ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -Hardly a day goes by in which Jim Zorn doesn't dip into his full array of gestures and voice inflections to make a point. One day, when discussing how he wants Jason Campbell to play quarterback, the Washington Redskins coach put hands on hips and swiveled the head.
``I don't want him to,'' said Zorn, who then paused to deepen his voice to a growl, ``look over the field and be the field general.''
No way. Zorn is all about ``tempo.'' And when he's not all about tempo, he's all about ``pace.'' The offense he wants to run - the one he hopes will be ready for prime-time Thursday night against the New York Giants - is designed to move and move fast. Get out of the huddle in a hurry, line up and snap the ball. None of that silly pre-snap motion. No time for the defense to react to the personnel or the formation. When Campbell drops back, there should be no hesitation - from anyone.
``When the play starts, I don't want to see people watching,'' Zorn said. ``Sometimes guys either hesitate or don't quite get what they're supposed to do or where they're supposed to go, but I just want them to do something. I want them to move. Hit something. Do something. Those are the things that I'm trying to instill.''
It might take a while. Zorn is new at this, and his players are new to him. The West Coast passing attack is miles removed from former coach Joe Gibbs' conservative style, and the only continuity in the play book comes from Zorn's decision to keep most of Gibbs' running plays. All seemed well when the first-string offense put together a couple of decent drives early in the preseason, but two weeks of hitting the proverbial brick wall - the Redskins were outscored 71-6 in their last two August games - has led the coach to subtly lower expectations now that the regular season is here.
``That's the history of this offense,'' Zorn said after last week's 24-3 loss to Jacksonville. ``Basically, the passing game has been behind the run game, the defense, the special teams. As it comes on, then you start hitting on all cylinders.''
else they become less mobile.
At times, the rap on Campbell has been that he waits for a receiver to get open before throwing the ball, and that is the absolute worst thing he can do in the West Coast offense. Every time Campbell hesitates before throwing - and it happened twice in limited play during an uncomfortable 4-for-10 performance against Cincinnati - Zorn lets the world know in no uncertain terms that things have gone awry.
``You just want to be sound on the decision,'' said Campbell, explaining his dilemma, ``and you're more afraid of making a mistake than just letting lose. I think on those two plays - let it loose. Trust your arm and make those throws.''
Even when Campbell successfully connects, the coach's grade isn't necessarily 100 percent. Not enough tempo. Not enough pace.
``He might have a completion, but I wanted him to make it sooner,'' Zorn said. ``And it may not be that it made a difference on that particular play, but it will down the road. I just need to continue to let him know to throw sooner, and when he makes his initial move to let the ball go. He sees it and is working toward it. The hard part is to tell a guy that has made the right read, made the throw and completed it that it is not as good as I wanted it. It is good, but I want it to be great.''
While Zorn wants to use as little of the play clock as possible, Campbell does have more freedom than he did under Gibbs. Audibles are back, although Zorn hopes his play-calling is good enough so that the number of Campbell's change-ups stays in the single digits per game. Campbell also can opt for the shotgun on certain plays. As a former quarterback himself, Zorn realizes the value in having flexibility at the line of scrimmage.
Just as long as Campbell makes up his mind in a hurry.
``That's why I keep preaching speed,'' Zorn said. ``Once we get that, where every play is fast, our tempo will rise up and that's pressure on a defense.''
Just to ram home the point, Zorn went for another voice inflection.
``There's not a lot of chitchat. I expect the QB to go in there and not go, 'OK, guys, here's what coach wants,''' said Zorn, with a deep, stilted voice. ``He's just going to walk in, call the formation, call the play, call the snap count - all at one time - get out, move up to the line of scrimmage, start that snap count and go.''
Notes: DE Jason Taylor sported a new brace and took part in practice on a limited basis Tuesday for the first time since spraining his knee Aug. 23, but he did not go full speed and remains a game-time decision at best for Thursday. ``From what I saw today, he's not 50 percent yet,'' Zorn said. ... CB Shawn Springs was absent after getting kicked in the shin during Monday's practice. X-rays were negative. ``We're just taking a precaution because he was limping a little bit,'' Zorn said.

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