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Chris Samuels Exploring His Options

Posted by Matt Terl on October 23, 2009 – 8:40 pm

Reports of Chris Samuels‘ retirement have been slightly exagerrated. Maybe.

Although Samuels’ injury — combined with his pre-existing stenosis — may eventually require the tackle to be put on injured reserve, thus ending his 2009 season, his current plan is to consult with specialists and explore his options before he makes a final decision regarding his future.

Samuels released the following statement through the team: “I will continue to seek medical advice. I hope to see where I am physically over the next couple months. At this time, I have not made a decision, but I love playing for the Redskins and hope to be back.” Read more »

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Chris Cooley Kicks Field Goals At Practice

Posted by Matt Terl on October 23, 2009 – 5:04 pm

Head coach Jim Zorn was full of praise for kicker Shaun Suisham during his post-practice press briefing today. Asked if the holder last year was hurting Suisham’s percentages, Zorn said, “A kicker has to go out and kick, whoever is holding. If I held and the ball was flat on the tee – he has still got to hit it, right? But there is a rhythm. He has worked very hard and he has concentrated on the rhythm of the kick. I think his holder has given him more and more confidence, but he has done it. He has developed the rhythm, the steadiness, he is more patient, and he is not so much attacking the ball early. He saw a lot of different types of rhythms last year. He is much smoother and I think that is what happens to a kicker. He has found his rhythm.”

Also finding his rhythm kicking today? Chris Cooley. The start of practice was delayed by the shooting of the team photo, which also required an extra uniform change. “I had extra time because I brought out my extra gear for practice before the photo,” Cooley explained, “so when everyone else had to change, you could just consider this my early warm-up.”

Cooley did well, especially in the early efforts you see in the video. (Later, he had a miss that came off the tee low and fast and nearly clocked Ethan Albright in the head.) “I hit from 40 yards with some coaching from Shaun,” he told me, “but I used to be solid from 50. When Koz [former Redskins TE Brian Kozlowski] was here, we would play the kicking games a lot. We were out punting and kicking field goals all the time so I actually got pretty good. But I haven’t kicked at all lately.” Read more »

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Even More Players Talk About The Zorn News

Posted by Matt Terl on October 23, 2009 – 3:17 pm

Hey, did you hear that Vinny Cerrato said that head coach Jim Zorn’s job is safe through the end of the season?

Oh, you did?

WELL, did you hear what the players had to say about it?

Oh, yeah, we did that too. Oh well. Here’s what a few more players had to say about it anyhow, just because this really was the main topic in today’s open locker room.

London Fletcher: “Hopefully we can get this thing turned around, win some games around here so we can insure that he’ll be the head coach NEXT year.” Read more »

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Vinny Cerrato On Jim Zorn: The Transcription

Posted by Matt Terl on October 23, 2009 – 10:21 am

On Wednesdays and Fridays, I appear on Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet. I sit next to Larry Michael to answer fan questions or pick games or talk about what’s going on at Redskins Park.

And, occasionally, I sit there and fidget while he goes on a rant. That happened Wednesday, when Michael held forth about members of the media doing nothing but transcribing radio shows and being, I believe his word was, “stenographers.”

The gist of his argument was, I believe, that people on live radio sometimes say things in an awkward fashion but that — unlike writers — they don’t have the opportunity to edit the final product. He really seemed to feel quite strongly about it, and went on somewhat at length, and I fidgeted, and that was that.

So keep all of that in mind as you read the following eleven-hundred word transcript of the first few minutes of Vinny Cerrato’s radio show this morning, the bit where Cerrato declared that Jim Zorn will be the head coach for the rest of the season and hopefully beyond, and his explanation of the playcaller switch.

If you want to listen to the rest of it, I’ve embedded it after the transcript segment (with thanks to ESPN980), but here’s one stenographer’s interpretation of the first part. Read more »

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Players Generally Pleased By Zorn News

Posted by Matt Terl on October 23, 2009 – 9:24 am

With Vinny Cerrato confirming that Jim Zorn will remain as head coach for the rest of the year and “hopefully into the future” (which conjures up images of Zorn standing on the sidelines in a jetpack and a shiny silver jumpsuit coaching the robots from the old Cyberball arcade game), I was interested to hear what the players had to say.

As a rule, players aren’t used to being asked for comment on things at 9:00 in the morning as they wait to go to meetings, but the general sense of the guys I talked to was relief, and hope that maybe this would drastically reduce the soap opera quotient of the workweek.

“It’s good news, and it’s comforting,” Antwaan Randle El said. “I mean, that’s one thing you always look at in terms of a team: you want to BUILD a team, and it’s hard to do it in a year and a half span. If he was to be let go now or in the next couple of games or something, it would just be almost all for nothing. So it’s just good to hear that he’s here and we can kinda rest our hat on that a little bit.” Read more »

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Friday, October 23: Vinny Cerrato Endorses Jim Zorn

Posted by Matt Terl on October 23, 2009 – 8:08 am

After a week of rumors, counter-rumors, statements from what seemed like every ex-Redskin still in the area (and one ex-Seahawk), and a metric ton of drama, it seemed like nearly everyone assumed head coach Jim Zorn’s tenure was as good as over.

So naturally, executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato started his Inside The Red Zone radio show this week with … a pretty unequivocal endorsement of Zorn.

“Let me start by making a few things very perfectly clear,” he said. “Jim Zorn is the head coach of the Washington Redskins and will for the rest of this season, and hopefully into the future.”

Cerrato also insisted that — despite what some have said — “the relationships internally within the organization quite frankly remain the same,” and acknowledged that everyone in the organization (including the owner) is disappointed for the fans about how the team has performed.

Yeah, that’s exactly what everyone expected today. Read more »

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