As the clock ticks down on Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn, some around the NFL believe it will start ticking loudest shortly after the team's Monday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 26. With Washington's bye week scheduled for Week 8 (Nov. 1-2), some NFL executives are pointing to the week before as a logical time for Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to fire Zorn if the team does not have a sudden and dramatic turnaround.
To read the rest of Adam Schefter's latest take on the Zorn situation, plus his thoughts about the struggles of Clinton Portis and whether the Skins will draft a quarterback in 2010, you must be an ESPN Insider.
Washington's next game is Sunday against Kansas City -- the sixth straight winless team the Redskins will have played this season -- before the Monday nighter against the Eagles. If the 2-3 Redskins continue to struggle, many believe that the bye week would be an ideal time for the increasingly impatient and itchy Snyder to shake up his franchise.
By acting so early in the season, Snyder would have a head start in interviewing Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Brian Billick or any other sidelined coach. Washington also has potential interim candidates on staff -- defensive coordinator Greg Blache and secondary coach Jerry Gray.
But anyone looking for clues as to when Snyder might act needs to pay close attention to the Redskins from the moment after they play the Eagles on Monday Night Football. It could be when the clock starts ticking loudest.
From the Mailbag
Q: If you had to make odds on who would be the coach of the Redskins in 2010 who's the favorite?
--Frank (Riverdale, Md.)
A: Frank: I'd say it's a tossup between one of the Mikes -- Holmgren or Shanahan. Could see either one winding up in Washington. But if and when Redskins owner Daniel Snyder makes a change, I see him going for a proven commodity. He's gone the unproven-commodity route in Jim Zorn, the proven-commodity route in Joe Gibbs, and the results speak for themselves. Look for a proven commodity next time.
Q: Clinton Portis has been killing my fantasy team every week. He's rushing for almost 30 less yards A GAME this season and has only one touchdown. That can't be Jim Zorn's fault too. ... Or is it?
--Jeff (Durham, N.C.)
A: It comes back to Clinton, Jeff. Those who know football say that Portis is too heavy right now. He's not running with the same quickness that was once a hallmark of his game. That's not to say he couldn't get it back -- he could, he's certainly young and talented enough. But maybe, in a backhand way, Zorn is part of the problem because it sure seems as though Portis and Zorn don't always see eye to eye. And a player is likely to do more for his coach when they're in agreement. So Zorn could be an issue in this. But more of the responsibility has to come back to Portis himself. Not saying he can't return to the great back he once was, because he can. But he will struggle to do it in the condition he now is in.
Q: Are the Skins getting anywhere near the production they paid Albert Haynesworth all that money for? It's kind of tough to see his impact in a box score.
A: It's easy to say that all the way around, Matthew. Daniel Snyder has spent a lot of money for a 2-3 team that has yet to play a team with a win on its record. That streak continues Sunday when the Redskins play the winless Kansas City Chiefs. Haynesworth has played OK this season, nothing great. But he has not disrupted games the way he did at Tennessee last season.
Q: Is a QB in store for the Redskins in the 2010 draft? There's a lot of talent coming out, and it seems no one has any faith in Jason Campbell anymore (not that we ever really did). If Zorn goes, you'd have to think his pet project would too.
--Don (Richmond, Va.)
A: All depends on who the new coach is and what he thinks of Jason Campbell, Don. I'd expect that, whichever coach comes in would like to draft a quarterback in the first round if there's one worth taking. Coaches like to build teams with their guys; Campbell's not the new coach's guy. That's not to say he can't be a good quarterback in this league; I think he can. But he's been through so much change and instability in Washington and, unfortunately, he's about to experience some more.
• With kicker Adam Vinatieri nursing a knee injury, the Indianapolis Colts are planning to bring in former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover for a tryout, two NFL sources said Monday. The Colts are on a bye week so there's no urgency for them to act. But Vinatieri is going to have his knee examined this week and, depending on that, Indianapolis could be forced to sign a kicker. Stover tried out last week for the New York Giants, who decided to stick with veteran Lawrence Tynes.
Updated 2:42 p.m. ET
• Former New York Giants WR David Tyree, part of the most famous play in Super Bowl history, cut short his visit to Tampa and returned to Baltimore to sign with the Ravens. He is expected to sign later today, according to an NFL source.
Updated 4:16 p.m. ET
• Later today, the Cowboys will sign veteran returner Allen Rossum, whom the 49ers released to make room for Michael Crabtree. Rossum worked with cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillas in Atlanta.