Redskins kick out Zorn, bring in Shanahan for interview

The Washington Redskins moved quickly in their pursuit of Mike Shanahan on Monday, flying in the former Denver Broncos coach and his wife on the same day the team fired Jim Zorn.

Shanahan and wife Peggy landed at Dulles International Airport near Redskins Park in mid-afternoon and were driven in a limousine to meet with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen. Snyder planned for Shanahan to stay overnight at the owner’s house in Maryland, and a formal hiring announcement could come as early as today.

Shanahan’s arrival was the highlight of a long day as the Redskins sought a new direction after a 4-12 season. The first move came in the pre-dawn hours, when Zorn was dismissed during a meeting in his office with Allen.

“It’s real clear that we’re going to be aggressive,” Allen said. “What we’re looking for in a head coach is somebody who can lead these men that we had in our locker room this year to levels they haven’t played through before.”

Shanahan won two Super Bowls in 14 seasons with the Broncos. He was fired a year ago after Denver missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Shanahan would be expected to bring his son, Houston Texans offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, with him to Washington.

Zorn, a former Seahawks quarterback and assistant coach, went 12-20 over two seasons and lost 18 of his last 24 games after a 6-2 start in 2008. The Redskins struggled early this season despite a weak schedule and finished with their worst record since 1994.

Zorn’s replacement will be Washington’s seventh coach since Snyder bought the team in 1999. The Redskins are 82-99 on his watch, missing the playoffs in eight of 11 seasons.

Fiancee: Henry jumped

Chris Henry’s fiancee says he jumped out of the back of her truck instead of falling and that she wasn’t driving fast on the day the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was fatally injured.

Loleini Tonga told ESPN that she thinks Henry thought he would land safely and may have been scared because he saw someone calling the police. She said he didn’t jump with the intention of harming himself.

The two had argued Dec. 16 at the home owned by Tonga’s parents in Charlotte, N.C. She didn’t say what the argument was about.

Previously, it was reported that Henry fell from Tonga’s truck.

Extra points

The Bills opened their offseason with a purge by firing interim coach Perry Fewell and the rest of his staff. Though Fewell was dismissed, he will still interview for the team’s vacant head coaching job, a personal familiar with the decisions said. … The Giants fired first-year defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan. … Jets linebacker David Harris has a sprained right ankle and his availability for the team’s wild-card playoff game at Cincinnati on Saturday is uncertain. … Dolphins rookie quarterback Pat White is out of the hospital and at the team’s training complex after a scary helmet-to-helmet collision briefly left him motionless. … Packers cornerback Charles Woodson has a shoulder strain and should be back on the field when Green Bay plays Arizona in the playoffs. … The Bengals put defensive tackle Pat Sims on injured reserve with a broken forearm, suffered during a 37-0 loss to the Jets on Sunday. … Former NFL player Kyle Turley told members of Congress that while he still had a severe headache, the Rams cleared him for full-contact drills four days after a concussion seven years ago. Ira Casson, a neurologist from New York and former co-chairman of the NFL’s panel on head injuries, stuck to his position that there is no proven connection between football head injuries and brain disease.