Redskins coach Jim Zorn, 12.16.09

Q. Do you think a team in your situation embraces the spoiler role, especially when it is against a pretty good rival in the division?

A. I don’t want to look at it as a spoiler role for our football team. What I want to do is just win because we earned it. If we can earn the win, I want it to be more for us than winning it for somebody else. Yet what’s exciting about this game is it is a division opponent, it has a lot of meaning just because it is a division opponent, and it’s a Monday night game. We hope we can stay on track, that’s what we are looking forward to.

Q. Are you surprised after the Giants 5-0 start they are in the position they are right now?

A. Well, it’s just hard to win. I am not surprised; it doesn’t make them a poor team. We have had our own struggles since the last time we played New York as well. We have gone different paths. I think both teams continue to improve, continue to fight. That’s what I see in them. They are coached well, they play with heart and they just have come out at the short end of some of the situations. You take three or four plays, things that I look at, and it can be just the opposite. They can be dominating. 

Q. Your offense has been putting up points the last three weeks even thought you haven’t had Clinton Portis or Chris Cooley. Is that surprising to you? What has been the difference?

A. Well, we just continue to improve. That has probably been the difference is that our guys are playing better, we are executing much better. We are hanging together as a football team and I think that has made a huge difference for us. Even though we have lost some close games, we haven’t just given up and I think that is a testament to our players, our coaches for continuing to kind of get back in line and try again and to see if our next plan is to see if we can finish it. That has probably been our biggest nemesis, finishing at the end.

Q. What contribution has Brian Orakpo made for you guys?

A. Well, pretty dramatic last week as you can see. He was the NFC defensive player of the week. Yet all year long he has given great effort at the D-end position. He has lightened his load a little bit for a couple games at the linebacker position and he just got right back at it. He is playing at a pretty high level for us as a young rookie.

Q. Is it hard to navigate around outside influences pertaining to what is going to happen next year and things like that? Is it hard for you personally and professionally?

A. Well, I think it’s a fair question. What I try to do is continue to stay the course with which we have started.  Sometimes it tries to snake around a little bit. I feel like we have a strong coaching staff. I think I owe it to our fans, our players, our coaches to keep my concentration and not worrying about all the peripheral distractions, especially speculation. That’s what I have done and I think all that stuff will take care of itself as it works itself through. This is not the first time that this has happened to a coach in the National Football League. This is something that goes on and I kind of recognize all that. Some of those things are out of my control and I try to stay concentrated on things that are in my control.

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