Conference Call Transcript: Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn

Posted Sep 23, 2009

On what the Redskins are working on after Sunday’s win vs. St. Louis

“Today we’re working on our first and second down game plans, both offensively and defensively. We’re starting our practice; I think that’s the top of my agenda. I think that after learning about the last game and not scoring, obviously we’re going to work on that as well.”

On the reason for the Redskins’ struggles in the red zone

“This week we dropped two passes. I think it’s that simple. If we were to score two touchdowns in the red zone, we didn’t do it, so I think that’s something we certainly take a look at, but we’re just going to keep plugging away here.”

On what he shows his team to prepare for the Lions

“You just turn on the video. I think the Detroit Lions are a tremendous team. Look at the day they had even two weeks ago against New Orleans. Special teams are playing well, their offense, I mean they have a young QB and I think he’s going to be an excellent quarterback and he probably already is, he’s just working through some issues. I’m not there and I’m not coaching, but he looks very good and their defense is just solid and that’s the side of the ball that I’ve been looking at. They’ve got speed, they’ve got toughness, they all look like they like to play. Shoot, just turn on the video.”

On Lions QB Matthew Stafford

“There are two sides to look, and he does well on both sides. One is I think he’s got a lot of confidence, a commanding presence; he looks like he really likes to play, to compete, and I think he understands a lot of the game. I don’t think he’s a guy just happy to be there. I think he’s really got a concern about winning and putting things together. Secondly, he’s got real talent too. He’s got a real strong arm, he’s got a great release, so he can make all the types of throws that are called for in a game. I don’t know where he lacks or where the gaps are because, again, I’m not coaching him, but he certainly to me doesn’t look like he has many.”

On if Stafford is too aggressive

“I don’t think so, I wouldn’t say anything of what he is or what he isn’t. I think that he’s trying to run the show the way the coaches want and I’m sure they’re trying to use his talent in a way that’s going to be best suited for him and that football team and that scheme. He’s going to do nothing but get better.”

On how much he uses not wanting to be the team that loses to the Lions as motivation for his team

“I would say zero. I guess it’s a story, but not for me. They’re a good football team, so I would say zero.”

On Lions T Jon Jansen being given the opportunity to retire as a Redskin

“We gave him that opportunity, but he certainly wasn’t ready to hang things up and I think it was frustrating all the way around. He meant a lot and probably still does mean a lot to this organization and will mean a lot to this organization, and in our estimation it was time for him to move on and that’s what happens to ballplayers as they get older in their career. It happened to me, and it’s going to happen to others. I’m just excited for him that he found a good place to play and he’s definitely capable.”

On why they decided to let Jansen go

“I don’t know if it was totally his injuries, but Jon struggled. The year that I had gotten here he was injured a little bit and then last year as we played through he was just nicked up and he was fighting through injuries just like everybody else was. In this offseason we just decided to make a change there.”

On the recent Twitter controversy involving rookie LB Robert Henson

“I’m not hearing any of that because I’m concentrating on football, but I can answer the Twitter thing. I think the league has done an outstanding job of trying to educate our players, the whole NFL about all of the different opportunities to be online, and I think he got caught up, I think he was frustrated. There were some fans that were showing their frustration and he got mad and made a couple comments, and through all the publicity about it, he certainly will watch it next time I’m sure.”

On learning how to deal with media as a young player

“I had to say things five minutes after the game was over when I played and so does everybody else, so I think partly when I was a young player I probably said some dumb things and I’ve heard other people say dumb things or get emotional about things, and I think as you get older you sort of learn how to speak and speak your mind without creating a controversy or an issue. I think that’s what learning how to speak to the press is all about.”

On Lions LBs Julian Peterson and Larry Foote

“I know about Julian Peterson because he was in Seattle while I was there. I think he’s an outstanding player and he’s so versatile, you know, being a strong-side linebacker and they bring him on the rush some. He’s a great teammate, he really likes to play, and when he came to Seattle he was all in, and I’m sure that’s the way he is in Detroit. And I don’t know much about Foote, I just know that he’s a very tough young man. I think he inspires all those other guys around him and he plays football in a hard-nosed way.”

On Lions WR Calvin Johnson

“He’s excellent. You can see why he was drafted where he was. He’s a very aggressive player, a confident player, and what I like about him is he plays fast and he plays with his speed. He knows what his speed is all about and he knows how to use it, so he’s very dangerous.”