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Jim Zorn vs. Sherm Lewis: 6 games each


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...Unfortunately for Zorn, am gathering Cerrato's perception of Zorn likewise colors his mood about the whole thing. The other day on his radio show, he complemented the young players for their improvement, said that Sherman Lewis called an "outstanding game" against the Saints. His mention of Zorn was a big fat ZERO.

I think Jim Zorn is getting a bad rap on the playcalling issue, but I think the criticism has been too light on his slow reaction to the poor performances of Thomas, Samuels and Portis who were not playing as well as in the past. It should not have taken new injuries to discover that their replacements could do better.

Sellers was making bad reads on the stretch play, but it took six games to use him as a TE in short yardage and goal line situations where he simply blocks the guy in front of him.

Similarly, it should not have taken an injury to Cooley to discover that Fred Davis is a weapon, especially useful in the red zone.

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I think Jim Zorn is getting a bad rap on the playcalling issue, but I think the criticism has been too light on his slow reaction to the poor performances of Thomas, Samuels and Portis who were not playing as well as in the past. It should not have taken new injuries to discover that their replacements could do better.

I agree about the Portis end of that point. So many people were calling for JC's head while Portis and the running game were really struggiling much worse. And I wonder why Portis always gets a pass?

If I am following your point correctly, not sure if I agree that Levi Jones was an upgrade over Samuels this season. I do think he's a major upgrade over Heyer at LT. As for Randy Thomas maybe. He was IMO so so in the beginning, but so was Rinehart who started poorly then played decently in his last two games. Mike Williams though seems to be a find at that RG spot. He didn't seem to be much of a RT but at RG he doesn't have to deal with speedy pass rushers and can use his girth to bulldoze people.

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I think the evidence, in this post and on the field, is inconclusive. What about the Dallas game? The offense was, once again, putrid. Six points??? Yet Lewis was involved for that game. Does that mean he forgot how to call a game that day? IMO, there are too many variables at work here to make a determination without inside info, specifically, coaches game tape.

For the Vinnie-haters [i'm one of them], what does this say about his chances to remain with the Redskins? I mean, if he brought in Lewis and the team does better with Lewis, isn't that a good move by Vinnie that strengthens his hold on our team?

What is plain to see is that some posters have a distinct, "from my lips to God's ears", opinion of themselves. "I said it so it must be true". And their desire to debate a single, often meaningless, point endlessly says enough about their personalities to me that I'm glad I don't know those people in real life.

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Remember the first year Zorn started coaching/calling plays we were winning. And we all said wait until the other teams figure out how to stop Zorn and get some tape on him.

Wouldn't that same reason still be applied here. Other teams don't have tape on the Sherms' yet. Give it time people. It will be back to normal.

I think a lot of it comes down to execution you can call the best plays in the world if plays dont execute those plays then its all for nothing. Now lewis might be calling some different plays that the players feelk comfortble with also.

This gives Zofrn more time to say you need to be here you need to be here at this point and so on

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Lewis has helped, but it's not just him. It's a combination of playcalling and execution. JC had good protection against NO which allowed him to throw the ball all over the place, which he didn't have the time to do in some of the earlier games: that's execution. On the flip side, there've been more bootlegs, which is something JC does well; that's playcalling.

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Has nothing to do with being set on it..at least give some credit where it's due...only some mental midget would think it's solely Lewis' addition that makes the difference. But those that think he has nothing to do with it...hmmm.

Doc Walker said it a good while back...you get those guys(Thomas, Kelly, Davis, etc. ) on the field..you find a way to get those guys out there, PERIOD! and if the so called, scheme is to intricate, difficult, etc. throw it out and simplify it or find a way to get those guys out there contributing making a difference.

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Lewis has helped, but it's not just him. It's a combination of playcalling and execution. JC had good protection against NO which allowed him to throw the ball all over the place, which he didn't have the time to do in some of the earlier games: that's execution. On the flip side, there've been more bootlegs, which is something JC does well; that's playcalling.

Lewis's playcalling is a minor factor at best. Bear in mind that the playcalls are limited by the game plan. Even the bootlegs you mentioned had to be installed as part of the game planning, which is still being done by the same people who did it before according to Chris Meidt.

The game plan was also pared down to eliminate slow-developing plays thus easing the protection problem.

Now, it's possible that Sherm Lewis has given Jim Zorn's staff other valuable input, suggestions which led to better play design. But, it's also likely that Zorn and his staff have adapted to the O-line problem better as the season progressed.

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Has nothing to do with being set on it..at least give some credit where it's due...only some mental midget would think it's solely Lewis' addition that makes the difference. But those that think he has nothing to do with it...hmmm.

Has anyone said that he has nothing to do with it? I haven't noticed that.

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I don't think you can lay all the blame or credit for the improved offense at one man's feet.

As has been discussed, the same people are still installing the game plan.

I think you have to give some credit to the coaching staff for realizing the limitations and adjusting . ( short drops and quick developing pass plays vs. 7 step drops and longer developing plays)

I tend to agree with the premise that better execution has made the play calling look better. And I think that execution looks better due to the fact the game plan has evolved to mask the weakness' of the offense and the line in particular.

Finding the right players for the line has helped. But we should also remember it does take time for offensive linemen to gel. A guard and tackle, and a guard and center have to know each how to play together, and develop chemistry. The only consistency along the offensive line this season has been at center and left guard. Dockery has had to adjust to having different guys on his left shoulder, while Rabach has had to adjust to having different guys on his right shoulder.

As we all know the success of the offense is predicated on the success of the O-Line. When you have only had 40% of the line being a constant, it's not that easy. ( but then again, credit the staff for installing the shorter quick developing pass plays in an attempt to offset this limitation)

Making use of the young skill-set players has also been a factor. But I don't think you can lay the praise squarely at the feet of play calling. You still have the same guy throwing them the football. It was not long ago that the only options in the passing game seemed to be Moss and Cooley. Now I don't propose to know the reasons for the ball being spread around more, but I do suspect you could see a hint of those reasons in practice. It's just my opinion, but I do believe familiarity and comfort in the receiver's abilities have to be factored.

There are just way to many variables in the offense to lay blame or praise at the feet of just one man. In my humble opinion, I do believe it's been a group effort.

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I, for one, wish to register my incredible level of surprise at the fact that Oldfan has burst into this thread and made it his personal mission to argue endlessly with anyone and everyone who would dare to suggest that Sherm Lewis has been a major factor in the offense's improvement.

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Of course all opponents are not equal, and I would like to point out the strength of schedule before I start talking about anything else offensively.

Redskins with Zorn calling plays:

2 Wins, 4 Losses.

Combined record to date of teams played: 19-53

Redskins with Sherm Lewis calling plays:

1 win, 5 Losses

Combined record to date of teams played: 50-22

Over the first 6 weeks of the season with Jim Zorn calling plays the offense averaged:

13.1 points per game

195.3 passing yards per game

98.6 rushing yards per game

Over the past 6 weeks of the season with Sherm Lewis (and Sherm Smith) calling the plays the offense averaged:

20.1 points per game

245 passing yards per game

103.3 rushing yards per game

That means with Sherm Lewis in charge we have produced on average 7 more points each game, 50 more passing yards, and just 5 more rushing yards.

Here are some other interesting statistics:

DEVIN THOMAS STATS, 2009

dt.jpg

With Zorn calling plays Devin Thomas had 4 catches for 26 yards through 6 games.

With Sherm Lewis calling plays Devin Thomas has had 19 catches for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns.

MALCOLM KELLY STATS, 2009

kelly.jpg

Kelly had 7 catches for 73 yards with Zorn

Kelly had 7 catches for 121 yards with Lewis

JASON CAMPBELL STATS, 2009

campbell.jpg

First 6 games: 107/163, 1,197 yards, 6 TD's, 6 INT's

Last 6 games: 137/207, 1,527 yards, 9 TD's, 6 INT's

---------------------------------------

Nobody is denying that the offense has been better over the last 6 weeks with Sherm Lewis calling the passes. To me it looks like our 2nd rounders from last season were being held back by the offensive play calling. Zorn was squandering the talents of Thomas and Kelly.

It looks like Campbell has really stepped it up as well. Zorn may be a good quarterbacks coach, and Campbell might not be a great quarterback, but he may be much better than we thought he was over the first 6 weeks of the season, in fact he may be good enough to just hang on to for another year or two while we build more important parts of our team such as the offensive line.

Just something to think about.

By looking at your chart (Just to keep it simple) Lewis playcalling would've destroyed all those mediocre teams Zorn had the pleasure of calling, just look how he schooled the Raiders!!!!

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Obvious no brainer. Sherm.

We may have lost, but we were winning or in it at the 4th qtr. Had it not been for stupid mistakes which were player caused, we would have won.

I think the difference is night and day. We have played much better with Sherm calling plays. The O is much more productive.

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I, for one, wish to register my incredible level of surprise at the fact that Oldfan has burst into this thread and made it his personal mission to argue endlessly with anyone and everyone who would dare to suggest that Sherm Lewis has been a major factor in the offense's improvement.

A poster I have hammered in past debate is heard from.

If you must crack wise, can't you at least rise above the level of sarcasm. There's no sin worse on an internet board than being boring.

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It really doesn't matter who is calling the plays....big changes are coming. One addition to helping Lewis was the addition of Levi Jones.

It's not all cut and dry. Zorn started 6-2 last season because defenses didn't know his tendencies.

...And... Sherm Lewis is calling Jim Zorn's plays... not sherm's plays.

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A poster I have hammered in past debate is heard from.

If you must crack wise, can't you at least rise above the level of sarcasm. There's no sin worse on an internet board than being boring.

I believe this is the second time in as many discussions that you've tried to sound excessively intelligent while coming up with some sort of quasi-insult, only to botch the English language in the process.

Try ending a question with a question mark next time. You'll look super-smart. And you'll be typing your guts out.

the_more_you_know2.jpg

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I agree. I think it is a combination of Sherm Lewis and the players. Just watching the Skins play now compared to earlier in the season they seem to be playing harder.

That's what's up; and it all started with Portis going out. You don't think these guys were upset with the special treatment that Portis was getting - not practicing, getting the start, and still running soft?

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New Players = better running game

Sherm Lewis = better passing game

The problem can not be blamed on the players or "execution!" it is up to the play caller to know what plays his team is able to execute.

Jason is finally being used in a way he can be successful!

that is..

Shotgun

Play Action Passes

Designed roll outs

we can all thank Sherm Lewis for getting the most out of Jason Campbell

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Everyone is soooo set that the difference is Sherm Lewis... but in reality.... there are a number of changes that happened then. Portis is now out, Cooley is out, and our other receivers have been forced to step up as a result. I think the difference is the players touching the ball, not the play calling. Zorn isn't the best at it, but Sherm Lewis didn't make THAT BIG of an impact.

Yes, it's elementary logic that when your starters go out and you bring in players cut by other teams mid-season that your offensive production goes up. I'm not sure why more teams don't do this.

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Technically, it's supposed to apply in all situations... Given it refers to "most likely" likelihood anyway. Many who argue constantly here came to a conclusion long ago and will break numerous rules to defend their stance.

Would you like to discuss Occam's Razor, and tell us how it applies to this issue? Perhaps you could start by explaining how it "technically is supposed to apply in all situations." I've never heard that claim before.

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Yes, it's elementary logic that when your starters go out and you bring in players cut by other teams mid-season that your offensive production goes up. I'm not sure why more teams don't do this.

We agree on this. I have never understood why coaches play veteran starters, who, because of injuries, can't cut it as they did in the past. Are their healthy replacements really that bad?

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I think Jim Zorn is getting a bad rap on the playcalling issue, but I think the criticism has been too light on his slow reaction to the poor performances of Thomas, Samuels and Portis who were not playing as well as in the past. It should not have taken new injuries to discover that their replacements could do better.

The head coach should let the OL coach pick the best players for the OL unit each game. If there is a failing in letting Thomas/Samuels play when injured then the criticism should be directed at Bugel. I've always wondered why Bugel and other Skins coaches seem to prefer to have a vet play at 85% rather than insert a rookie. But then I don't get to see the rookies in practice either.

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