NFL Truths: Zorn should embrace bizarre role

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Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can't imagine or muster courage to address. His columns are humorous, thought-provoking, agenda-free, honest and unpredictable. E-mail him, follow his Twitter or become a fan of Jason Whitlock on Facebook.

Dear Jason: I really enjoyed the Limbaugh and Steve Phillips columns last week. But if you don't write an NFL Truths column this week, I'm dumping you for Jay Glazer. Sincerely,
Brooke Hundley
10. Well, we know what costume Jim Zorn is wearing for Halloween: He's dressing up as an NFL head coach.
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He's grabbing a magic marker, a clipboard, throwing on a headset and he'll stand in the corner at someone's Halloween party doodling little notes to himself. During the Redskins' Monday night matchup with the Eagles, my sources tell me Zorn spent the three hours working on his honey-do list. Immediately after the game, Zorn was spotted at a 24-hour Home Depot picking up a shower head. Is Zorn really going to put himself through this nine more times? I know the money is awesome, but 27 more hours of televised footage that Daniel Snyder has stolen your manhood is not the right look for a man with pride. By December, HBO might start televising Redskins games and calling them an "OZ" spinoff with Snyder playing the role of Simon Adebisi. Had Snyder forced Zorn to elevate one of his assistants to offensive coordinator, Zorn could've easily retained some dignity and pride. But by whisking 67-year-old Sherman Lewis away from a Detroit bingo parlor and handing him play-calling duties, Snyder made it personal and damaging to Zorn's credibility. Snyder has no respect for Jim Zorn. Zero. Zilch. OK, I'm going to assume Zorn is tolerating the abuse for the welfare of his family. He's collecting a few million and can't afford to quit. I'd force Snyder to fire me. Every time I'd address the media, I'd bring up the absurdity of the current situation. If a reporter asked me about the offense: "Hey, guys, I don't call the plays. I wear a headset and doodle during the games." If a reporter asked me about being 2-5: "Hey, guys, I wear a headset and doodle. That's a question Mr. Snyder and Vinny Cerrato can answer." The Washington Post loves to take potshots at the Redskins. The Post would totally support Zorn. He's a victim of Snyder's immaturity. 9. Jon Gruden continues to disappoint on "Monday Night Football." Gruden is high energy and you can tell he loves the game, but Ron Jaworski already has that role covered. The "MNF" booth needs a tough guy, a loose cannon willing to say whatever comes to his mind. Gruden always struck me as a loose cannon. He took on Al Davis and won. He took on Keyshawn Johnson and won. Gruden's commentary on "MNF" is just too tame. Maybe I missed it — and I apologize if I did — but I wanted to hear Gruden's uncensored thoughts on Dan Snyder and Jim Zorn. Gruden worked for a meddlesome owner, Al Davis. Gruden was a play-caller. Gruden could relate to Zorn's situation better than anyone in broadcasting. Gruden should've spent the entire game ranting about the outrageousness of Sherm Lewis calling plays and Zorn standing on the sideline in a Halloween costume. 8. Do you understand how bad Vince Young must look in practice if Jeff Fisher is reluctant at all to name him the starter of the 0-6 Titans? The Titans aren't going to the playoffs. They're winless. The owner, Bud Adams, wants Young to play. Fisher has absolutely nothing to lose by playing Young the rest of the year. The only explanation for Fisher's apparent reluctance is Young must look like the second coming of Ryan Leaf in practice. If Young could play at all, Fisher would've made him the starter two games ago. Move Young to wide receiver. 7. In watching the Chargers destroy the Kansas City Chiefs, I was blown away at how average Shawne Merriman is. He's done. KC's offensive tackles are below average. Merriman never threatened the quarterback. Merriman won't be a starter in 2010. He might not make it all of this year starting in San Diego. He's no longer explosive or powerful. He's stiff. He moves like an MMA fighter or a guy who overdid it in the weight room and lost his athleticism. On the other hand, I left the Chargers-Chiefs game believing LaDainian Tomlinson can still be a high-impact running back. His numbers weren't great, but I liked his vision and timing. He came close to breaking a couple of really nice runs. 6. The greatness of the Patriots is being exaggerated. Let me offer some context before I explain. I respect Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. For my money, Brady is the second-best quarterback I've ever seen. John Elway is the best. Belichick is one of the five best coaches of all time. I'm not a Patriots hater. But blowing out the Titans and the Bucs is not a sign the Dynasty Patriots are back. Tennessee quit in the snow. And the Bucs quit in London. Take away the snow and the plane ride overseas and the Patriots do not beat the Titans and Bucs by a combined score of 94-7. I'd say it's more like 60-24. Brady's six-TD game against the Titans was cheap, a publicity stunt beneath his stature. I'm not blaming Brady. I'm blaming Belichick for leaving Brady on the field and having him throw the football. The Patriots face a weak schedule. We won't learn the truth about New England until its three-game stretch against the Colts, Jets and Saints. Don't be surprised if the Pats lay a goose egg during that stretch. Two of the games are on the road, and the Jets are capable of getting the Pats at Gillette Stadium. 5. Let me take an NBA break: I side with Isiah Thomas in the Magic-Zeke feud. I'm a lifelong Magic Johnson fan. He's my favorite athlete of all time. I'm embarrassed by the way Magic is treating Isiah. I'm hoping to be presented an opportunity to write an entire column explaining why I side with Zeke. But I don't think it's a coincidence that Magic chose to hammer Isiah once the former Pistons star was run out of the NBA. It used to be cool to count Isiah as your best friend in basketball. Now Magic finds it more convenient and beneficial to be Larry Bird's best friend? This is sad and comical. 4. I'm officially concerned about the Philadelphia Eagles. The loss to the Raiders didn't concern me. I'm used to Andy Reid tricking off a game or two a year by forgetting that Donovan McNabb can hand the ball to a running back. Nope, the 27-17 victory over the Redskins is what is causing me concern. The Eagles should've won 45-7. They didn't because Reid failed to get McNabb in a proper rhythm early in the game. The table was set. Philly established the run on its first series. The right play-action passes on Philly's second series would've warmed McNabb and got the ball rolling on a blowout. Of course it didn't happen. And then in the second quarter, the Eagles broke out their Michael Vick package. Dumb. Vick doesn't have anything to offer the Eagles right now. He's not an explosive runner, and he's never been an accurate passer. If Vick plays this weekend against the Giants, owner Jeff Lurie needs to conduct a nationwide search of bingo parlors looking for an offensive consultant/play-caller to replace Reid and Marty Mornhinweg. 3. You know how good the Saints are? I never once doubted they'd come back and beat the Dolphins. I'm shaking up my top-five teams: 1. Saints: I will no longer doubt Drew Brees. He might be Joe Montana.
2. Ravens: Yes, I know they've lost three straight. But I still believe in their defense.
3. Colts: Victory at Arizona is impressive. I want to see more before I elevate them above Ravens.
4. Vikings: I'm riding the Brett Favre bandwagon. One loss doesn't scare me.
5. Bengals: Beat Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Baltimore, Chicago and should've beat Denver.

I'm still picking the Eagles to win it all! 2. Sam Bradford was a second-round pick before his injuries. I'm not talking about on Mel Kiper's or Todd McShay's big boards. I'm talking about based on Bradford's talent. He's always been a second-round pick. He's Tim Couch. Bradford doesn't have the arm strength, athleticism or overall body strength to be a great NFL quarterback. Bradford should've turned pro when he had everyone fooled. The general manager who plucks Bradford in Round 1 now should lose his job when Bradford flops as a franchise quarterback. 1. I wish Bob Griese had called me before issuing an apology for his Juan Pablo Montoya "joke." As the official racial-apology czar, I would've instructed Griese he owed no one an apology for saying Montoya was probably eating a taco. It was a bad joke. But ESPN overreacted by suspending Griese for a week. Griese's comment was totally different from Fuzzy Zoeller's mean-spirited fried chicken-and-collard greens crack after Tiger won his first Masters. You can e-mail Jason at or find him on Facebook at

Tagged: Titans, Raiders, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Jets, Eagles, Buccaneers, Redskins, Chargers, Michael Vick, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Donovan McNabb, LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Shawne Merriman, Vince Young

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