Report: Players want team to back Zorn

Updated: October 16, 2009, 11:52 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn appears to be sitting on one of the hottest seats in the NFL.

With uncertainty surrounding their coach, some players would like the front office to give the embattled Zorn a public vote of confidence -- if it doesn't intend to fire him during the season, The Washington Post reported.

The newspaper talked with two prominent offensive players and a veteran defensive player who wished to remain anonymous.

"I wish someone upstairs would just say he's going to be our coach for the season," one of the unnamed players told the newspaper. "That way, we don't have to answer any more questions about it and everybody knows we're in this boat together."

The Redskins are last in the NFC East with a 2-3 record. The subpar record is even more glaring because each of their games -- including this week's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs -- has been against a winless team.

The team's three losses include a Week 3 defeat at Detroit, which ended the Lions' 19-game losing streak. The Giants, whom Washington lost to in Week 1, are the only team the Redskins have played so far that has a winning record.

Two of the players questioned by the newspaper said that even a "no comment" by Redskins management will lead to division within the ranks as players are attempting to salvage their season.

A Redskins official refused to comment when asked by the newspaper about Zorn's status on Wednesday. In a conference call last week, Redskins executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato chose not to give Zorn an endorsement.

Zorn has a career 10-11 record as the Redskins' coach.

Everyone from former stars Joe Theismann and John Riggins to people writing for the team's official Web site is ripping the Redskins lately.

"A lot of us have sort of tempered ourselves, to be honest with you. The expectations for this team were so much greater coming into the year -- and they haven't come even close to living up to it," Theismann said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

"It's the little things that bother the living daylights out of me more than anything. ... They waste timeouts at an astounding rate. To me, that's disgraceful. That's Football 101," Theismann said. "Ultimately, where does it have to fall on? It has to fall on coaching and teaching."

Theismann, for one, said the team is "fundamentally not sound at all," referred to how Washington "mucks along in futility," called the offense "inept," and added, "What is unacceptable is the lack of effort to do more than just what is required."

Ex-players such as Hall of Fame members Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff -- whose framed photos hang on a wall outside the locker room at Redskins Park -- have questioned play calling and individual players' fitness on game-day radio broadcasts.

According to The Washington Post, Jurgensen was particularly critical of quarterback Jason Campbell, saying during a pregame show last weekend he would have used backup Todd Collins instead and that "I think Collins would have won all four of these games."

Campbell's response to such thoughts coming from ex-Redskins?

"You can't get mad," the quarterback said. "You can't agree or disagree. They're entitled to their opinion."

Riggins, a Redskins teammate of Theismann's and member of the Hall of Fame, spared no one in a diatribe he posted as a video on YouTube, then linked to on his Twitter feed.

Riggins on Cerrato: "You're a great guy, Vin, but you're no GM."

On Zorn: "You're out of your league, Jim," and "you ... are not a head football coach in the NFL. High school? Definitely. You can coach in high school. You can coach my son in high school any time."

Through a team spokesman, Cerrato declined to respond.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.