Ever since then, as the losses have mounted, he's grown accustomed to the whispers and the stares and the general sense from all sorts of people that his job was in jeopardy.
"It's kind of all around. I get hit with 'the look,"' Zorn said Monday. "And I get all that. I just have to press on. I have to push forward. So I had made a decision, when the first inkling of all this, all the speculation -- I think it was after beating the Rams 9-7, you know, earlier in the season -- I just made a decision then: I'm going to stay focused and see this through."
Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten said Monday that secondary coach Jerry Gray interviewed with Redskins owner Dan Snyder several weeks ago. Wooten said the interview satisfies the Rooney Rule that requires teams to talk to a minority candidate when filling a head coaching position. Wooten said it didn't matter that the job is not yet vacant.
Still, with one game left in what he described as a "morbid" season, Zorn insisted his players' effort shouldn't be questioned and said he really would like to finish with a victory over the Chargers.
"I just don't want to moan and groan about it all. I don't want to create a situation where people look at me and feel sorry for me. Because some of this, I'm responsible for," said Zorn, who is 6-17 since starting 6-2 with Washington. "I'm the head football coach, and we've got four games under our belt. That's not good, regardless of what the situation is."
With all of the distractions, all of the disorder, surrounding his team, perhaps Zorn can be forgiven for losing track of the losses.
Pssst, Jim: This season might seem interminable, but NFL clubs still play only 16 games.
He poked fun at himself for that Monday, saying he was "delirious."
Asked if it feels as though his team is 4-13, Zorn smiled and said, "Oh, gosh, yeah."
After Sunday's loss, cornerback Carlos Rogers also mentioned that game in Week 2 against St. Louis as the beginning of Washington's problems.
He also referenced all of the off-field distractions -- from the hiring of the retired Sherman Lewis to call plays, to the resignation of front-office chief Vinny Cerrato, to defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth's complaints -- and lamented: "There's been so much stuff with players, with coaches."
Or as Zorn put it Monday: "Each week, it's been something different, hasn't it?"
"I truly am having a great experience. It's not fun, but it is a great experience," Zorn said. "And there are better days ahead. And I think we're trying to deal with all the adversity that comes each day."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press