Largent rips Snyder's handling of team

Updated: October 22, 2009, 12:08 PM ET
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com

SEATTLE -- Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent said during a radio interview Tuesday that Redskins coach Jim Zorn considered resigning when owner Daniel Snyder decided Zorn would no longer call Washington's plays.

Largent, who caught passes from his old friend for the Seattle Seahawks between 1976 and 1984, ripped the Redskins and Snyder during an interview on KJR radio of Seattle, saying he believed Snyder's decision was an attempt to force Zorn's resignation.

Zorn did consider resigning, Largent said, but ultimately decided not to quit on the team.

"Yes, he did consider it, and no, he did not want to give up those responsibilities," Largent told KJR, "but they went to the point of pulling out his contract and saying, 'You have got to do whatever the owner tells you to do.' ...

"But in my opinion, and this is just totally my opinion -- Jim has never said this, never implied this -- I think what Daniel Snyder was trying to do was to force Jim to resign so he was not liable for his contract any longer. And Jim is just not going to do that."

Largent said he speaks to Zorn just about every day. A former U.S. congressman from Oklahoma, Largent is currently president and CEO for CTIA, a wireless communications lobbying group.

"[Zorn] inherited everything that he has to work with today and yet all the blame is being laid on his feet because he can't make them a Super Bowl champion, which I could have told you two years ago, they don't have a Super Bowl-quality team," Largent told KJR radio. "And so it doesn't matter how good a coach you have, you are not going to get there with the players the owner gives you.

"I know it's frustrating for Jim. He is making the best of it."

Former longtime NFL assistant Sherman Lewis, recently hired as a consultant, has been tasked with calling plays for the Redskins (2-4) for their Monday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Zorn was stripped of the responsibility after Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I think it will be humbling and it will be embarrassing, but not for Jim," Largent said on the radio interview. "I think it's humbling and embarrassing for the Redskins and the Redskins owner and management that made the decision.

"To think that you can bring a guy in from a retirement center who is pulling out Ping-Pong balls in the bingo games -- and literally, that is what he was doing in Detroit -- bring him down here for two weeks and say, 'You are going to call the plays for the next game against the Philadelphia Eagles, a division opponent, on "Monday Night Football," ' and think that is going to be successful, that is a joke."

Largent pointed to fellow Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs' inability to produce a Super Bowl season for Snyder as evidence that the problems go well beyond his friend Zorn.

"The formula that the Redskin owner and the Redskin general manager have for producing a winner on the field is not a winning formula, meaning they can't make all the decisions on the coaches and the personnel and then hire some guy off the street to be the head coach and win with what they put on the field. Because it doesn't work," Largent said on KJR radio. "That has been proven for 10 years in a row. ... The failure of the Redskins is not about Jim Zorn. The failure of the Redskins starts above him, above his level."

Zorn has one year remaining on a three-year contract. Snyder hired him initially as offensive coordinator before promoting him to head coach. Zorn enjoyed success as the quarterbacks coach for the Seahawks, but he had never been a coordinator.

"I don't know what a Dan Snyder coach looks like and I don't think Dan Snyder knows what a Dan Snyder coach looks like, and that is fairly obvious now as he has been through about six head coaches in 10 years," Largent said.

ESPN.com NFL blogger Mike Sando covers the NFC West.

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