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Cerrato Discusses Portis vs. Zorn



"I think it was frustration. I think we all get frustrated....And I told him, 'Just don't frustrate to everybody.' I told him, I said, 'Clinton, I do a radio show.' I said, 'I'm like a punching bag on a Monday after we lose for two hours.' I said, ''You know, you've just got to grin and bear it. That's part of the deal.' " -- Vinny Cerrato.

When the media asked Vinny Cerrato to comment on the very public dust-up between his best player and his head coach this week, the Redskins' top football man declined to comment. Of course, Cerrato does address the public directly a few times a week, and Thursday was one of those times we were allowed inside his head zone, via an appearance on Comcast SportsyNet's Redskins Nation.

Since the local and national media and many Redskins fans have been fixated on this story for days, you might have thought Portis vs. Zorn would have been host Larry Michael's first question. Well, you might have been born sometime in Week 12 if you thought that was happening. Sometimes when you ask for transparency you get vodka, and sometimes you get weak veggie broth.

"Vinny, the practice yesterday, the Wednesday practice, I thought [looked] very crisp for the Redskins," Michael observed to kick off the show, "especially under the circumstances with, you know, a lot of stuff going on. We'll talk about it in a moment, but I thought the practice looked good yesterday."

In the sort of deeply penetrating analysis that only unfiltered team media can provide, Cerrato agreed that the Wednesday practice, indeed, looked good, and that his players practice hard and work hard. Groovy.

Other topics of conversation: the organization-wide frustration at the losing skid, the need to eliminate mistakes, the need to adjust to a new coach's style, the generally poor health around the NFL in December, the need for big plays, the increasing comfort and confidence of the rookie receivers, the Redskins' increased chances of success when they have plays of more than 20 yards, the value of forcing turnovers, the folly of drafting according to need, and the importance of protecting the quarterback. As you can see above, Cerrato even demonstrated some pass-protection techniques on Michael, who, in a shocking development, offered only token resistance.

"If you grab like this around a guy, like if I grab you around that and the defensive guy gets his hands inside like this," Cerrato said.

"You've lost all leverage," Michael noted.

Finally, well into the second segment, they got around to discussing the primary notable topic of Redskins discussion this week. The basic message from Cerrato: both coach and running back are fine, they get along well, the media probably exaggerated the incident, but still, Portis should have dealt with his frustrations out of the spotlight. A sensible conclusion, and one that would have been a nice little quote in all those stories people were writing on Wednesday, back when the Exec VP wasn't commenting. The transcript:

Michael: How shocked, two-part question here, how shocked were you with the fact that Clinton Portis did pop off earlier in the week, and then how about the harshness of his words, kind of a two-part question there.

Cerrato: I think it's frustration. I mean, go back to like the Giants opening game, when Clinton said some stuff then. I think it was frustration. I think we all get frustrated. And you'd like Clinton just, and I told him, just don't frustrate to everybody. I told him, I said, 'Clinton, I do a radio show.' I said, 'I'm like a punching bag on a Monday after we lose for two hours.' I said, ''You know, you've just got to grin and bear it. That's part of the deal.'

It's just the frustrating part, and then he's got to go on the radio and then they ask him a bunch of questions and then sometimes you get caught and say things, but everything's fine. I mean, Clinton's out there practicing, busting his butt. You know, he's working hard, he and Jim get along fine. The media makes it a lot bigger than it is, and the thing about it is, you know, we're a team, and it's all in one.

Michael: Well, a public display of temper by any player, though frustrated or not, is gonna be jumped on by the media, no doubt about it. It was like a storm cloud moving in, but yesterday, it was like all the clouds disappeared. Clinton was happy, Coach Jim Zorn was happy, he's looking at us right now in the glass, and here is what Clinton said to the press yesterday.

[Portis clip.]

Michael: Vinny, I predict a huge game by Portis on Sunday.

Cerrato: You predict it, I hope it.

Michael: I'm predicting it right now, because this guy, he is one of the outstanding backs in the National Football League, and he really is a great teammate, a good locker room guy. But I think you said it earlier, a general frustration [around the team], which was voiced by Clinton.

Cerrato: Yeah, I think you know you get frustrated, you know, because the guy is such a competitor and wants to win, so I think he gets frustrated and he just let it out.

Michael: Zorn met the media afterwards, and you probably saw this on Comcast SportsNet, and he had HIS words to say. So I think I don't want to say this was GOOD for the football team, but I think it's in their past.

Cerrato: I think a lot of guys didn't even pay any attention to it, you know what I mean? They made a big thing out of when he did it after the Giants game, then we went out and I think Clinton had like a buck forty or something.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 11, 2008; 11:57 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

Wow what a crappy interview, please continue to rip these benign idiots. Thanks!

Posted by: BMACattack | December 12, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Vinny is one big chode. Michaels is an even bigger one.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 12, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

these d bags are everything that is wrong with the skins

Posted by: jonthefisherman | December 12, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

He really said "a buck forty or something"? AND he knows about what pass interference is? Vinny is all over this football thing, not just talking the talk, but interfering the interfere. Really just so so pleased he's steering the ship on personnel. [Leaving out the direct object of that non-sentence on purpose.]

Posted by: dcsween | December 12, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the proving what we all know, that Vinny and Michaels are bedded together under Snyder's house and are the perfect examples of what is wrong with and why the Redskins will never be a consistent, winning team again.
Such bull---t.

Isn't is nice to cover and embelish the truth with dishonesty and deceit. What they don't seem to understand is that this town LAUGHS at them and and that they both have zero credibility when they speak!

Jim

Posted by: j777im | December 12, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

This Larry Michael is such a shill....why would anyone watch that lousy show he hosts? It's like Snyder's p.r. machine.

Posted by: dbunkr | December 12, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I really wonder about this Cerrato. This is the guy making the "big" decisions for this team. Zorn's not the problem, he is young and making some rookie coaching mistakes, but he has a great background to draw from. But when your boss sounds like this on a talk show, you wonder if some of the problem isn't above.

Posted by: bills_2_cents | December 12, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"Sometimes when you ask for transparency you get vodka, and sometimes you get weak veggie broth."

This is the best line I've read in a sports-related article...maybe ever.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 12, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I stopped watching after Bram left. At least he was like a balance to the show. He actually questioned management. This here is sad. I just can't watch it.

Posted by: kelvinjdd | December 12, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Is Vinnie trying to swallow his own face when he talks?

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | December 12, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Vinnie, did you read Wilbon's column the other day? What do you think about all these high-round picks and trades for wide receivers when our interior lines' look like swiss cheese? Are you drafting to fill out Danny's fantasy squad?"

Vinnie: ".....hard word....ummm...leverage...a buck forty"

Posted by: jmink4a5 | December 12, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Funny. I don't see anything wrong with the interview or what Vinny said.

By I guess there are alot of people out there with alot of bad things going on in there life that have to try to bring the negative vibe to the Redskins. Two in the media are Steve and Andy in the afternoon on 980.

There show is just depressing. The Redskins will be fine. All these crybabies really don't like the team, thats why they make so many negative comments.... In my view.

Go Redskins!!!

Posted by: punchdaclock | December 12, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I have said this for since the replace Frank with this Snyder mouth piece. The Redskins will never do anything as long as Vinny is running (I can't say running) I mean ruining the team. It hurts to watch and it really hurts listening to them act like they know what they are doing. Please lets get a football man to run this once pround organization.

Posted by: C70882 | December 12, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The joy of the holiday season! Two unqualified morons telling faithful supporters that all is well and the 'Skins are the most well run team ever. I know we are in a recession, but it looks like there are two job opennings with the 'Skins, please look under the job description idiot #1 and idiot #2. Qualifications include knowledge of racquetball rules and enthusiasm for listening to one's self talk.

Posted by: wmckenna | December 12, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

So danny bends vinny over and then after he finished crying vinny does it to larry 2x as bad. I feel real sorry for the interns for vinny.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 12, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

When I watch the Redskins in my family room wearing my 31 Cartwright jersey, I wear a bag over my head. When I go to the games and sit in my $3000/year club seat I hope the tv cameras don't show me to friends who might be watching on tv at home. I wish I had brought my bag. It is embarrassing to be a Skins fan. When I see the ad on the Skins web site that says show your passion, get a Redskins Visa card, I look over my shoulder to see if anybody sees me looking at the Skins website. If they are, I put my bag on quick like. I don't want to be laughed at. Snyder, sell the Redskins, so I can root for my team again and for an owner with class and dignity, traits you little person you will not understand.

Posted by: getitritegov | December 12, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Vinny is a drone, Larry is a clone and Danny should just get stoned. It was impossible watching that show and not feeling scammed by two idiots who think all Redskin fans are stupid! I even watched it with the sound and captions off and they still look like idiots!

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 12, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Funny. I don't see anything wrong with the interview or what Vinny said.

By I guess there are alot of people out there with alot of bad things going on in there life that have to try to bring the negative vibe to the Redskins. Two in the media are Steve and Andy in the afternoon on 980.

There show is just depressing. The Redskins will be fine. All these crybabies really don't like the team, thats why they make so many negative comments.... In my view.

Go Redskins!!!

Posted by: punchdaclock | December 12, 2008 10:58 AM

I love the reskins. Vinny Cerrato is an idiot and should not be allowed to have his own radio show. Daniel Snyder is an idot as well because he hired him. Al Michaels is a great play by play caller, but he is also a moron. I am saying all of this because I love the redskins. To follow blindly and believe everything you are told from a front office perspective is just naive and in fact, ruining the franchise that you love as well. You probably voted for George Bush.

Posted by: BMACattack | December 13, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

We're in a recession. Larry Michaels needs the pay check.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | December 15, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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