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Transcript: Zorn Press Conference

Redskins Owner Daniel M. Snyder:

"Good afternoon and thanks for coming. [It is] a great day at Redskins Park. First I just want to welcome some members of Jim's family: his wife, Joy, his son Issac, his daughter's Rachael, Sarah and Dani and their five-week old, Hollis (granddaughter). Welcome to the Redskins."

"I would like to thank the fans very, very much for their patience and understanding through the process. As we said after Joe (Gibbs) retired on us after our playoff game in Seattle- an interesting connection- I said we would be thorough and we would conduct a full process and we did. We did just what we said we would do. I appreciate very, very much the fan support and patience. I want to thank Joe Gibbs for his daily calls and support to me. It was very, very comforting as he would tell me keep going on the process: finish every interview, do what you said you would do and you will have the best outcome and that is what we did. I appreciate very, very much that support. The Commissioner, Roger Goodell, also was a frequent caller of mine, almost daily, to give me the support. To tell me don't rush, do the process, continue, be patient. My family, who hasn't seen me in about 30 days and their support has been spectacular. To my partners, Dwight Schar, my sister Michele, were really great and willing to sometimes travel around with us and pitch in a little bit."

"What we were looking for for the Redskins was a coach with characteristics. Our characteristics started with character, a character person. As I said at the last press conference that we did, which was about 30 days ago, Joe (Gibbs) has such character and I have learned so much, not only about him but about what I and the Redskins want for the future. We also talked about leadership, great leadership, but it starts with character, the person's character and their integrity, their smarts, their drive, their energy, their passion. We searched, we conducted a full search and we ended up with the right guy. We ended up with a person that has all of those plus much, much more. Obviously coming off Joe Gibbs, an offensive head coach, we really felt very, very comfortable. We also felt very, very comfortable getting to know Jim a little bit. We are very, very excited to introduce the new Head Coach of the Washington Redskins, Jim Zorn. Thank you."

Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn:

"Thanks, Dan. My first statement I want to make is that I am very excited about being the Redskins Head Football Coach. That is quite miraculous for me to say today if we would know what the process was for me being in this position right now. My hope is to hold the traditions and the fight that the Redskins have always had in high regard and I am going to try in my best effort to continue that tradition in my tenure here as the head football coach."

"My aim is to earn the trust and respect of not only the players, this coaching staff that is in place and the fans, which are dramatically important as I have been watching over the days that I have been here. Also, I hope to earn the trust and respect of Dan and this whole ownership group. I know I have to earn that and I know I haven't done a thing yet, but I plan on working hard to earn that respect as well."

"Let me take this opportunity to thank Dan Snyder, Michele Snyder, Dwight Schar and the entire ownership group for putting me through the process that you have put many others through to be able to find it in your process to hire me as the football coach and I appreciate that. Thank you very much. I am looking forward to working hard and diligently to uphold all of the trust that you are going to put in me."

"From this day on I am going to be leading this coaching staff and I want to say something about the staff right from the start. It is one of the things that I am very excited about. I know many of the guys on the staff already, especially Danny Smith and he is our special teams coordinator. I got to meet Greg Blache (Defensive Coordinator) and I know his reputation and how he has done over the years. I am very excited about working with these guys and getting to know them. I am also excited that there is a lot of the staff in place already. I think it would be really difficult for me to come in and start from square one at the time it is today and we are already getting into the combine, free- agency and all of those things. I think it would be very difficult to say, okay now I am going to put my staff together."

"So, I am very excited that Dan and all of those involved with keeping the continuity here before the head coach got here and now we have a solid group and we can absolutely go hard and fast into free-agency, into the combine, into the draft and then with our off-season program. I would say it is going to be much more comfortable for me in this situation then it would be just starting from scratch."

"The Redskins really are not just about the great fans, and there is much to be said about the fans, but it is also about the players. Remember, what I am coming into I know. This is a team that is not in a rebuilding program at all. This team was a playoff team last year, as was the team that I just came from. I know what we're about to do here. We are already competitive. I know that I am not coming into a rebuilding program and I am very excited about that as well. I know these coaches know the players very well and I am looking forward to getting to know all of our players and helping them improve and helping them to continue their careers and to become great. It is not about us as much as it is about those players that we have on this football team and how they perform on that football team. I am hoping that all of us as a group, as a coaching group, can work together with all of those players as a player group and we put all of our stuff together and become a team."

"I now want to just acknowledge Joe Gibbs. I look at these three trophies and it is quite intimidating and I know who is behind this little group here, but I am very proud to be standing in an organization that has these. Many coaches, many players, in my playing career, striving all the time to get to this and in my playing career I was only on a team that had the chance to play for the AFC Championship, in a losing situation to the L.A. Raiders at the time, who played in the Super Bowl against the Washington Redskins, way back when."

"I just want to acknowledge that fact that I know a lot of the things that are in place together, that are in place today, were put together by Joe, Dan and I am coming into a really good situation. I know that and I am grateful for that because a lot of coaches would be struggling in a situation that was impossible to try to put together in one year, so thanks Joe and thanks for being here. I really appreciate that. I hope to be able to lean on you a little bit in situations that could be a struggle. We'll see what happens."

"I know that it is exciting to be a part of the Redskins and coming into this year especially with Darrell Green, Art Monk being able to go to the Hall of Fame. Just again, I express my excitement and we are headed to that Hall of Fame game from what I understand. I am really excited about honoring Redskins who have achieved so much. I got to play against those two guys and we won't talk about what my record was as a player against the Washington Redskins. Actually, we won a few and lost a little more. It is always fun to play against the Redskins. I got to play against Darrell Green, Art Monk and it is quite a thrill to see those guys go into the Hall of Fame."

"The thing that I also want to address was how much the Redskins came together as a team with such a tragic incident that happened last football season with the passing of Sean Taylor. Not only here in the Washington area, but all throughout the League, all throughout the nation, we were troubled that you had to go through such a traumatic experience. What can you say about Joe and the whole organization pulling together and honoring Sean and actually committing to work together and not throw in the towel and not go in the tank when some tragedy like that occurs. I remember when the Redskin players decided to play with ten players on their opening play on defense that first game that he was gone and I thought to myself, who could think something like that up to honor a man, to play in an NFL game with ten players to honor a fallen teammate. It's pretty awesome when you think about what just happened. I admire that about this football team, about the players and the staff. Even today with the Pro Bowl, those players who were honored to go to the Pro Bowl are going to wear Sean Taylor's number. That is what I am coming into and I am very excited about that. I hope we can continue that and continue to be together as a team as we move forward."

"Finally, Dan acknowledged my family and they have been very supportive to me. My wife, Joy, I have a young son named Isaac who is very impressionable and I am trying to be a good dad to this guy. There is a lot to learn as a young man and he is doing a great job of that. I have a young daughter in Dani, Sarah. My daughter Rachael is with child over there and then I have an excellent son-in-law as well in Neal Mitchell. They are very supportive and they all get involved. They all their gear already so they are all going to be colored up in maroon and black and yellow."

"I want to just tell a story if you don't mind and I'll end, but what the process was of me getting here. It all began after I was a player, I went in to see Chuck Knox, who was the Head Football Coach of the Seattle Seahawks and I sat across his desk and I said Chuck, I would love for you to hire me. I am done playing. I'm retired; I want to be an NFL football coach and he sat behind his desk and he said, 'I'm not going to hire you. No.' I was ticked and I said why. He said, 'Because you're just going to try us on for size. I don't want a coach that is going to just try to see if he likes it, to see if he likes coaching or not.' He said, 'I will tell you this, you will benefit more of being on our staff then we'll benefit from you being on our staff, meaning your inexperience is going to kill us.' He said, 'What I think you ought to do is go out and find your way and don't use the NFL to try to see if you like pro football as a coach.' I was very upset and I thought he was a bad guy for not hiring me. I mean, how silly was that?"

"But, what I did and what the process was is, Skip Hall called me out of the blue and he was the head coach at Boise State University. He offered me my first job, offered me my first opportunity to coach and I went there and I coached there three years. I then went, another coach Charlie Weatherby, was the coach at Utah State University and I think every coach in America has gone through Utah State University from what I understand, and he asked me to be his offensive coordinator where I got to call plays. I ran the show there on offense. It was the first time in a long time that Utah State had a winning program. We went to a bowl game, the Las Vegas Bowl, for the first time in years and years and years.

"Then, I went to coach with Jim Wacker at the University of Minnesota in his last two years- he resigned. I came to Seattle for a year as an assistant. Bobby Ross gave me the opportunity and talk about a coach that has been a dramatic influence in my life, Bobby Ross with the Detroit Lions has been a major influence in my coaching career and I learned a lot from him. The thing that I learned most from him was how to work. This fella knew how to work. He instilled in me a workmanship attitude and I admired him for that and he paid attention to all details.

"He resigned and I then had the opportunity to be the Quarterback Coach with I think a tremendous Head Football Coach in Mike Holmgren. Mike Holmgren had to entrust me with the quarterback position and I wanted to make sure that Mike Holmgren never had to look around and see if I was doing a good job at the quarterback position. So, I fought and I tried to pay attention to the quarterbacks there. I worked with some great ones in Trent Dilfer, you know about Matt Hasselbeck who is playing today, I worked with Brock Huard. There are a bunch of guys there that are really good. Seneca Wallace is there and he hasn't got to play very much. I got to work with some very good QBs. Working under Mike Holmgren was a dramatic influence on me on how to be efficient, how to delegate, how to make sure, how to oversee and make sure that all the areas that he has in place are being taken care of. He does a great job of stepping back and stepping in and stepping back and I just think it is a great program. He has done a great job and, as you have understood, he is in the last year of his coaching career at this particular juncture and I just can't say enough about him. He has really had a great influence on my coaching career."

"So, I am excited about being here. With all of those experiences, even my playing experiences, there was a coach here for a long time in my playing career who was a big influence on me and that was Jerry Rhome. I learned a lot of offense through that coach and I know that it takes a lot of teaching. Really, we are here to make sure our players punish themselves. That is what it is all about in the NFL. Will our players punish themselves? Will they be able to sacrifice and make those sacrifices to win a football game? That is what we are all here for as coaches and I have to make sure all that happens and I am hoping to do that for as long as I possible can. I want to be here a long time. I want to make this a career and I hope everybody else will have that same attitude for me."

"I loved the newspaper article today, it said 'Quarterback Sneak.' That is kind of how I got in here, didn't I? The Washington Post said it right. Last night I watched on TV, there was already a poll out. It was awesome. I was 41 percent approval. That is kind of better than the President of the United States of America right now, so I felt pretty good about that. I am just anxious to get started and working with these guys and working with the players and the entire Redskins organization. I hope I can do a great job and I am willing to work at it."

On if he is going to replace his offensive coordinator:

"Yeah, I was that for a couple days. I am. I am going to have an offensive coordinator. Again, because I was it, I didn't have this list, so I am going to be working on that. I have several in mind. I would rather not go into the details of who those guys might be that I want to interview and that will take place coming up very shortly."

On how much has he been able to work as an offensive coordinator the past two weeks:

"My offensive group will know we worked two days. We started with the run game and Joe Bugel's (Assistant Head Coach- Offense) favorite play, 50 gut. He has just done a tremendous job taking me through and that is what I plan on doing, is trying to keep the run game alive. Keep the run game the same, terminology, blocking schemes. We have experts here in Joe (Bugel) and Rennie (Simmons, Tight Ends Coach), knowing about the run game. We have guys that really know what they are doing here. Then, the players, you can see the skills on the offensive line, working together, these blocking combinations, so I want to keep that the same. So, the answer is, two days. I will be working with them until we get that coordinator. I hope to be working even when we get that coordinator in place. That is what I would really like to do."

On his reaction when Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder asked if he would like to interview for the Head Coach position:

"When I first was asked the question by Dan, I would like to interview you for the Head Coaching position, would you like to interview for that Head Coaching position. I was a bit taken back if you will. Not quite speechless because the first words out of my mouth were, ?Certainly, I would like to do that.' It is just a bit shocking. After that I just geared up and got my game face on and tried to get after it."

On when he was asked to interview for the Head Coach position:

"I believe that happened on Thursday. Thursday afternoon. Thursday in the morning meetings, we started at 8 AM and we went right past noon and then I started to get phone calls, I needed to get out to Dan's house to have lunch. Okay. I was a little bit disappointed because at that time I hadn't got to spend a lot of time getting things organized and starting to learn about the free-agency, especially on offense, learning about the draft and all of that, so I had to get it going. So going out to lunch at Dan's house? Alright, we'll do it. Then, all of a sudden, it was for a much more meaningful purpose as I understood it."

Redskins Owner Daniel M. Snyder

On if he saw anything in Jim Zorn that really caught his attention:

"We had an idea prior that we may interview Jim. I remember saying, ?Do you want to go back, get your thoughts together, talk to your wife Joy' and he said, ?Yup.' He came back in a suit and tie about two hours later."

Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn

On how will he gain the players trust:

"By work. Really I am going to gain their trust by work. I am going to gain their trust by being constant and consistent. That is how I am going to gain their trust and I hope I gain your trust as well. I always have this philosophy, especially about quarterbacks, I always tell my quarterbacks, I need you to act medium. So that, when things are ecstatic and you have just thrown a touchdown pass and you are coming off the sidelines and you are feeling great about yourself, I want the quarterbacks to remember there is another series coming and they have to perform the next series as well. If disaster happens, and the quarterback throws an interception, you can't be so low because there is another series coming. So I think that is the way I want my attitude to permeate this football program. Is, [for the players] not think I'm so great that I have it all together and also, when things go wrong I'm going to learn how to fix those things and I'm going to work to fix those things, but I want to do it in a fashion that I can earn the trust of everybody that I am working with."

On what type of offense he will run:

"It will resemble the West Coach offense. It will try to resemble a balance attack. It will resemble taking shots when we need to take shots and it will resemble throwing rhythm passes. This whole game, I believe, is about rhythm. I don't think it is about hanging on to the ball until you see a guy already open and then go, he is open, I think I should throw him the ball, because in this game you are going to get knocked down. You are going to get the ball knocked out of your hand. This game is about rhythm. It is about rehearsing that rhythm in practice and that is what we will do. We will rehearse it, rehearse it, rehearse it, so that when those players get to that field, they have rehearsed it enough and know what is coming."

On if he has the personnel to run his offense:

"I'm very excited about that. I am very excited about, the whole concept. We have speed. You have to have, in this particular offense, you have a to have a great inside receiver, Antwaan Randle El (WR, #82). I'm just hoping that he really excels. Chris Cooley (TE, #47), he is in the Pro Bowl. You have to have a great tight end in this offense to be able to become balanced. When you can have balance at all those receiver spots, if you have a running back that can come out of the backfield, he has to be able to get himself open, the quarterback has to be able to look downfield and throw the ball to the running back, not sitting there waiting. If you have all those elements in place, it is very tough defensively. I am hoping that Greg (Blache, Defensive Coordinator) will find that out as we battle each other in practice, upcoming until the season starts."

On what type of contact he has had with the players:

"I have had minimal contact with some of the players when I was hired as the Coordinator (Offensive). I'm sure it is a surprise to all those players today that now I am the Head Coach and I will go revisit those players and more. I will try to contact the entire team if I can in the next week or two to come. I hope all the players will come in and meet me. My door will be wide open and I can't wait to get started in that process."

On why he accepted the Offensive Coordinator job without a Head Coach being hired:

"That is a very good question and I put that question to Dan. I was a bit uncomfortable with that because what if the new Head Coach had a different thought about a coordinator than me. The thing that I discovered as I came here to interview, was that some of the candidates that were on the interview list that Dan was interviewing, my name was on that list. As you know, coaches get picked off and they get on staffs very quickly because if you are a coach without a job, you have to scramble. In this League, you have to scramble, because the jobs are few and far between. So, when I came here and found that out, that put me more at ease, because I think that is what Dan decided, is I need to get my coordinator, and if you were on these lists, I better come and get you first. Am I putting words in your mouth?

Redskins Owner Daniel M. Snyder

On interviewing Jim Zorn:

"I think Jim was on a short list of offensive, very smart offensive upcoming minds in the NFL, he was number one on that list and we sent several requests for the entire list out. Jim is very accurate in that you get turned down to interview them. There is a process in the NFL that is quite difficult where the coach is under contract you really have no access to those coaches. So, we were delighted to get an opportunity to speak to Jim. I think it probably had to do with the fact that Seattle was in the last year of Mike's (Holmgren) contract there and they gave us a small window. We took advantage of that window and immediately met with Jim."

Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn

On the defense:

"Well, Greg Blache is our defensive coordinator. He'll control the entire defense. He and I will work together and I'm looking forward to his scheme. He has been a defensive coordinator with another team. He has been the defensive line coach here. He has ideas and he is going to bring those ideas with him. I can't wait to see what he has in store. I'm going to leave that alone, if you know what I mean."

On the quarterbacks:

"I really like Jason Campbell and I'm anxious to get him started with him. I like the fact that Todd Collins came in and did a great job. I know Mark Brunell is still here and what a fantastic guy he is."

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