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OC—The Zorn Identity

OC—The Zorn Identity

Jim Zorn has accepted an offer to become the offensive coordinator of the Redskins.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Zorn interviewed for the position but returned to Seattle after that and it seemed likely that he would stay in his current position as the quarterbacks coach of the Seahawks. There, he could have been in line to become Seattle's offensive coordinator after the announced retirement of Mike Holmgren after the 2008 season.

Apparently, Zorn decided to go with the bird in the hand and take the job with the Redskins.

Of course, the Redskins now have this ex-bird in hand while they're still beating the bushes for a new head coach. A couple of days ago, the buzz was that Zorn would be one of a trio of new coaches with Jim Fassel manning the head spot and Rex Ryan of the Ravens becoming the defensive coordinator. It appears that Ryan will remain with the Ravens (although he has yet to sign a new contract with Baltimore), Zorn is in and Fassel remains in limbo.

So what might this move mean in terms of the top job? I'll give another shot at reading the tea leaves here. I'm not sure what it means for Fassel. On the one hand, it would appear (that phrase is used a lot since the Redskins are saying nothing) that Fassel has signed off on Zorn to be his OC since they were linked last Wednesday. On the other hand, if Fassel is going to be the guy, why not go ahead and pull the trigger, giving yourself at least two-thirds of the triple crown of coaches envisioned a few days ago?

Another possibility, one I see as more likely, is that the Redskins have decided that the new head coach will be a defensive specialist—Gregg Williams, Jim Schwartz, or the guy who apparently is holding up this whole thing, Steve Spagnuolo. It has been reported that Williams has signed off on Zorn as the OC. Presumably Schwartz and Spagnuolo would take Rip Torn or Joe Horn as the offensive coordinator if that's what it took to get a shot at a top job.

But why now? As I wrote yesterday, the pool of available assistant coaches is drying up. If the Redskins indeed are going to wait until after the Super Bowl to talk to Spagnuolo, they need to take care of some other areas before all of the quality candidates are locked up. Seattle didn't have to let the Redskins talk to Spagnuolo; permission is only automatic when an assistant coach is interviewing for a head coaching job. Perhaps in a few weeks they might change their mind. If they wanted Zorn, they had to move.

The Redskins can now start to plan for free agency on one side of the ball, at least. Let's say that they take five days to interview Spagnuolo, make their choice, work out the contract, have the press conference and get down to work. That will leave them with three weeks until free agency starts.

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NFL Draft 2017: Going 22 deep on possible Redskins first round picks

NFL Draft 2017: Going 22 deep on possible Redskins first round picks

A lot has changed since the end of the college football season, and that's obvious when you consider all of the names the Redskins might look at with the 17th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night. 

Some players have surged up draft boards on the strength of strong combine or pro day efforts. Other have dropped, due to unfortunate incidents, injuries or poor measurements.

 <<<CLICK HERE TO OPEN ALL-22 LOOK AT REDSKINS POSSIBLE DRAFT 1ST ROUND DRAFT PICK>>>

Think about players like Teez Tabor or Zach Cunningham. Those guys play in the SEC and seemed like first-round locks two months ago. Now the 'Skins might be able to value shop for those players in the second round.

The flip side: A plyer like Haason Reddick. A star at the Senior Bowl who really busted out at the Combine, the Redskins might love to have him but he could be a Top 10 selection.

 <<<CLICK HERE TO OPEN ALL-22 LOOK AT REDSKINS POSSIBLE DRAFT 1ST ROUND DRAFT PICK>>>

All sorts of legal trouble and diluted urine samples will also impact draft night. Injuries too, or even the thought of possible injuries.

Few sporting events are as wild as the first round of the NFL Draft. Stay tuned with CSN for all your Redskins coverage. Chick Hernandez and Rich Tandler will be in Ashburn with the team, JP Finlay will be live in Philadelphia as the chaos unfolds. 

RELATED: A LOOK AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: Setting the odds on the Redskins' top draft pick one last time

Need to Know: Setting the odds on the Redskins' top draft pick one last time

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 27, 27 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 15
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 27
—Training camp starts (7/27) 91
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 136

Setting the odds one last time

So, today’s the day for the NFL draft and our final chance to make some Monopoly money on who the Redskins first-round pick will be. I’ve chosen five names from the various mock drafts out there and from my own analysis to come up with the five most likely players to be picked at No. 17. Then I broke out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and spread them out on the five players.

LB Haason Reddick, Temple, $30—Reddick could give the Redskins some versatility and learn the inside linebacker spot in the base 3-4 defense and then move to the edge in nickel situations. I’m nearing he’s a “hot” name but I’m not so sure I believe he’s a top-10 pick like I’ve been seeing in some mock drafts lately. Pick 17 seems to be about right for him.

LB Reuben Foster, Alabama, $25—Foster has more red flags than an interstate highway construction project, including a diluted drug test sample at the combine, multiple shoulder injuries, and getting upset during a wait for a medical test, also at the combine. But at some point, the talent makes the player too good a value to pass up at that point would be at No. 17.

Edge Takkarist McKinley, UCLA, $20—Of the five names on here this is the one with the least buzz. But the Redskins need an edge rusher and McKinley, who can win with speed and by being relentless, may be the best one available. A lot of fans may be surprised by this pick but nobody should be mad if it happens.

RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State, $20—I’ve been going back and forth about Cook. He’s undoubtedly a talented runner with breakaway potential. But some injury concerns and his fumbling problems create doubts about him. Then again, as with Foster there is a point where the talent outweighs the flags. I’m not so sure that No. 17 is the spot where that happens but I would not be shocked if the Redskins think that it is.

RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, $10—This is another player who supposedly zoomed up draft boards over the last few weeks without playing a single down. Five or six weeks ago he was a late first-round pick. Then he was a lock to go to the Eagles at 14 overall. Now everyone has him going to the Panthers with the eighth pick. The movement seems to be based more on pack journalism rather than any actual information coming out of teams. I’m not going to completely dismiss the chatter but I think there is a good enough chance that McCaffrey will be there when the Redskins pick to throw a few long shot dollars on him.

Bonus bet: As far as possible trades go, with an additional $100, I’ll go with $15 on a trade up, $35 on trade down, and $50 on staying put at 17.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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