Bill Cowher was in play, at least on our end. It worked out.

Full story here at the Washington Times (speaking of, it was the Times Ryan O'Halloran who was the offending eye-roller, apparnetly, but it's all good now) though I quote the Redskins 360 cliff notes version because I'm one of them insular blogger types. David Elfin said:

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher just told me that Dan Snyder did call him about coaching the Redskins after Joe Gibbs surprised Washington's owner by suddenly retiring on Jan. 8.

"We talked," Cowher said. "It was a good talk. I was very flattered, but I expressed that it wasn't the right time."

I was troubled by how to frame the story, as we're now well beyond the point of caring about Bill Cowher not becoming the Redskins head coach. At the time, perhaps, there was a lot to be said about chinning up with Bill, but off to a 6-2 start I join my Redskins faithful friends in saying, uncontroversially:

We lucked out.

At the time of the hire I was as apprehensive as many fans, as we'd just taken a former QB coach and promoted him to his first head coaching job. I was unconvinced Zorn was the future and certainly others shared that skepticism. Quoting from Pro Football Prospectus:

Jim Zorn's huge leap to head coach comes with more questions than answers. The theme of his first minicamp involved the newcomers to the team, himself included, having to prove themselves to the veterans. Rookies got logo-less helmets. Zorn's opening speech to the team was part auto-biography. The core of veterans who control the locker room in Washington aren't stupid; they know Zorn is inexperienced, wasn't the team's first choice, and doesn't have anywhere near the pedigree that any of their previous coaches have had. If everything goes wrong in the first half of the season, there exists the distinct possibility that this coudl be a one-and-done head coaching career. That's not to say it's likely, but it's possible.

That's not the kind of thing that makes you leap out of bed in the morning, but thank goodness it all worked out. Safe to say that very little has gone "wrong in the first half of the season" and suggestions of one-and-doneness are easily dismissed in hindsight. A lot of coaches have to explain themselves and their performances this year, but Jim Zorn ain't one of them. If this continues -- this being something like a 12-4 record -- he'll be a candidate for coach of the year.

Speaking of candidates... once again, for I think the third time, Clinton Portis was nominated to FedEx's Ground Player of the Week. Having won it twice already, Portis is uniquely blessed to extend his lead over the field with a win this week. Not easy, though, given he's up against Brian Westbrook, who went off gang-busters style against the Falcons. Get voting, reader(s).

Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins

Portis rushed for 126 yards over 24 carries as the Redskins beat the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, 25–17.

(I suggest Drew Brees for the Air player of the week but whatev you want to do.)

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