Redskins head coach Jim Zorn was “alarmed”this morning when he walked into his office at Fedex Field and found former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan sitting behind his desk. Shanahan was accompanied by owner Daniel Snyder, who told Zorn he was “just giving him a tour.”
“Wow, that was weird,” Zorn told reporters afterward. “I walk into my office, and there’s Mike Shanahan sitting there, his hands folded behind his head, looking around. Then he was measuring the wall space, opening and closing drawers, inspecting the bathroom. And Mr. Snyder is standing there with him telling him to take all the time he needs. Then he sees me and says, ‘Oh Jim! I didn’t expect you so early! I was just giving Mike the, uh, tour. He’s a big Redskins fan.”
Shanahan then asked Zorn a series of questions that led Zorn to believe he would soon be moving into his office.
“He asked me if it gets drafty during the winter,” said Zorn. “Then he asked me if I was going to be taking the desk with me if I leave. Then he said he really liked all the wall space and that it would be a great place to hang photos of the 1998 Super Bowl if, hypothetically speaking, a person with a framed collection of such photos were inclined to hang them in his office. I don’t know. It sure seems like he’s planning to take my job. Or am I just being paranoid because we've been struggling?”
Shanahan then asked Snyder if it would be possibly to knock down one of the walls and expand the office so one could put a treadmill and exercise bike there if one were so inclined, hypothetically speaking. Snyder replied in the affirmative.
Zorn then asked if the two men could leave so he could begin his work for the day.
“When I asked them to leave, Mr. Snyder shot me this angry look like I was embarrassing him in front of company or something,” Zorn recalled. “But Mike was like ‘Oh, sure, we were just wrapping up.’ Then he asked me if he could leave something on my desk. It was a name plate with his name on it. He was like ‘I don’t feel like lugging this around with me anymore. Can I leave it on your desk for now? Thanks.’ Then he just knocked my name plate onto the floor and put his in its place.”
“So what do you think?” he added. “Am I reading too much into this or what?”
Later, Zorn went out to his car and found Mike Shanahan’s name painted over his in the head coach’s parking space, a discrepancy Daniel Snyder explained as “probably just some teen vandals having a little fun.”
Shanahan, when reached for comment, said he had no interest in the Redskins job and had not been in contact with Daniel Snyder.