The prevailing thought regarding the job security of Redskins coach Jim Zorn has been that he’s insulated from in-season termination by the number of hats that he wears.
Zorn, after all, is the head coach, the quarterbacks coach, and he calls the plays.
On Tuesday, the Redskins arguably took a step aimed at easing any eventual transition that might occur.
The Redskins have announced that Sherm Lewis has been hired to serve as an offensive consultant.
“Sherm Lewis is an outstanding coach who has been an instrumental member of four Super Bowl championship teams,” executive V.P. of football operations Vinny Cerrato said in a release. “Sherm’s history started with the innovator of the West Coast Offense, Bill Walsh, and over the past two decades he has directed some of the best offenses, and coached and developed some of the league’s premier players. He has a diverse NFL background, having coached running backs, wide receivers, and serving as a coordinator. Jim and Sherman share a common bond in that they both worked for Mike Holmgren at different times in their careers. Sherman’s overall experience and expertise will be a tremendous addition to our coaching staff. His track record humbles us all.”
“The Redskins contacted me and told me they wanted a fresh set of eyes, and I intend to provide just that,” Lewis said. “I am grateful to join this offensive team and an organization with such a great tradition. I am looking forward to working with Jim Zorn, Sherman Smith, Joe Bugel and the rest of the coaching staff.”
Despite the obvious implication that, if Zorn were getting the job done, there would be no need for a “fresh set of eyes,” Zorn sees the glass as 10-percent full.
“We’re happy to have Sherm’s set of eyes and voice to help us as we continue to find ways to create success on offense,” Zorn said. “I am excited to have him on the staff and welcome his input.”
Lewis last worked for an NFL team in 2004, with the Lions. He has served as offensive coordinator of the Packers and the Vikings, and he won three Super Bowl rings as a position coach with the 49ers from 1983 through 1991.
Lewis was at times considered for head-coaching positions, but he never received any offers. He declined an opportunity to interview for the Lions’ job in 2004, when anyone with a pulse and a functioning brain knew that CEO Matt Millen needed a minority candidate to satisfy the Rooney Rule at a time when Steve Mariucci had been hand-picked for the job.