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Rich Gannon tells Snyder Skins are like Raiders

As I mentioned Monday, it's hard to know exactly what Daniel Snyder's thinking, due to his lack of in-season interviews, so every little bit helps. This week on Sirius NFL Radio, Rich Gannon helped a lot. Gannon, a former Redskin (and Blue Hen!) who called Sunday's game for CBS, spent about six minutes talking about the Skins during Monday's broadcast of The SIRIUS Blitz with co-host Adam Schein. Gannon was unflinching in his criticism, but I think the most interesting moment came when he narrated a pre-game conversation he had with Snyder.

"I did get a chance, believe it or not, to sit down with Dan Snyder for about 15 minutes prior to the start of the game, actually two hours before the start of the game," Gannon told Schein. "And I could just get the sense that he was very uneasy, he was not happy with his football team, certainly not happy with the offense. And I think you're right, I think they need to go out and clean house in terms of not only the coach, but in terms of the general manager.

"Vinny Cerrato has not done a very good job there. They have not gotten enough of a return on their investment. I really question their philosophy on how you build your team. They spent a lot of money on high-priced veteran free agents. They've made some mistakes, some costly mistakes, and they haven't done a good enough job with the draft and player development. That's really where you build your football team. So this is a team that's really in shambles right now. I told the owner [Sunday]--this is amazing, I'm sitting there talking to Dan Snyder--I said, 'You need to have leadership, structure and discipline at EVERY level of your organization. And I think that clearly right now they have some issues."

Is it a sign of hope that someone talking great sense had an audience with Daniel Snyder shortly before the Chiefs disaster? And more than that, is it a sign of hope that Snyder apparently was listening?

"What did he say to that?" Schein asked, at which point it got even better.

"Well, you know, ironically enough we were kind of going back and forth, between talking about the situation in Oakland," Gannon said. "Honestly, this is crazy. And I'm sitting there saying, 'Is this all that different than in Oakland?' And I didn't want to insult him, but certainly I thought the situation was dire.

"When I went out and watched practice on Friday, I have to tell you, I wasn't impressed. You know, when I watched the play selection, I watched their substitution pattern and I watched their scheme, right now, to me, it's very vanilla, it's very scaled-back. Certainly they had some issues along the offensive line, but I just think that Jim Zorn--while he is a very nice guy, he's a good man, it's important to him--I just think he's in over his head. I think certainly when you consider that responsibility--I'm talking about from a head-coaching perspective--it's unique. You're getting pulled in a lot of different directions. You've got to do a lot of different things down there in Washington that maybe you don't do in a lot of other places. I just think it's too much for Jim Zorn right now."

So there. That happened. A guy who took the Raiders to the Super Bowl and then watched them descend into lunacy openly compared that franchise with the Redskins, to the owner's face, two hours before they lost to the winless Chiefs at home. Anyhow, you want to hear Gannon's assessment of the Redskins this week?

"It's a mess," he said. "And now they're gonna turn to a guy in Sherm Lewis that's been out of football for five years. I mean, he was lured out of retirement to work as a consultant, another set of eyes, was what Vinny Cerrato said. I don't think it's something the coaches wanted. He doesn't even understand the terminology. When I sat down and talked with some of the coaches, they said, 'Listen, this guy's been out of it, we have different terminology, different verbiage.' My sense is the coaches aren't happy about it. And they don't have time, the coaching staff, to stop and to bring Sherm Lewis up to speed. And I think that this is actually going to turn into a disaster for this organization."

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 20, 2009; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

In honor of today's NFL player trade deadline, Redskin Insider is pleased to offer a special Talent Evaluator math quiz.

PROBLEM #1 - It's NFL trade deadline time and the Tennessee Titans contact the only team that is worse off than they are to inquire about the availability of Washington's starting quarterback.

Vinny C sez, "Hell yeah, JC's available, and we would be damn pleased to be rid of him. The only thing we need from you is some fair market value, because we’ve already wasted millions on the misguided idea that we could turn this hopeless excuse into a pro quarterback. Although I doubt it, perhaps you might have better luck with him."

The Titans rep thinks for a moment then remembers that the local Piggly Wiggly has pumpkins on sale for 39 cents a pound. He offers Vinny 10 pounds worth of pumpkins.

Q - If you're Vinny, do you take the deal? (Hint: Dan loves pumpkin pie)

PROBLEM # 2 - The Titans also ask about the availability of Washington's starting running back, while suggesting that there's also a sale on rotten bananas at the Piggly Wiggly -- with 10 pounds of bananas going for a buck.

Vinny knows that CP weighs about 220 pounds.

Q – Does Vinny trade Clinton straight up for his weight in bad bananas? (Hint: Dan also likes banana nut bread)


PS -- I'm willing to bet $25.90 that Vinny takes both deals -- that is, if Tennessee also agrees to take the Redskins first three draft picks for each of the next four seasons.

Posted by: Vic1 | October 20, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, please, let Snyder come to the realization that Vinny Cerrato must be banished from Redskin Park...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 20, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I have to laugh... I do... Because this is starting to remind me of assistant greenkeeper Carl's series of failed attempts to kill the gopher in Caddyshack.

Posted by: pgugino | October 20, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Great big globs of greasy, grimy, gopher guts

Posted by: pgugino | October 20, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

First Kornheiser and now Gannon. Snyder isn't a moron. He may have surrounded himself with "yes men", but if everyone outside of the organization is telling him that he needs to make major changes to his philosophy, I've got think that eventually he's going to listen. Right?

Posted by: DCUMD | October 20, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Trying to remain apathetic..

Posted by: 4-12 | October 20, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

If this "disaster" finally makes Snyder see the light about the proper way to manage an NFL franchise, then maybe it will be a long term benefit for the team.

Posted by: Markin21132 | October 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I think these gut-wrenching losses will have been a good thing in the long run. No matter how arrogant Dan Snyder has been in the past, he can't ignore all of the negativity coming down on the Redskins. I can handle the Chiefs loss if it means that Cerrato gets the boot and Snyder finally hands over the reigns to a football mind.

Posted by: Andymr | October 20, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Portis on Daniel Snyder: "It's not him." What else is he gonna say but really, the primary problem is Snyder and the organizational dysfunction he has created. The solution is someone else running this organization and letting Dan take the credit for making a change. We'll see if anyone comes to the rescue to save Dan from himself.

Posted by: will_ga | October 20, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Trying to remain apathetic..

Posted by: 4-12

You mean "medium"?

Posted by: REXskins | October 20, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

You mean "medium"?

Posted by: REXskins | October 20, 2009 3:37 PM

Raising hand and doing the Scarlett O'hara grubbing on a dirty turnip hunger pledge: "As God is my witness, I will never be medium again." Even if I lose a few pounds & can fit into a medium shirt, I promise to eat a pound of donuts dipped in bacon grease chased by a jumbo grande size vanilla pistachio milkshake every day until I pork back up to large.

Posted by: will_ga | October 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Trying to remain apathetic..

Posted by: 4-12 | October 20, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Your internet "handle" actually seems optimistic at this point . . .

Posted by: rbpalmer | October 20, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

What more enlightment is needed other than the revelation that the product you are selling is bad goods????

Posted by: dark_some | October 20, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I too think that the shame we are experiencing will ultimately be a good thing. Look at Peter Angelos in Baltimore. Attendance at O's games finally got to the point where he had to change the way he operated and turn things over to a baseball guy, McPhail. Now there is a clear plan in place. It may not work, but at least it is a plan.

They should hire a GM first and let the GM hire the coach. I think Holmgren and Shanahan will want to be both, and I don't think that works.

Posted by: mhaslup1 | October 20, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

First Kornheiser and now Gannon. Snyder isn't a moron. He may have surrounded himself with "yes men", but if everyone outside of the organization is telling him that he needs to make major changes to his philosophy, I've got think that eventually he's going to listen. Right?

Posted by: DCUMD | October 20, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse


Please let's hope so. I have a feeling seeing the stadium not completely full on Sunday and then down to 10,000 fans by the end probably had an impact on him as well.

Posted by: JulzDC | October 20, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Portis on Daniel Snyder: "It's not him."

Posted by: will_ga

Please, is Portis going to crticize his bestest buddy and the guy that will guarantee that he remains one of the highest paid running backs in the league, despite doing nothing to justify his salary?

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 20, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

They should hire a GM first and let the GM hire the coach. I think Holmgren and Shanahan will want to be both, and I don't think that works.

Posted by: mhaslup1 | October 20, 2009

You forget who the owner is? That he is now being compared unfavorably to a dottering Al Davis?

First you hire a president ... like a Parcells. It really **SHOULD BE*** Joe Gibbs. Not as head coach/president. President period. With all the hiring / firing power on the football side he needs to get the job done. Then HE hires the GM and assists the GM in hiring the head coach, and they in turn work in coordination to hire the coaching staff. They all work together on the draft and player development.

Meanwhile, Snyder does exactly what he is good at. Running the business side of the operation. If he needs more to do to keep him busy he ought go out and build a new stadium in the heart of DC that rivals RFK for its acoustics and earthquake fan support. That's it in a nutshell. It ain't rocket science its that simple. And yes, you hire Gibbs and give him a piece of the action ... part ownership.

Posted by: periculum | October 20, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Dan realized his leadership was in question by Gannon's comment that "You need to have leadership, structure and discipline at EVERY level of your organization." But he probably glazed over that part.

Posted by: GC4Life | October 20, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

All this negative feedback to Snydely has me worried that it wont send the right message. Every year he has tried to piece together a contender, and his attitude from now on may change to, 'as long as I'm not as bad as '09', I'm good.

I have an alternative solution, and it goes like this:

Me: Hello, Dan. Nice to meet you
Dan: Who the *@*K are you?
Me: I'm just a fan, Dan
Dan: Of me?
Me: Yes
Dan: (sitting down).... w-w-w-why?
Me: Because you had the balls to go through the pain of rebuilding.
Dan: I don't follow
Me: Ok, lemme 'splain it like this: 10 years, 10 pre-season Super Bowls, 0 real Super Bowls. Not even a Super Sniff.
Dan: Uh-huh
Me: So you had the foresight to understand that you were going to have to sever the ties with that operating model
Dan: Right
Me: And so you hire a nobody coach, clear a ton of aging vets out, and now you are committed to a younger team.
Dan: But Vinny told me we would still have talent
Me: You do. But not 53 roster spots worth of talent. And it might take a year or two to fill 53 roster spots with good guys, and it will probably get ugly before it gets better because you don't draft well.
Dan: We got Orakpo, Horton, and Jarmon!
Me: And the other 13 picks?
Dan:... erm....
Me: Right. You don't draft well, and that's because you don't have a GM.
Dan: I got Vinny! He's got rings!
Me: As a GM?
Dan: No, but he recommended players.
Me: Would you like me to tell you the difference between recommending and picking players?
Dan: Sure
Me: Sam Bowie, Micheal Jordan. Ryan Leaf, Peyton Manning. Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer.
Dan: I see
Me: But you had to clean house first, so kudos.
Dan: Thanks
Me: So in conclusion, you knew you had to get bad before you could change your mediocre ways, right?
Dan: well....
Me: Right?
Dan: I guess so
Me: Yer darn right
Dan: Huh. I didn't think about it like that
Me: Geniuses don't have to think.
Dan: I like you
Me: *Punching Dan in the Face*
Dan: What was that for?
Me: Its for me having to endure 9 years of Vinny

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 20, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Gannon pulled no punches. But did Snyder hear the same thing as what Gannon was trying to say?

Gannon said: "I told the owner [Sunday]... 'You need to have leadership, structure and discipline at EVERY level of your organization.'"

And Snyder heard: "The coaching staff is to blame and has to go right along with any dissenting players."

Gannon said: "Is this all that different than in Oakland?"

And Snyder heard: "If Al Davis can build a Super Bowl team by meddling, then you can, too, Danny Boy."

Maybe if Gannon had tatooed his message on a Louisville Slugger and delivered it point blank to Snyder's cranium, then, maybe, he may have really understood what Gannon was saying. Otherwise, it's anybody's guess.

Posted by: skinssox01 | October 20, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Where the heck is barno1???

It was so obvious that barno1 is Cerrato. I guess he can only fool himself.

Believe it or not we are getting to a point that we will become immune to all this mess and wont care anymore; this is what Danny boy and his PIMP are waiting for so they wont be dragged out of town.

Posted by: riceldi | October 20, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the message on a Louisville slugger is adequate as is. The delivery is key, though.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 20, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Monday night stadium fans you know the chant:
SELL THE TEAM
SELL THE TEAM
SELL THE TEAM
Make it loud and make it clear.

Posted by: sickaboutit | October 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

OK, sooooooooo Rich Gannon can get an interview with Snyder and nobody else can???? OK, right, clearly his comments are completely not true. He obviously did not talk to Dan Snyder, he's just pulling a classic broadcasting line.

Posted by: amavroukakis | October 20, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

How many people need to say the same thing before The Danny listens? Remember when the Redskins were just about the football and not about the job status of the coach/GM? Remember when it was enjoyable to watch the Redskins?

Posted by: pizzagoal | October 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

HONK if you want the Danny traded to the Cowgirls!!!

Posted by: riceldi | October 20, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"My sense is the coaches aren't happy about it. And they don't have time, the coaching staff, to stop and to bring Sherm Lewis up to speed. And I think that this is actually going to turn into a disaster for this organization."

great. when the eagles win, z-man gets canned, and sherm is the interim HC. you can't fire an owner, but cerrato has got to go.

Posted by: temunley | October 20, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Remember when it was enjoyable to watch the Redskins?

Posted by: pizzagoal

No...grab a BINGO card like the rest of us and try to win a prize to guess plays at the next game. Or, you may go to the owner's box and play "pin the tail on the flunky"...the flunky game starts at about 11:30 Monday Night...

Posted by: dark_some | October 20, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Zorn is done, but we can only hope that Cerrato gets canned after the impending disaster that awaits us on Monday night with Sherm Lewis calling plays. My gut tells me this is a 24-3 type of game where the offense gets nothing going and JC gets sacked like 7 times. At that point and on the heels of Gannon's interview of Snyder, maybe we'll see the right person fired ASAP.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 20, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

the only way the 'skins are going to score on monday night is going to be via defense or special teams.

i predict a new low. this is beyond painful. it's actually gotten to the point that i truly am disinterested. wake me up and point me to the 'skins when they're relevant again and decide to move up from Double-A.

nice work, gannon...this is really interesting (and it is telling that sherm lewis doesn't even know the current verbiage and cerrato still thinks he should be calling plays...ouch)

Posted by: bacaje | October 20, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Jack Kent Cooke - Please look down upon us.

"I am sore wounded but not slain
I will lay me down and bleed a while
And then rise up to fight again"

Posted by: jnsbear | October 20, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if anyone has asked our newest best buddy who is living large down at 1600 Penn for his take on the Redskins? He seems to have lots of plans, czars and money to throw around. Maybe he could appoint a Redskins Czar to a cabinet level position and take control of things in Assburn, ehhhh, I mean Ashburn.

SELL THE TEAM

SELL THE TEAM

SELL THE TEAM

Posted by: dokane | October 20, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

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