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Jim Zorn looked like a veteran pacing the sidelines, talking to the officials and evaluating players.
He even sounded like one after the game.
The new Washington coach watched Colt Brennan throw two touchdowns in the second half and Washington scored the final 21 points to give Zorn a 30-16 victory over Indianapolis in Sunday night's Hall of Fame Game.
"For the first game, I don't have anything to be disappointed about," he said after his head coaching debut. "On defense, we did a good job in the red zone and kept them from scoring a couple of times. I liked that."
Zorn is replacing Joe Gibbs, the three-time Super Bowl winner who retired for the second time after last season.
So he's already under scrutiny.
But his first game also included additional pressure. With thousands of Redskins fans in town to see two of their most revered players, Art Monk and Darrell Green, inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Monk and Green part of the capacity crowd Sunday night, Zorn had to make good on what had been scripted as the perfect Washington weekend.
Brennan made sure it was. The Hawaii quarterback, a Heisman finalist last year, delivered a nearly flawless performance in his first professional game. He was 9-of-10 for 123 yards with two touchdowns, one to tie the score in the third quarter and the other to give Washington the lead for good early in the fourth. Brennan's quarterback rating of 157.5 was just under the NFL's perfect rating of 158.3
It impressed Zorn, a former NFL quarterback.
"More than his throws, what I was pleased with is how he was looking to the right guy when he was backpedaling," he said. "He knew the plays, knew the routes. He should feel very good about his performance."
Both teams were short-handed.
Indy played without seven starters including injured two-time league MVP Peyton Manning, 2007 defensive player of the year Bob Sanders, former league sacks champion Dwight Freeney and record-setting receiver Marvin Harrison. The Colts also lost Pro Bowl running back Joseph Addai with a head injury after their second offensive play.
Coach Tony Dungy pulled the rest of his starters after one series. Jim Sorgi, who filled in for Manning, was 7-of-10 for 66 yards before leaving after Indy's 16-play opening drive.
"I didn't know how long I was going to play, but that first series was a long one," Sorgi said. "Coach said that was enough to get my work in. I was happy to get to play with a lot of the more experienced players."
The Redskins were missing all four starting defensive linemen; linebackers London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh, cornerback Carlos Rogers and safety LaRon Landry. Plus, they did not have Clinton Portis or Ladell Betts, their top two running backs.
Without them, the Redskins looked a little ragged after Jason Campbell hooked up with Antwaan Randle El on a 20-yard TD pass on the Redskins' third play.
Washington's only other first-half score came when Colts rookie Jamey Richard snapped the ball over the head of quarterback Quinn Gray and through the end zone for a safety.
Indy had other problems. Despite several long, time-consuming drives they settled for three field goals and scored just one touchdown, a 30-yard pass from Gray to Onrea Jones, which gave Indy a 10-9 lead in the second quarter.
"We did a lot of good things, a lot of things to be pleased about," Dungy said. "There's always the mistakes and that's what we've got to work on."
Brennan took advantage, finding Maurice Mann on a 20-yard TD pass in the third quarter and engineering an 88-yard drive that he finished by scrambling around long enough to thread a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Mason. That made it 23-16 with 10:22 left.
Matterral Richardson sealed the victory by picking off Jared Lorenzen and sprinting 38 yards for a touchdown with 1:50 to go, giving Zorn his first career win &
even though it won't count when the regular-season starts.
"I was excited to have a big turnover for a touchdown at the end," Zorn said. "That shows the guys playing it all the way through."
Redskins put on a show
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