.

"We'd love to put more pressure on QBs, because we really didn't [get many interceptions]," Zorn said. "Those are the areas we could stand to improve on.

"But we still had the fourth-ranked defense in the league. Our guys played very well on defense despite the statistics."

Zorn reiterated that the team plans to bring in competition at both kicker and punter this offseason.

Ryan Plackemeier finished near the bottom of the league with a 41.7-yard punting average.

He was able to improve down the stretch, however. In Week 16 against Philadelphia, he pinned five kicks inside the 20-yard line, helping the Redskins defeat the Eagles 10-3 at FedExField.

"I think Ryan has tremendous talent," he said. "He didn't fare well early, but [special teams coordinator] Danny Smith worked with him to improve his technique. He'll have a whole offseason to continue that improvement as well.

"What Ryan needs to do is find a way to feel more confident and kick with more consistency so that he can go out, make all of the adjustments and put the ball where he wants to."

Suisham connected on 26-of-36 on field goal attempts last season, but his field goal percentage was among the lowest in the league. After a strong start, he struggled late in the year.

"Shaun has tremendous talent, too," Zorn said. "As a kicker goes, when he misses one he is trying to look for the rhythm problem. You can see how he needs to have a smooth rhythm and kicking the ball the same. Once we get his rhythm down, he'll be using his natural talents to help win games for us."

Zorn also discussed Clinton Portis, who was certainly a vocal presence last season due to his weekly radio show on ESPN 980.

"I think our relationship is fine," Zorn said of Portis. "I think he learned some things about me [last season], in that I'm going to be pretty consistent in the way I coach. And I think I learned some things about him.

"He comes to play, he gives it all, and he's an exciting football player. He's passionate about this football team and he's passionate about the way he plays the game.

"I think we can work together along those lines--both of us working hard to get to the same goal, and that's to win a championship and fulfill all the goals we have set for ourselves."

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