Jim Zorn was fired by the Washington Redskins early Monday, the first step in yet another team overhaul under owner Dan Snyder.
Zorn was informed of his dismissal shortly after the team returned to Redskins Park following Sunday’s season-ending 23-20 loss at San Diego.
“I just know that last place is not Redskins football,” general manager Bruce Allen said. “Last place two years in a row is not Redskins football.”
Zorn went 12-20 over two seasons, but he lost 18 of the last 24 games after a 6-2 start in 2008.
“No one in the organization is satisfied with our record over the last two years,” Snyder said in a statement released by the team, “and I am sure that Jim would concur with that statement. It has been painful for him, too.”
Zorn’s replacement will be Washington’s seventh coach since Snyder bought the team in 1999. Playing a role in the decision will be Allen, who was hired as the GM last month.
“We’re in the process of talking to people,” Allen said. “We have a good game plan of what we’re going to do.”
Zorn’s dismissal had been expected for months. The front office stripped him of his play-calling duties in late October, and Snyder interviewed assistant coach Jerry Gray for the job weeks ago, according to the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors minority hiring in the NFL.
•Redskins meet with Shanahan : The Redskins moved quickly in their pursuit of Mike Shanahan, flying in the former Denver Broncos coach on the same day the team fired Jim Zorn.
Shanahan and wife Peggy landed at Dulles International Airport near Redskins Park in mid-afternoon and were driven away in a limousine to meet with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen. Snyder planned for Shanahan to stay overnight at the owner’s house in Maryland.
•Bills open off-season with coaching staff purge: The Buffalo Bills cleared the way for their next head coach, informing their entire coaching staff to start looking elsewhere for jobs.
Interim head coach Perry Fewell was among those relieved of his duties, though the Bills said he is still a candidate and will be interviewed. The growing list of candidates likely will include ex-NFL head coaches Brian Billick, Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Cowher.
•Jets LB Harris’ status unclear: New York Jets linebacker David Harris has a sprained right ankle and his availability for the wild-card playoff game at Cincinnati on Saturday is uncertain.
Losing Harris would be a huge blow to the Jets’ top-ranked defense. He leads the team in tackles and has 51/2 sacks and two interceptions.
Harris was injured in the first half of New York’s 37-0 victory over the Bengals on Sunday night.
•Patriots press on after Welker’s knee injury: Wes Welker covered his head with a towel as he was carted off the field with his pants leg pulled above his left knee. It was the last look at the star receiver in a Patriots uniform for this season.
Teammates and coach Bill Belichick were resigned to moving into the playoffs without him even before Welker underwent an MRI on the knee.
Welker’s left leg buckled without being hit as he planted it at the Houston 49-yard line while running after a short reception – his NFL-best 123rd and last of the season.
•Arizona nursing injuries: Three players who fill significant roles for the Arizona Cardinals are nursing injuries heading into the postseason.
Wide receiver Anquan Boldin has a sprained left ankle, defensive end Calais Campbell a broken left thumb and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie a bruised left kneecap.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt seemed optimistic that Campbell and Rodgers-Cromartie would be ready when Arizona hosts Green Bay in a wild card game Sunday. He was more vague about Boldin’s status, pending the results of a Monday exam.
•Dolphins’ QB White out of hospital: Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Pat White was out of the hospital and back at the team’s training complex after a scary helmet-to-helmet collision with Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor briefly left him motionless.
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