Beware anybody who claims something is their “sacred duty.”
Righteousness is a scary personality trait.
For example, how about Senator Jay Rockefeller earlier this summer: “We cannot finish this year without passing major health care reform. It's our sacred duty to the American people."
Meanwhile, Jim Zorn stated that it was his “duty” to challenge a muffed punt by Antwaan Randle El on that resulted in a turnover.
For those that don't know the play. Here goes....
Antwaan Randle El is clearly, undisputedly crashed into by a team-mate who was trying to block for him. It was my understanding, that this is a penalty on the kicking team.
I was wrong.
In the rule book, you will find....
RULE 10, Section 1, Article 4
No opponent may interfere with the fair catcher, the ball, or his path to the ball. Penalty: 15 yards from spot of foul and fair catch is awarded.
Article 4 During any kick (except one which fails to cross the scrimmage line), if
any receiver could reach the kick in flight, no player of the kickers shall interfere with
a - the receiver;
b - the ball; or
c - the receiver’s path to the ball
NOTE: Nothing here that says “but it's okay if you get blocked into the receiver making the fair catch.”
Still, at first, the refs called “illegal touching” because they thought the Panthers touched the ball, not the blocked Westbrook. But then they huddled up, and got the call right.
That's when Zorn, decided to challenge. Why? Because he claims it was his “duty” to do so!
Whenever a coach makes a challenge like that, it is because he is weak and timid. He is basically begging the refs for mercy. “Oh, please, please, help us out here!”
If you were to summarize Zorn's red flag appeal, it would go something like this: “Realllllyyy? Are you sure? Like, uh, sure-sure, about that? You are. Really? Um, could you check? Uh huh. Sure. I'll wait right here. Thanks.”
"Well, you know, it was, the officials recommended that because of all the confusion that, you know, hey, you know, this is, a, you know, they just said this is a challengeable call," Zorn smoothly explained during his press conference. "And up in the box, we were debating the rule of the fair catch, and so I wanted them to rehash that, and I thought it was the right call to challenge. I mean, if I didn't challenge it, I would be kicking myself if it could have been in our favor, so it was worth the timeout for me."
Writes Dan Steinberg on the DC Sports Bog:
No. False. Wrong answer. Try again. First of all, I wasn't familiar with that rule, and I wish I had been, but I'd have expected a staff full of NFL assistants to know the rule book better than me. Second of all, "Wanted them to rehash that?" I mean, like what, change their minds about the rules? Third of all, it would only have been "worth the timeout" if spending the timeout had earned you anything. Like, say, a donut. Since the call was clearly correct, this was taking a timeout and lighting it on fire for no reason at all.
Earlier in the half, Zorn flushed his 1st timeout because he claims the refs were slow to spot the football on a 4th and 3.
"What happened on that, it was the fourth-down call, and we're waiting for them to spot the ball," Zorn said. "Well, the clock's running, and I'm looking, I'm trying to call a play, but I don't know where they're going to spot the ball. I don't know if it's gonna be 4th-and-5, 4th-and-2, 4th-and-7, what was it gonna be. And so all's I could do was call timeout."
Net-net: Zorn's an incompetent clown.
Should the Redskins ever find themselves in a big game, do you have even the remotest sense that Zorn would be able to navigate the tight strategic waters of a close game in the 4th quarter?
And yet, I still get these emails. This is real. I kid you not.
TO: Steve and Andy
FROM: Brian Hobbs
You guys make my hair hurt and my head ache. You drone on and on about the Skins. First of all the Skins had that game won until El and Blades blew it on special teams. I still have not heard you mention did El not have his hand up for a fair catch? If that is a legitimate play then lets begin practicing blocking a receiving team player into the guy calling for a fair catch and we will get better over night i guarantee. Zorn has all the tools to be the next Gibbs. He needs some sideline time to get comfortable we need to give these guys some time before we pile on. It took your BMF Cowher years to become a consistent winner. It takes more than 18 months it takes 3-4 years give the man the time and yes Andy stop looking at your watch because we need to draft some players too. GET OVER IT IT TAKES TIME IN THE NFL.
REACT: (jaw drop... blink... blinkblink.)