Redskins fire coach Jim Zorn after 4-12 season - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Redskins fire coach Jim Zorn after 4-12 season

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ASHBURN, Virginia (AP) — Jim Zorn was fired as coach of the Washington Redskins on Monday after the team completed its worst season in 15 years.

Zorn was informed of his dismissal shortly after the team returned following Sunday's season-ending 23-20 loss at San Diego.

"No one in the organization is satisfied with our record over the last two years," team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement, "and I am sure that Jim would concur with that statement. It has been painful for him, too. I certainly accept responsibility for mistakes that I have made. I am hopeful that our fans will accept my commitment and pledge to deliver a franchise that can compete in the NFC East every season."

Zorn went 12-20 over two seasons, but he lost 18 of his last 24 games after a 6-2 start in 2008. The Redskins struggled early despite a weak schedule this season and finished 4-12, their worst record since 1994.

"The status quo is not acceptable," general manager Bruce Allen said in a separate statement. "I felt it was necessary to not waste a moment of time to begin building this team into a winner."

Former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan is considered the favorite to replace Zorn.

Zorn's replacement will be Washington's seventh coach since Snyder bought the team in 1999.

"Bruce Allen spent many hours examining the football operations, and we are both determined to do whatever it takes to build a championship team," Snyder said. "That process begins today."

Zorn's dismissal had been expected for months. The front office stripped him of his play-calling duties in late October, and Snyder has interviewed assistant coach Jerry Gray for the job weeks ago.

The new coach, Snyder and Allen will have a monumental task to rebuild a team with many roster deficiencies and major questions at offensive line, quarterback and running back.

Zorn, who had never previously been a head coach or coordinator in the NFL, wasn't even on Snyder's list of candidates when Joe Gibbs retired at the end of the 2007 season. Zorn become a last-minute option when other contenders either showed no interest, dropped out or were deemed unsatisfactory. Snyder initially hired Zorn to be the offensive coordinator, then promoted him to head coach two weeks later after an extensive interview.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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