No 'song and dance' as Zorn preps for 1st Redskins practice Print
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Thursday, 01 May 2008 09:54
NFL Headline News

 ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -Jim Zorn has the entire day mapped out, from the special teams meetings first thing in the morning to the evaluation sessions with his assistants after the second practice is over.
Somewhere in between, he'll say hello.
The first-time head coach will run his first practices Friday as the Washington Redskins open a three-day minicamp. Although Zorn has met nearly all of the players over the last few weeks, he will have the entire roster assembled before him for the first time since he was hired to replace Joe Gibbs in February.
What will he say? Don't expect a speech for the ages.
``I just have little outlines,'' said Zorn, who turns 55 this month. ``I just want to go through some of the basic stuff. I don't think I'm going to have a lot of time - because we're on a tight schedule - for me to do a song and dance or anything like that. We've got to get going, so I'm going to establish some of the expectations, what we expect in meetings, what tempos we practice at. And I'm going to introduce the coaches, because a lot of these guys haven't met the whole coaching staff, either.
``So we don't have time for me to talk about how I want to win a championship. Hopefully, some of that stuff will be obvious.''
Zorn has been living life in fast-forward since he became owner Dan Snyder's surprise choice to replace Gibbs.
Zorn had interviewed for the job of offensive coordinator - not head coach - so his plate has been unexpectedly full. He spent the weeks leading up to last weekend's draft in all-day meetings helping to evaluate college players, postponing the completion of a play book that quarterback Jason Campbell will be anxious to read.
``It's installed enough for minicamp,'' receivers coach Stan Hixon said. ``So we're OK.''
In fact, Zorn's job is made easier because most of the team's game plans will remain the same. Assistant coach Greg Blache, promoted to lead the defense after Gregg Williams was fired, isn't expected to make major changes to Williams' schemes. Danny Smith remains in charge of special teams. Even the running game, with the guidance of retained assistant Joe Bugel, will keep the same vocabulary and many of the same plays.
That leaves only the passing game due for an overhaul, and what an overhaul it is - a vast change of pace from fired assistant Al Saunders' infamous 700-page play book to the simpler West Coast offense.
``It's not one of those huge ones like we had before,'' Hixon said of the new play book. ``It's going to be scaled down quite a bit.''
Zorn said one of the biggest challenges - beyond acclimating rookies such as draft picks Devin Thomas, Fred Davis and Malcolm Kelly - will be getting his players to execute the offense at the speed at which it's meant to be played.
``I'm looking for playing fast,'' Zorn said. ``I think that'll be the most difficult thing as we go along. People will know, 'I'm supposed to be over there; I'm going to get there.' It's how fast. This offense is played at a very good pace.''
Zorn said he doesn't expect any jitters Friday. Those might come in September, when there are games to be played that count in the standings.
``I'm not nervous. It'll really be just more excitement,'' said Zorn, who plans to spend most of his time during practice tutoring Campbell and the other quarterbacks. ``I have veteran coaches. It's not like I've come to a staff of rookie coaches who don't know what they're doing. ... I'm letting the coaches coach their positions.''
 

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