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Zorn On Schedule: It's All About the NFC East

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It's Year 2 for Jim Zorn as head coach of the Redskins, and it's evident he has quickly learned the importance of NFC East games.

So what jumped out at him when he took a first look at the Redskins' schedule on Tuesday afternoon?

The Week 1 game against the New York Giants, of course.

And then there are the three nationally televised games against NFC East opponents at FedExField.

And the stretch of four NFC East games in the final seven weeks of the regular season.

"It's a competitive schedule right from the start as we play an NFC East game against the defending division champion," Zorn said. "As we look at each division opponent, they have all improved through free agency.

"Many of our divisional games are on national television. With the competitiveness of the NFC East, the NFL wants to give its fans the opportunity to see this division play on a national platform.

"All the teams in the NFC East have a strong national following and it's evident during both our home and away games with the great support we receive from Redskins fans."

Overall, the combined record of the Redskins' 13 opponents was 95-112-1 in 2008. Five of the teams qualified for the playoffs.

The Redskins' home opponents in 2009 were 22-37-1 on the road last year, while their road opponents were 41-23 at home last year.

Along with the NFC East, the Redskins play three more teams in 2009 that they also played in 2008: St. Louis, Detroit and New Orleans.

"Though we are facing some of the same teams we played last year, those teams have a different look with new head coaches, coordinators and players they acquired this past offseason," Zorn said.

Added Zorn: "When coaches look at the NFL schedule, it is a matter of being willing to accept the challenges of the opponents on your schedule.

"In every game and opponent, we will face tremendous athletes and complex schemes, which is what makes the NFL exciting and challenging."

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