Coach's Corner: Zorn and Blache
(AP Photo/Luis M Alvarez)
(AP Photo/Luis M Alvarez)
Warpath Insiders
Posted Aug 19, 2009


See what Jim Zorn and Greg Blache had to say today as they discussed a good number of players.

Head Coach Jim Zorn

On Chris Cooley missing practice:
“[Chris] Cooley just had a sore back, I’m not really concerned, he’s just going to treat it and get going.”

On Mike Williams’ injury:
“Mike Williams sprained his ankle. So he’s just trying to get the swelling down and we just got to see. I can’t say it’s daily because he’s not going to be out of practice tomorrow. But we’re going to try to get him ready as soon as we can, but again that has to do with the ankle and how it responds.”

On if Mike Williams will play Saturday:
“Well, it’ll be questionable. I haven’t had a track history with Mike, so I don’t know how fast he can go and how much he can tough it out. If he’s gimping around we’re not going to play him.

“It’s a low ankle sprain. Little lateral ankle sprain.”

On how much time Mike Williams can miss before it becomes a serious setback for him:
“Every chance we get we want everybody on the field, so everyday. I can’t tell you the degree, but I want everybody to be able to go, and so it is a setback. I can’t tell you much that is. And he’s learned a lot as he’s gone along, as he’s participated. They’ll be some rust, but hopefully we’ll have a little time to get him revved up.”

On Randy Thomas’ recovery from injury last year and his importance to the team:
“I think what he has found is that the repair on his neck was excellent. I think that he’s really battled every day out here. We gave him a breather; I just don’t want to wear him out. I’d call him old school; he just knows how to dissociate pain. He really does. He just kind of blocks it out and goes. He gives you everything he’s got. He’s truly a warrior, he’s a real Redskin. When you think about what you want a Redskins player to be, he’s what we’re looking for.”

On the difficulty of getting long kickoff returns early in with the new kickoff wedge rule:
“I don’t know. There may be more because guys could be out of position, or the wedge is nonexistent, that’s going to put the kickoff team in different positions too. I think it’s all experimental right now. What cracks me up is every special teams coach is wondering what everybody else is doing. Because it’s so different, it’s so new. So, whatever your history was, in 2009, it’s changed. So now it gives a chance to see what the opponent’s doing. I think they’ll be more ideas coming out of that as we go along.”

On Kevin Barnes:
“Well, our expectations are for him to start elevating his game, and right now with the corner situation we have he’s got to contribute on special teams. He’s got to be able to contribute in subgroups if we so chose to put him out there. And he’ll earn every bit of playing time, it will all be earned. He still has a ways to go. I like his athleticism I think he’s got a real knack of seeing the quarterback and where a receiver is going to be and how to go get the ball. He’s got good hands. He’s a young player who’s learning what the NFL is all about.”

On using instant replay in the preseason:
“I’m going to take every advantage of it as I possible can. I owe it to our football club for that. But I’ve got guys up in our press box who are looking for that. And when we see what we need to see, I’m throwing the flag. If there’s any kind of question then I’ve got to hesitate and I’m not sure about it. Sometimes you just can’t see it fast enough before the next play runs. So that creates some problems, but we’re right on that.”

On any injuries today:
Devin Clark came off with a sore knee, and I don’t know what the diagnosis is right now. We’re looking at that. Other than that nothing else happened today.”

On which players have been ruled out on Saturday:
“[Anthony] Aldridge, possibly Mike Williams with a sprained ankle, and we’re trying to see what’s up with Devin Clark. That might be the only three right now.”

Defensive Coordinator Greg Blache

On what he expects from LaRon Landry this season:
“LaRon [Landry] had a great second half to the season last year. If you look at his games like our second one against Baltimore and our second Dallas game, I think he had come into his own. It’s difficult, particularly a young player, to miss training camp and have that hamstring linger as long as it did, even early in the season it was still not 100 percent. I am looking for a huge year out of LaRon [Landry] because he is healthy and it is his third year. He has the position figured out; this could be a real break out year for him.”

On what to expect from LaRon Landry:
“Creating turnovers for us, having six to eight picks, having some devastating plays where he has got these highlight kind of hits and breakups on the ball, and at the end of it him taking a trip to Miami as a Pro Bowl safety as opposed to him being an alternate.”

On LaRon Landry making big plays:
“If you look at his second half the season of last year, he had some highlight plays. He had some picks; he had some plays on big routes. A lot of that comes from comfort in the position and comfort in your health. I know it’s there and I think if we have a whole season of it then we will have a lot of production from him.”

On London Fletcher:
“London is the coach on the field. London takes the call and he can interpret it once things happen. There are certain things I can call but once they break the huddle he can see different things. He has the ability, the leeway and the right to make checks and adjustments, to take and adjust the front from over to under or vice versa so he has a lot of responsibility. Also he is our leader, he’s our emotional leader and he’s our leader as far as strategy is concerned. He has a huge, huge role in our defense and I think he’s up to the task and I think the players respect him and they trust him. When he makes calls they trust what he is saying. He is a huge, huge portion of who we are and who we can be.”

On if not making the Pro Bowl last season affected London Fletcher:
“I don’t know. It wasn’t the first time that he had got snubbed so I don’t know. He is a very prideful man; he is very much a professional. Every year he comes and he prepares so I can’t say he has prepared any harder this year. But, one of the things I know in the back of our minds as staff is we want to kind of help him achieve this because he’s deserving of it because he does so much for us and he is such an unsung hero. What we are going to try to do is put him in situations where he can kind of showcase his abilities and stuff. I can do a better job when I am talking to the media and stuff, the production crews, talk about what he does and what he is capable of doing. A lot of it is salesmanship and I can do a better job of selling him.”

On if London Fletcher playing behind Albert Haynesworth and Cornelius Griffin should help him:
“It should. It should help all of us, but particularly him behind the football should allow him to be able to make more plays in the running game and also in the passing game. I think the interceptions and the flashy plays the kind of things they show at six o’clock, those things get you votes to Miami more than being a solid, sound player. I know the players like the fact that they won the Pro Bowl and went to Hawaii but like I was saying some of the best players in football every year never go to Hawaii. The guys that do their job, are unsung heroes, are the backbone and that impact football teams often get overlooked. But if we can get him to do some flashy plays to go along with all the things he does, then it’s just another thing on his half.”

On Albert Haynesworth taking playing time from Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery:
“They are professionals. When you go to work your editor doesn’t sit there and talk to you about everything that is going to happen. When you are a man you understand that this is your job, things are going to happen. I haven’t said a word to them about it. They have handled it well and have practiced. Part of getting a new contract is doing the job that you have now. If you can handle the role, people can recognize that and you will get that next contract. If you can’t adjust to your role then you have problems. If you move up and become a star or a starter you will have a problem if you can’t handle that role. A big part of being a professional is handling whatever role is thrown at you. I think they’ve handled it well and I suspect that they will continue to handle it well.”

On Kedric Golston:
“He has gotten better and better. Him and Anthony Montgomery have had a good camp. They really have had a good camp. Actually I think they both are better football players today than they were last year. But the season will play itself out; they just take care of themselves. One thing about the guys that play is that they will get paid. If you play, you will get paid. In this league, in this day and age if you play you got to get paid.”

On Reed Doughty’s role on the team:
“He has always been a [John] Havlicek for us. He has no problem coming off the bench, being that sixth guy, making plays, helping you win ball games without having to be a starter. The one thing we talked about is that in this day and age in the National Football League your starters and just the first 11 guys that run out on the field, but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily the most intricate portion of your whole football team. I think you can’t function without the Reed Doughty’s, and the Kedric Golston’s and those guys being able to come in. Nobody can play the whole game. It isn’t like when guys could come and play the game from start to finish in all positions. Up front it is such a physical game that you have to have a lot of people and even on that second level. On special teams, Reed has always been a dynamic specials teams player for us. He is a guy, a true professional, that has worked himself and rehabilitated his back and he has come on and has had a good camp. We are expecting a big year from Reed. One thing in our business is you are always one play away from being a starter. That guy in front of you turns an ankle, gets the flu, you got to be able to run out there and play and you can’t have a drop ball. I think our older guys are smart enough to recognize that and prepare that way. We have a lot of guys that are capable of being starters and we account for them in our minds.”

On Justin Tryon:
“Like I told Justin last week, I didn’t lose faith in him but I was disappointed in his performance. When we ask you to run we expect you to act like a big dog and run with the big dogs and play like one. He is just a second year guy, and that was his first time going out and having a start. I guess it was a big deal for him. But, when I talked to him last week I said, ‘you’re going to get a lot of heat in the press.’ He looked me right in they guy and said ‘Coach, don’t worry about me. I’ll be back and I’ll be able to play.’ That’s good. I think that put my mind at ease. Not that I was worried about him at all. I just think I’d like to have seen him have a better game but he didn’t. So we put him back in and work on it and try to improve and get better. That is what preseason is for and if we use it for anything else then we aren’t real smart as coaches.”

On Jeremy Jarmon:
“Well he seems very mature in the few conversations I have had with him. I don’t talk to the rookies. I don’t talk to the new guys; I really don’t, until they make the football team. It is hard enough when you have to cut guys that you have gotten to know and been around. So I don’t get close to the new people until we make the final cut. When we make the final cut then I’ll get into knowing some of the guys. The fact that he came so late-my first introduction to him was right before training camp-our conversations have been fairly limited. But the conversations that we have had, he does come across like a very mature, a very sound young man and he has played well. He’ll be here but when the time comes I’ll get to know him. But in the mean time he is still a rookie and those guys will break your heart.”

On Jeremy Jarmon on the field:
“He’s been very good as a football player. He is actually further along than I anticipated him being at this time. I didn’t think he’d be able to get on the field until October or November when we first took him. But watching him if we needed him to play early in the season I think he’ll be a guy that can go out on the field and hold his own in the run game and rushing the pass. I think he will be more comfortable as he becomes more confident in the system. But as far as certain situations, you see him when we gets to those certain spots where he is comfortable, he really is a fine football player. But hesitation comes in the areas he is not certain of yet and that is just a part of becoming a professional, just a part of being able to move up to being able to play on the stage as high and as fast a level as this game is here.”

On Fred Smoot playing some at safety:
“The thing that Fred is doing for us is that he has taken up the role that Shawn Springs did for us last year. He is in that veteran corner that can help the young guys. He can also branch out and help create some depth for us at a second position. I am very pleased and proud that he is willing to try that because it is not easy. It seems easy to just move over but it is not. It is a whole different perspective of the game inside than it is on the corner. I think that Fred realizes that at his age in his career that he can add some years to his career if he can go inside and play safety when he loses a step at corner. But right now he has been a real, real pleasant addition, not only as the player concern, but as far as leadership. As crazy as he is, and as much foolishness as he comes up with, he is also a fine leader. Behind all the clowning and stuff he is a guy that keeps guys loose but also keeps guys heading in the right direction on the field.”

On having a corner that can drop back and play safety:
“It is huge that we have a corner that can play inside at the nickel and also back up and play safety. Fred [Smoot] can do those things and DeAngelo [Hall] is learning how to do that for us. I think that’s huge. On a limited roster like we have in this league to have a guy that can be safety and if you have an injury you have a guy who can go outside. So you don’t loose packages. You are able to continue to play the packages that you had in the game plan by being able to move a corner inside or being able to move a safety outside.”

On if the defensive line will add move coverage:
“Honestly, our coverages will stay the same. I think it will help put some additional heat on the quarterback. We will continue to play sound coverages and I think we have a very variable type package where we aren’t lacking. People can’t say, ‘well they are just a one man team.’ I think we have improved ourselves. Paper is one thing. This game is not played on paper. We have improved ourselves a great deal on paper. Now we have to take it from there into the gray area and play between the white stripes on Sunday.”


Related Stories
Training Camp Report, Aug. 19
 -by DCProFootball.com  Aug 19, 2009
Training Camp Report, Aug. 18
 -by DCProFootball.com  Aug 18, 2009
Jim Zorn Quotes, Aug 18th, 2009
 -by DCProFootball.com  Aug 18, 2009


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TE Chris Cooley (profile)
S Reed Doughty (profile)
DT Kedric Golston (profile)
DT Albert Haynesworth (profile)
DE Jeremy Jarmon (profile)
DT Anthony Montgomery (profile)
CB Fred Smoot (profile)
OG Randy Thomas (profile)
CB Justin Tryon (profile)
OT Mike Williams (profile)
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