The Ravens filled their final – and perhaps most intriguing – coaching vacancy on Saturday with the hiring of Jim Zorn to be their quarterbacks coach.
Zorn brings an impressive resume of a professional playing career that spanned from 1976-87, an 11-year stint as a quarterbacks coach and two years as head coach of the Washington Redskins.
"Jim played successfully in the NFL for a long time," said head coach John Harbaugh. "He knows what quarterbacks go through in this league. He has been a quarterbacks coach and a head coach, and he is familiar with our offense. That's a great résumé.
"I've gotten to know Jim for the last couple of years, and I have been impressed with him as a person. He's a good, decent man, and he will be an excellent addition to the Ravens. This is an exciting addition to our staff."
Zorn replaces Hue Jackson, who left last week to be the Oakland Raiders' offensive coordinator, to take over the duties of tutoring Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in his third season. Even though he has not met Flacco yet, Zorn sees lots of opportunity with the young signal-caller.
"I've got all kinds of methods and ways, but I've got to learn who Joe is and what I can help him with," Zorn told BaltimoreRavens.com. "What I see in watching Joe is that he's got some great, natural talent, and he uses it. I don't know enough about him yet to see where I can help him, but that will come. I haven't even walked in the door yet."
Flacco will certainly have an established mentor.
During a nine-year tenure with the Seattle Seahawks, Zorn completed 1,593 of 2,990 passes for 20,122 yards, 107 touchdowns and 133 interceptions. The Cal Poly Pomona product also was voted the NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1976 by the NFLPA.
Zorn also boasted three consecutive 3,000-yard seasons from 1978-80, a Seahawks record that was only recently broken by current Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
As a coach, Zorn has made his mark on the NFL. He was instrumental in developing Detroit Lions rookie quarterback Charlie Batch during the 1998 campaign. Batch's 88.3 passer rating that season ranks as the fourth-highest rookie mark in NFL history. Then in 2003, Zorn teamed with Hasselbeck to set a franchise record with 3,841 passing yards.
What's more, Zorn helped Hasselbeck set a Seattle single-season mark for attempts (562), completions (352) and yards (3,966), while also compiling a career-high 28 touchdowns, en route to Hasselbeck's third Pro Bowl selection.
Even though Zorn coached the Redskins to a disappointing 12-20 record in two seasons, it cannot be denied that Washington quarterback Jason Campbell progressed. With Zorn at the helm, Campbell went from throwing for 3,245 yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2008 to 3,618 yards, 20 scores and 15 picks in 2009. And, Campbell's passer rating rose from 84.5 to 86.4 over that two-year span.
But Zorn isn't resting on his past achievements, nor is he dwelling on his stint down I-95 in the District of Columbia.
"I'll be able to earn the right to be heard, and we're going to start a good working relationship to see how things work," said Zorn. "The thing that I feel confident about in what I do with QBs is that it doesn't make any difference in what I do unless it transfers. It's not all about me. It's really all about Joe, whether he plays better and can improve on a promising first two years."