Cerrato: Zorn to return in 2009

Updated: December 23, 2008, 1:26 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Jim Zorn will return as coach of the Washington Redskins in 2009, team executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said Monday, according to The Washington Post.

Zorn, in his first season as a head coach, has been criticized as the Redskins stumbled down the stretch following a promising start. But Cerrato, who previously has said the team has not discussed replacing Zorn, said Monday that Zorn would return, according to the report.

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The Post reported that Cerrato characterized a question about Zorn's standing as "crazy. Why wouldn't he be back?"

According to the report, Cerrato said he is confident Zorn is "learning and he's improving. Just how rookie players learn and improve, same type of steps. He's making progress."

The Redskins started the season 6-2, but went 1-5 afterward, including a three-game losing streak that ended with Sunday's 10-3 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The offense -- for which Zorn calls the plays -- has struggled in particular, scoring only 241 points. Only the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Cincinnati Bengals have scored fewer points.

While the win against the Eagles won't salvage the Redskins' season, it does guarantee that they will finish at least .500 or better. They can clinch a winning season if they beat San Francisco on Sunday.

"It's still not satisfying from the standpoint of the overall picture of having that spell where we lost so many," Zorn said of the win against the Eagles -- the team's first victory over a team with a winning record since October. "My spirits were lifted because our players didn't give up on the season. They didn't give up by just playing a couple more games halfheartedly and then getting to the offseason."

Cerrato said that when the season is over, the team will try to determine how it can do better, according to the Post.

"Even if you're a Super Bowl-contending team, even if you're the Super Bowl champions, there are areas you need to improve," Cerrato said, according to the report. "Nobody's perfect. With that said, we will look, evaluate and try to fix as many holes as we can fix. Once the final game is played, we'll evaluate every area and look to see where we need to improve."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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