How many people here thought the Redskins actually stood a chance versus Atlanta?
Raise your hands.
Okay, now if you are one of the ones sitting at your computer with your hand raised I want you to turn it towards yourself and slap yourself in the face. Nobody can see you with your hand raised at a computer (unless you are video chatting, which you are not) and those that can are probably wondering why you are sitting at your computer with your hand raised; you should at least look productive.
I am quite possibly the biggest homer on the planet, and even I didn’t think they stood a chance.
With the third quarter underway, I began to wonder who these guys were in the Redskins uniforms as they drove the length of the field and scored a touchdown. When they did it a second time in a row to bring the game that was 24-3 to within seven points, I have to admit that I began to get a little excited.
Of course, When Atlanta scored again to put the game 14 points out of reach, with a little over 11 minutes to go, I knew that was just too much for them to overcome.
So what happened?
How did a team that only accumulated 60-some-odd total yards of offense in the first two periods rack up150 in the third quarter?
What was different?
I got my answer this morning thanks to the Redskins’ Insider.
“I spoke with several players last night who said that Coach Jim Zorn “went off” at halftime in the visitors’ locker room at the Georgia Dome.
Obviously, Zorn was frustrated about the Redskins’ shoddy overall performance to that point and the 24-3 deficit. He didn’t confine his loud criticism to the offensive line (the Falcons tied a franchise record with five first-half sacks), instead blasting the entire team for its execution and lack of discipline.
Zorn even reminded the Redskins “this is not Pop Warner,” and he demanded they get it together as best they could after the break.”
Now for those of you who have been following my blogs; one of my biggest criticisms of Zorn has been his “stay medium” approach (Medium; Not Well Done).
It struck me that there was no “fire in the belly”. Kind of a “if we win, that’s great, and if we lose…well shucks” mentality. So it’s refreshing to see that the Redskins’ Coach does have a passionate side. He has let things happen to him, and just rolled with it.
He let losing teams beat us, and he rolled with it. He let the team strip him of his play-calling duties, and he just rolled with it. He was watching Atlanta kick some Redskin butt and he finally had enough!
About time, Jim!
Zorn said just as recently as a few weeks ago that he wasn’t going to yell at a bunch of grown men, but it’s obvious that’s what this team needed. Sure these players like him, and they were ready to stand up in front of a microphone and say as much when Zorn’s job was in question and the team shifted play-calling duties to Sherm Lewis.
But just because you like a guy doesn’t always mean you work your hardest for him. The players may like Zorn, but they didn’t respect him; they didn’t fear him.
I’m not saying they didn’t play hard for him. I’m sure they felt they were giving it their all; but they weren’t. The third quarter of Sunday’s game showed that. If you aren’t worried about what the boss thinks; if you know that any mistake you make is going to just be forgiven and forgotten, then you aren’t being held accountable; and if the boss isn’t going to hold you accountable, then you certainly aren’t going to do his job for him.
It’s natural to want to be everybody’s buddy when you become the boss. You want them to like you and feel that if they like you, they are less likely to let you down. To a certain extent that’s true, but you have got to keep in mind that you’re the boss. They have to remember that you are the boss, and there are gonna be times where they don’t like you.
I am hoping that Zorn holds these guys accountable tomorrow; that this halftime butt-whuppin’ he gave them carries over into practice and those who didn’t play 100% are doing wind-sprints and up-down drills to remind them why they don’t want to give anything less next week.
No, I don’t expect the Redskins to win out this season. I don’t even expect them to win many more of their remaining games, but I don’t want to see them go down without a fight.
Lose because the other team beat you, not because you gave up.