Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Does Cerrato deserve credit?

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

Chatting at 11:30. Submit questions here.

One of the weirdest parts of this strange Redskins season: fans were a lot angrier when the team was 2-4 than they are at 4-9. That doesn't seem to make much sense. Maybe it's because they feared worse. Maybe it's because the offense is finally looking stronger than Broad Run's. Maybe it's because Redskins fans would find a way to be optimistic cheering for a team of decaying worm-eaten rancid corpses.

Either way, this has led to a spirited debate among a certain segment of fans: If we grant that the team's play has improved, do we now have to give some credit for that improvement to personnel boss Vinny Cerrato, the man who drafted Fred Davis and Devin Thomas and Brian Orakpo, the man who signed Quinton Ganther and Levi Jones.? Did he, in fact, assemble a capable roster?

Sure, the team lost three straight prior to the Oakland blowout, but it'd be tough to argue that the Redskins weren't actually talented enough to win those games. Every NFL team can play what-could-have-been, but if you're talented enough to lead late in the fourth quarter, you're probably talented enough to win. Switch those three around, and the Redskins are 7-6 and in the playoff hunt. So was Cerrato on point when he said he had handed Jim Zorn a playoff-caliber roster?

On the other hand, the Redskins are 4-9. The teams they've beaten are a combined 14-38. They've also lost to the 2-11 Lions, and the 3-10 Chiefs. And the four quarterbacks they've beaten--Marc Bulger, Josh Johnson, Chris Simms and JaMarcus Russell--have passer ratings of 70.7, 50.9, 15.1 and 47.7.

But enough of my blathering. The two opposites of Redskins fandom are well-represented by eternal optimist Joe Theismann and occasional pessimist John Riggins. Here's Theismann, defending Vinny during Monday's ESPN 980 radio show.

I mean, Vinny is responsible for the last couple of years basically of this football team. And yeah, under Steve Spurrier he had a little bit of input, but not to the degree that he has had since Coach Gibbs left. And the list of players--Justin Tryon, Kevin Barnes, [Chris] Horton, LaRon Landry, Albert Haynesworth, Malcolm Kelly, Fred Davis, Devin Thomas. I challenge you as naysayers, look around the league and look at the teams that have added young players that are doing the job that our young players are doing, and our free agents. You know, look around. Finding a left tackle, basically who hadn't played a lot. Levi [Jones has] done a good job. Mike Williams will be able to be I think a much better football player a year from now. Remember, this is a guy who lost 100 pounds and just came in and is playing a lot of football. [Anthony] Montgomery. [Chad] Rinehart, on IR. You've got a lot of guys that are young, and Vinny's responsible for it. He should receive credit for that. I mean, he certainly has gotten enough criticism; it's about time he got enough credit for the young players and the development that they're going forward with.

And here's Riggins, from his YouTube commentary last week. Granted, this was before the Redskins blew out the Raiders, but I'm guessing his opinion hasn't changed.

The dysfunction has been neatly swept under the rug, because the team keeps covering the spread against Dallas, against Philly and now against the Saints. And therein lies the danger, in my opinion. I'm afraid that the powers that be that make all the decisions are maybe once again being able to puff their chests out a little bit, when the truth of the matter is a loss is a loss. You're 3-9. This is a bad football team. You're probably going to fire your head coach. Does that mean that the general manager is going to go with him? There's still a lot of questions to be answered, and as long as this team plays well or almost wins, what's it do in the minds of the fans? I have no idea. I don't know. If this continues, it might not be the best of things for this team, as tough as that is to say.

Bloggers have taken the same two sides. Here's Hog Heaven:

I'm going to defend Vinny Cerrato's seemingly indefensible claim that he built a playoff team this year. I think the evidence has bore out the fact that the Redskins are underachieving their true potential by enough wins by which you can argue that they have playoff-type talent, minus playoff type results.

And here's Chris Needham at NBC Washington:

Now, if this were an open courtroom, Vinny's evidence and arguments would get laughs all the way 'til the time the guillotine dropped, but this isn't an open courtroom. It's a closed one, with a judge/jury/king all wrapped up in one. And Vinny has the judge's ear. And, results be damned, he can warp the arguments to favor himself.

Seems the next three games might mean something after all.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 15, 2009; 10:14 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Local Poll Week IV: An early title
Next: Zorn discusses the Randle El mystery


Where else can ya get this kind of entertainment for free? Let's bring back the whole cast of characters for 2010 and keep the good times going! Come on, it'll be a blast. Actually, truth be told, they may be in better shape than parts of the NFC East going into next yr. Argh.... I take that back. It really is more fun when Vinny and Danny are taking hits.

Posted by: TheDubb | December 15, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It sounds dumb to credit the man for finding table scraps when he should have putting a meal together at the grocery store.

Instead he bought a bunch of candy that's rotting our teeth.

Posted by: peterandmeredith | December 15, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The damn chatboards were clamoring for Levi after training camp! If we brought him in earlier then vinny might have more of a case and the season wouldn't be lost. But he ignored it. Also, cutting bridges was bad. Overall ignoring the oline is vinnys downfall.

Posted by: AdamCr | December 15, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

As always, we're obsessed with extremes, that the answer has to be one or the other, when the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Vinny, we have to admit, deserves some of the credit for bringing in the guys Joe T mentions. And he also has to take blame for basically ignoring the offensive line for the last couple of seasons and allowing massive contracts to undermine our depth. He deserves credit for bringing in Sherman, which has made this offense start to click (at the end of the second season, by the way, just as Zorn predicted). And he deserves blame for picking Zorn in the first place when he's obviously too inexperienced to be HC.

What this team needs, now that the offense apparently is working, is not an overhaul or a new system. We should keep the WCO, like Snyderatto wanted, but in order to do that, we need to bring in the No. 1 WCO expert still working: give Holmgren what he wants, let him run the show and pick the guys for this offense. But that probably won't happen.

Posted by: RIP-21 | December 15, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Vinny is fine at judging individual talent, but what he hasn't done well and hasn't proven he can do is assemble a team and proactively providethe contingency plan when things go wrong. His reactive nature leads to stupid trades liek the one last year for Jason Taylor.

This year, Samuels and R. Thomas were iffy due to injury history from day one but Vinny did very little to provide a Plan B. If he had had Levi Jones or another competent option at left tackle at the start of the season, thye would have beaten Carolina and the Chiefs. If he had a solid free safety on the roster so Landry could play strong safety instead of FS, they would hae beaten the Saints. And a better kicker and they beat the Cowboys.

So the playoffs would have been possible if he had gotten everything right from the start. but he didn't.

And it was his decision to hire an inexperienced head coach that is now just seemly starting to get it.

A strong finish in these last three games may argue toward giving Zorn/Cerrato one more year to see if they can get it right for an entire season.

But if I was giving him a grade just for what he did this season it would be something better than an "F" but not by much since his "Plan B" was way too little, way too late.

Posted by: hapster | December 15, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Credit for what? A mediocre team with a ton of old, overpaid "talent"? Without injuries, this team would certainly be better than 4-9, but that could be said every season.

Posted by: mkremnitzer0 | December 15, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

vinny is terrible... get rid of him... he is danny's puppet...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | December 15, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

bringing in Albert Hansworth is not the same thing as finding a diamond in the rough. Yes he drafted Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, but at the expense of suring up the offensive line which got Campbell killed the last two years. Devon Thomas is only now starting to have an impact, while Kelly is MIA. Landry was a no brainer, because Taylor was here and that was just an obvious duo. His "successes" are obvious successes-anyone could have made those decisions...

Posted by: poeticfire | December 15, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Vinny should get All The Credit ! FOR Screwing it all up , this season is his doing bottom Line, FIRE VINNY !

Posted by: ThrowItToMyTeam | December 15, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

How about the other decisions that have caused this team be falter for the last two years? Sending two draft picks to Miami for Jason Taylor, only to send him back to them the very next year(oh yeah, those draft picks aren't coming back either), the old and small offensive line that has plagued the Redskins for the last 3 years, the mishandling of Campbell(Orton lovefest and trade proposal), overblown contract to Hansworth and Hall (only adding to the cap issues)...GM's are like coaches- they get the credit when teams win and the blame when teams lose...You picked the ingredients and the chef, now your restaurant stinks and the bad reviews pour in

Posted by: poeticfire | December 15, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Since we live in a society that is always looking at what's happening "in the moment", the Raiders win looks good. People want to keep Vinny.

I say this is sports and scoreboard decides winners and losers. In this case Vinny is a LOSER! Get rid of him.

Don't look at his sub-par picks that are starting to play. Look at the total draft and the picks lost. Have we forgoten about TJ Duckett already??

Posted by: mb15 | December 15, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I would argue that a more competent GM could make similar or better player selections. There have been poor: trades, signings, and use of draft picks. Combine this with the fact that an offensive lineman and running back have not been drafted in years are the indicators that Vinnie is not doing a good job. We did not need 3 receivers as much as we needed OL & DB etc.

The Giants, Eagles, Steelers and Patriots manage players very well. They draft and develop, the Redskins have not drafted well it shows. This is an old story.

Posted by: jbfilbud1 | December 15, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Before we get too carried away, the Skins just beat the Raiders (not the Saints, Cowboys, Eagles, etc). Yes, they're playing better but remember, with the Skin's record, this late in the season most teams are likely to be looking beyond the Skins and in taking them lightly are exposing themselves to playing down or giving the Skins a chance.
Don't forget, after a strong finish, Danny gave Norv another chance and ended up firing him before the end of the following season (which was painful and embarrassing).
In my humble opinion, its time to either keep the whole crew (and roll the dice) or start all over (and commit to a plan for the future). Enough of these torturous mediocre seasons! Go Skins!!!!

Posted by: bobleme | December 15, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Put some of the blame where it lies...Joe Gibbs

No way in hell Cerrato had final say on personnel in the Gibbs years. Gibbs was never a personnel guy. We have had way more personnel gaffs under Gibbs than we have under Cerrato. An O-Lineman was NEVER drafted under Gibbs either. Gibbs played over the hill veterans and rarely developed young players until he had to.

When Gibbs left we needed an offensive and defensive line. We sured up the D-line in the 09' draft.

Cerrato should get some credit for this youth movement.

Posted by: rickyroge | December 15, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

What we've got here is lowered expectations. Overall, Vinny has made poor choices in personnel, but it's not like he used a second round pick on a guy with one leg. So when a guy he picks makes a play, suddenly Vinny's a hero? No, he was responsible for picking players and coaches, and the result is 4-9. The coach can blame it all on bad players, and the players can blame it all on bad coaches. But a GM can't blame anyone, because he picked everyone.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | December 15, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"One of the weirdest parts of this strange Redskins season: fans were a lot angrier when the team was 2-4 than they are at 4-9"

@2-4,the writing was fresh on the wall; A NO Playoffs season.
@4-9, I've moved on to primarily following the Caps, Wizrds and Terps. I've gotten over the Skins'.

Success is measured in the long term.And then why could he only find a QB caoch to run the team?

Posted by: Max231 | December 15, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse


0-4 vs. NFC East.

Vinny does deserve the credit - by showing him the door.

Other GMs had Thomas, Davis and Kelley as second round picks too. I'm glad they are playing well, but it's both the GM and the Coaches fault that the team is 4-9.

Why does it take injuries to have open competition for playing time on the Redskins? NO MORE STARS - EARN YOUR PT!

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 15, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

First things first: Theismann is NOT an eternal optimist. He's a paid shill. If I ever won the lottery and promised him a cut, he's spew whatever crap I wanted him to say too. But I do love his restaurant.

Second, if Vinny wants to take credit for putting together his 10th consecutive under-achieving team that is always a few bouces away from either a first-round playoff road loss or a top-five draft pick that will ultimately get traded, then fine. Vinny, we give you all the credit in the world for keeping the Redskins mediocre. Thanks. It's so much watching a team that you know won't get any better than 7-9 or 9-7. So yeah, take all the credit in the world.

Posted by: rodeorob | December 15, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Hapster had a good analysis. Cerrato is a good judge of player talent, but has failed in overall construction of the team.

He gambled (and lost) that Zorn would be a good coach, that older OL/DL players could stay injury free, and the special teams coach should be retained. He failed to sign quality backup OL -- made me sick to see Bridges playing LT well for the Saints when the Skins cut him at the end of camp.

Cerrato is a better fit as scouting director, but I doubt he's going to be fired -- so hopefully he can learn from the mistakes this year and improve.

Injuries and poor player execution cannot be held against the GM (with the possible exception of aging RG Thomas)

Posted by: siris | December 15, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

If Vinny stays, chances are the Redskin's draft a QB, fire Zorn, dump Campbell and leave fans with three seasons of rebuilding misery.

If Vinny goes, chances are we trade the R1 pick for additional picks to rebuild the offensive line and get back to Redskin's football.

Based on Vinny's body of work, Vinny must go for the sake of all devoted fans.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | December 15, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Vinny did put together a playoff quality roster. 9-7 is 'playoff quality'. The roster has a lot of talent (especially on defense) and the Skins played an incredibly weak schedule.

Vinny did draft some decent talent. Though its a bit early to decide Devin Thomas is a beast or Quinton Ganther is a stud or BMW is a total success.

His move to hire Sherm Lewis was very good, despite the ridicule he got for it.

That said, he has ignored the OL which is the primary reason this team struggled, was part of hiring Zorn and is likely taking (or getting) credit for things he didn't do.

The fact is this team can compete. It ought to be able to compete. It has a massive payroll and is counting on the uncapped year coming up so it can extricate itself from all the massaged contracts.

This team has always bumped the salary cap and made numerous moves that go down as incredibly bad. Simply put, this team spends like the Yankees and gets results like the Mariners.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 15, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone now on the Sherman Lewis bandwagon? Redskins didnt have a lot of problems scoring point the first half of LAST season.

Could it be that a lot of teams don't really know yet exactly what Sherman Lewis is doing with the Redskins offinse, just like it took some time for everyone to accumulate enough info on Zorn last season?

Thing is, Cerrato will have to shop for a new coach, probably an entirely new coaching staff, new QB all with limited resources given the # of picks and the salary cap issues that year in year out affect the team.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | December 15, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Well The question is who would The Danny if Cerrato didn't? Every roster faces injuries and ever team has a list of personnel to bring in for tryouts when needed. That is what made the Skins so good during the strike years. The Skins this off season are going to lose inhouse and free agent talent because of the disfunction at the top. Send Vinny out for coffee. Keep the coaching staff and philosophy continuity. Add a good offensive coor. if Sherm L. doesn't want to stay. Make two rules- 1) Only get to play if you practice. 2)There is no "I" in team. Draft well with speed, speed and speed. The last thing is Randle El "what the h---".

Posted by: kermiepop | December 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

No no noooo. Cerrato consistently overlooks our biggest problem year after year, the O-Line. When it was still a decent line, with the old guys like Jansen, Rabach, Samuels, Thomas, it was obvious that we needed young depth. This could have given these guys a few years to get NFL-ready and jump in when they got injured, which was often.

Now we continue to overlook the O-line and draft 3 pass catchers in the 2nd round and only pick up big names for our defense.

Vinny is the reason behind this stuff. He is just terrible at his job, and a win over the Raiders and 3 close losses to better teams is no reason for him to keep his job. We're still 4-9 after a quite easy early season schedule. FIRE HIM.

Posted by: Pbonds | December 15, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

If Snyder doesn't fire Cerrato he'll show himself not to be a Redskin fan but a Redskin idiot. If he wants the Redskins to truly get back to its glory days, he needs to fire Cerrato and do what Miami did with hiring Parcells to run all football operations. How about Jimmy Johnson in that role?

I'm afraid Cerrato is to far up Snyder's behind, that Snyder might not be able to find him to fire!

Posted by: DaveLopan | December 15, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Despite what many fans believe, there really is no question that Vinny has a great eye for talent--and he HAS done a good job in the draft and even in free agency--despite the occasional hiccup (Durant/Lloyd/Archuletta/Duckett).

The question in my mind is is he capable of all the other responsibilities that go along with GMing--managing the cap, identifying areas of need, etc. He certainly has not proven that yet.

But I am not sold on the idea Vinny needs to go, nor am I sold on the idea Zorn is a goner.

I think the least-expected scenario may actually be the one that occurs: Vinny stays, Zorn stays, both Sherms stay, and Campbell stays. Draft O-lineman in 1st round. Cut loose the old guys in Daniels, Wynn, Thomas, Griffin and release the dead weight in Betts, Randle El, Cartright.

That's my prescription for success in 2010 anyhow

Posted by: Barno1 | December 15, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad everyone is so thrilled with beating the sorry Rams, sorry Bucs, sorry Raiders and a mediocre overperforming Bronco team.

Not good enough. Things MUST change.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 15, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Barno1 is really Vinny posting.

It's astonishing that anyone not locked up at St. Elizabeth's would claim that Cerrato is doing a good job.

Posted by: nativedc | December 15, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Won't say that Vinny has brought in the right people, but I will say those people have been steadily improving in this jumbled system.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | December 15, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Exactly what are we giving him credit for yea he fixed the Offense somewhat and Campbell making Thomas and Davis look good. But still dont have a run game and ofline which where neglected. the way Skins are structured we are not winning a Super Bowl or playoff anytime soon.
Come to me when he fixes the real needs of this football team and stop alieniting everyone

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | December 15, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Cerrato has done a very good job!

The issue with the skins is the Quantity of picks.... Not the quality.

In fact, Cerrato has a history of building threw the draft (Niners)

It's Dan who jumps off the deep end.

Cerrato works for Dan...duh

Look at the past two years, he found two diamonds in the rough in the 7th rounds

Marko Mitchell and Horton.

Looks like those 3 2nd rounders are keepers

Nobodies perfect, but he deserves more credit.

Dan needs to back off and Cerrato would be fine.

Posted by: skinsbacker | December 15, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

That we are debating whether of not Vinny has done a good job shows how low this franchise has sunk. Yup 4-9, he's doing great. Let's bring him back!

Posted by: cmterpsnskins | December 15, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse






0-4 NFC East.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 15, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

i think it all depends on what they do in this next off season...

personally i like the way the team is playing and have optimism for the first time since the 6-2 start last year.

they have been more physical and outplayed their opponent in each of the last 5 games. going back to the denver game, i think this team has been way better.

the offense has picked up, the defense has been more physical.

i think they should keep zorn and soups one more year. something is starting to worka nd the one thing this team has lacked is continuity.

we just need to bolster teh offensive line and the secondary and just add depth.

say goodbye to clinton and give the offense a punnishing line. RBs are a dime a dozen...a stout offensive line is what matters.

never thought i would say this after the first 6 games but i like the way this team is going right now...

Posted by: deadskin | December 15, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

If Vinny stays, chances are the Redskin's draft a QB, fire Zorn, dump Campbell and leave fans with three seasons of rebuilding misery.

If Vinny goes, chances are we trade the R1 pick for additional picks to rebuild the offensive line and get back to Redskin's football.

Based on Vinny's body of work, Vinny must go for the sake of all devoted fans.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | December 15, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

like i said...its a question of what is done in the offseason...

i dont know if its a question of whether vinny stays...but simply what is done with coaching, qb, the oline etc.

fix what is broken but dont keep retooling the same parts...they are finally coming together...

Posted by: deadskin | December 15, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

So, where does that 4-9 record fault lie?

Zorn is over his head and JC sucked for the first half of the season.

The skins are/where an offensive line away from the playoffs.

They are/have been too committed to defense the past few years.

If we had a productive o-line we can/would own the NFC east.

Next year when we build an o-line we will rule the east.... and yes, JC will be our QB

Posted by: skinsbacker | December 15, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's training camp and preseason was soft on the players and the team was not ready to start the season.

There is no other reason to explain how a team with 10 starters either on IR or out of the lineup with nagging injuries is now playing BETTER football against BETTER opponents.

There is no excuse for losing to Detroit and Kansas City.

These teams have zero talent and are starting over again with rookies.

Vinny may not have provided for a roster that is ready to contend for a Super Bowl, but there is no reason the team started 3-9.

Seems Zorn also has benefited from finally having to put Thomas, Davis, Ganther and other younger players on the field on offense.

It had appeared as if he was going to stick with Portis, ARE and a number of other vets that were living off of reputation rather than current production.

Portis is done. Randy Thomas is done. ARE is 31 and slowing down, he may have time yet as a veteran slot receiver but his ability to alter a game on ST with returns is gone. Chris Samuels has been compromised by health issues.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 15, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

One more thing...

Will we win out?

If we do, you guys will have no other choice but to support Vinny.

I'm a true skins fan and even though we won't be in the playoffs, who cares.

right now it's about knocking out the Giants, Cowboys from the playoffs. That means more to us fans than anything right now.

Posted by: skinsbacker | December 15, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"fans were a lot angrier when the team was 2-4 than they are at 4-9"

Maybe its because we have given up and don't care anymore

Posted by: zoober | December 15, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Vinny gets all the credit for this season. If you want four wins, Vinny is your guy. He has missed several key positions for every year he has been here. Snyder obviously wants big names. For one salary, the Redskins could have rebuilt their offensive line. The DeAngello hall signing still leaves the Redskins without a man up corner. If Danny leaves Vinny in charge, this situation will be a lot worse. No one in Washington wants this guy around except Dan Snyder. That is the reason he is here.

Posted by: HelloNewman1 | December 15, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I always have the choice to not support Vinny - the Skins will never be good enough with him to ever make me change my mind.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 15, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The redskins for the most part have either sucked or been average. They have 4 wins when they should have at least 8. They still find ways to lose, which starts at the top. They keep making the same mistakes, overpaying high priced FA. I doubt any other NFL team would have paid out that amount for a position that can get injured pretty easily. So, whoever make that decision, should be fired. And the rest of the nfc east has a very good crop of young players at QB, RB and WRs, so how can the Redskins catch up? They are at least 3-5 years away and that's only if they do a better job of drafting and signing FAs.

Posted by: larry40 | December 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BrooklynSkins | December 15, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Snyder seems to want to keep the current power structure in which he personally makes the high profile personell decisions (1st round draft picks, big money free agents) and Cerrato handles everything else. I believe Vinnie has nearly 100 % job security. It would take a Lions-esque season for Danny to ditch his raquet ball buddy. As a Skins fan, I find this VERY depressing. Why, for example, must we draft a QB in the first round? Just Google "top free agent quarterbacks 2010" and guess who always shows up at or near the top of the list? Why, of course, Jason Campbell, who everyone assumes the Skins are getting rid of.

Posted by: jack_mo_99 | December 15, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Fire Vinny! If he assembled such a good team, why were these folks not starting at the begining of the year? He has no clue on how to build a football team, nor does he have the backbone to temper the owner's impulses.

Posted by: GC4Life | December 15, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Vinny Cerrato handed Zorn an old injury prone offensive line that stood no chance of staying healthy for the entire season, brought in a man who ate himself out of the league to be a capable back up, thinks that Heyer is actually capable of playing offensive line in the NFL, and he claims that to be a playoff caliber roster? You don't have to see Campbell (who I think we should resign, he would be cheap and he is better than any of the qb's in the draft) getting killed on almost every passing play to know that this is a disaster. FIRE VINNY!!!!

Posted by: bogardp | December 15, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Short and sweet,

No we can do better

Posted by: jbanks979 | December 15, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Vinnie needs to be fired, and a real gm signed. He drafted those players, but the coaching staff has developed them.
Give Zorn one more year, and sign Campbell, and give him an offensive line he can play behind, and this team will be a whole lot better. If Zorn doesn't work out, then go after the so called super coach. This team has a good player base and just needs some smart tinkering.

Posted by: wwwgarnercrew215th | December 15, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Your cousin Vinny won't work for anyone except Dan Snyder, because no one else will hire him. Portis has been used up, Jason Campbell can't carry a team by himself. Gibbs thrived on complimentary qb's because he had a bruising running game with Riggins. The 'skins are far from that. Why do we have to wait two or three years for high round pick receivers to even begin contributing when others don't? He passed on Eddie Royal, Manningham, and Garcon for two guys with 3 combined career tds. Don't even get me started on Donnie Avery. Or DeSean Jackson, who we could have had instead of Kelly. Jordy Nelson (what, you haven't heard of him?) has more career td's than our latest two 'can't miss' wr picks, and he's started 2 games in 2 years. Greg Williams is thanking Dan with every NO check he cashes.

Posted by: Fredneck2 | December 15, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Vindication? Are you kidding me? This team is 70-87 over the past 9 seasons. Granted Vinny was fired during Marty and Gibbs ran a lot of the show when he was here but, we're a losing team. Vindication? the guys stinks and needs to go.

Posted by: mkim424 | December 15, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Credit for what? Credit for a 4-9 season if that's what you want to give him credit for. This team sucks.


Posted by: hessone | December 15, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, no way Cerrato gets fired. The Redskins front office spin doctors will talk about all the injuries, the bad play calling and the poor quarterback play. But none of them, not one, will bear the responsibility for this horrible season. Cerrato will bash everyone in his path, he'll pull excuses out of the woodwork, but never once will he point the finger at himself. And next year, we'll be talking about this boob again, and how Snyder should can him and hire a real GM. Sorry Skins fans, we're stuck with this owner and his lap dog.

Posted by: anw821 | December 15, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Riggins is exactly correct about how "the dysfunction has been neatly swept under the rug". It will continue to be neatly swept under the rug so Snyder can justify keeping his precious little yes man.

Posted by: anw821 | December 15, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

It was a set up frome the start... what viable coach would come to a team, without the authority of bringing his own group of people. Through out the league everyone knows head coach is a package deal that includes people who he trust to do the job needed... Bill Parcells perfect example... people he has faith in to up hold his way of runnning and Organization that wants to win... look at his track record... there is going to be alot of bucks paid to whoever would lower their standards to come to this situation.... but come if you can bring your own people save us from emabarassment, the NFL as a whole snickers whenever the Management of the Redskins are mentioned we deserve alot better than whats being served....HTTR

Posted by: travmanf | December 15, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse


It seems we've had this conversation before.If you think Cerrato has done a good job then your happy with a 4-9 record. I don't have a crystal ball but we play three teams that are playing for playoff spots in the coming weeks.

Posted by: hessone | December 15, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: michaelcmace | December 15, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

jumping off a building now. fire vinny. please, i will jump.

how desperate are you to spin this into a vinny success? everything has been an accident, or the 4th or 5th option!!!!!!!!!!

have an initial plan that doesn't use blind luck!!!

levi was obvious from training camp. the line sucked when healthy. holy s$$t jason can play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bmw can't be a rt but can't be beat outside from rg. WHAT EXACTLY HAS D THOMAS DONE?!?!?!?!?

the team stuck together. period. there is better than average talent on this roster with less than average coaching. that's a fail by the gm.

fire vinny and give the average fan off the street the resources that the redskins do to their gm, and wanna bet on the outcome?

i'd love too.........

Posted by: cancunlizzard | December 16, 2009 4:12 AM | Report abuse

Understand this - Vinny Cerrato has his job not because he is a great GM (he's not) but because he is an enabler - he kisses Danny's keister and let's Danny play fantasy football (that's how you end up with budget busting free agents such as Haynesworth and Hall) instead of actually trying to build a real football team. The good news is that if Danny makes a move to hire one of these coaches he has a mancrush on (Shanahan/Cowher) the first thing that he will hear is that Vinny has got to go, because there is no way any of these coaches will want Vinny making draft picks for their team.

Posted by: VAbaseballfan | December 16, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I knew this would happen.
Credit - NO
Blame - YES

Change will equal change, the status quo will equal.........well you get it. If you are willing to settle for a mediocre team, then just leave things alone, go to the games, look into a mirror, blame yourself!

Posted by: RealConservative | December 16, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Give Cerrato credit? You kidding me? For what?
He's been around for how long? How long has this team reall sucked?

Cerrato should be the first one to go. Bring in a real GM.

Posted by: phackyoutwice | December 16, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

You can get a bunch of good and great players but if you can't build a team you still suck. Any offense needs a functional line to be effective. The fact that he continually ignored that fact while trying to hit the homerun by drafting future and buying overpriced Pro-Bowlers shows his weakness and has directly led to the current poor team record.

Posted by: VMIFury | December 16, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Fire Cerrato! Its good to finally see a capable offense (this is the NFL after all), but the bottom line is the skins are 4-9. Cerrrato is responsible, for the circus of a coaching hire, showing blatant neglect to address an aging o-line through free agency and the draft, and after all he is labeled VP of Football Ops. OK, great he picked up Mike Williams a project, Levi Jones(finally!)off the street, but these are all band aides until long term solutions are put in place, and these long term solutions should already be in place if Cerrato had any foresight.The Skins are a bad team. And once again, no HOME playoff game, far less a playoff game. Its great to see the young guys doing well, and maybe they could provide an exciting future here, but enough with this Cerrato guy. What good has he done in the 10 yrs he's been here? Anyone can make a good first rd. pick, but true personnel guys have a certain amount of foresight with the draft, free agents,personnel, etc. And he has none!

Posted by: beigebandit | December 16, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Having just posted my grades, I'll add one for Vinny.


4 - 9 in the NFL. Younger players starting to look decent does not negate the 4 - 9 record. This is a playoff roster team right? When the injuries come playoff roster teams still win.

Posted by: mdflorals | December 16, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Vinny is a genius, we will be eternally grateful for his astute draft selections including:
- selecting Carlos Rogers over Demarcus Ware or Shawn Merriman or even Aaron Rogers
- Overlooking Frank Gore and Justin Tuck
- selecting Laron Landry over Adrian Peterson or Patrick Willis
- selecting Devin Thomas over Desean Jackson
- Overlooking Ray Rice
- selecting Brian Orakpo over Michael Oher
And who can forget the Jason Taylor trade.

Posted by: jclukas | December 16, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Vinny deserves credit. The team is 4-9. He deserves all the credit in the world for that. After a decade in various capacities (all of them, ultimately, add up to shoe-shine boy for the tiny tyrant), he's produced nothing.

And there is no reasonable reason to believe that the Skins will magically be a playoff team next year just by tweaking a little.

He needs to be held accountable. But so does Danny. If all he does is demote Vinny and hire some other yes-man in his place, we're still stuck with Danny's fantasy football team. It won't work. The best we can hope for is to occasionally sneak into the playoffs.

Time to blow this baby up. Change the culture by flushing out all Danny's sewer rats (not just Vinny, but the rest of the sycophants too -- the slimy lawyer, the fat propaganda minister, etc). Have Danny step back and just focus on picking the pockets of the fans. Bring in a real football mind to be GM. Let him pick the coach. Let the coach and GM decide which players to keep, which ones to get, and how much to pay them.

In 3 years, this team could be competitive.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | December 16, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

After Dan Snyder's 1rst year owning the team he cut Charlie Casserley and kept Norv Turner.

He says he later regretted that decision, so he might very well be leaning towards keeping Cerrato.

Looking at the talent on the roster, this team's largest whole is Offensive Line, but the young players (some UFA) that Vinny brought in at those positions (Ed Williams, Heyer) are gelling.

He deserves credit for raising the average talent level even if the 2nd year players took a little longer to start showing progress.

but he deserves a demerit for:
1) trying to deal JC for inferior QBs.
2) not doing more in the off-season to address the offensive line issues.
3) not bringing in or drafting a FS when it is obvious that Landry is playing out of position. It might be that he assumed Moore would step up.

picking up Jarmon, Ganther, and Jones was more luck than skill, so I don't think he should get credit for trolling the waiver wire / supplemental draft.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | December 16, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I hate Vinny. He's an idiot for real. Snyder is that bad sport that gets mad cuz he plays spades and gets bad hands, and keeps wanting to throw his cards back in and start over.

With that being said, I think we're all a bunch of hypocrites for 1 reason only. People don't remember that Zorn said it takes 2 years for players to catch on to the offense, and 3 for it to be fully functional and proven. Uhhhhhhh, we're at the 1.75 mark, and they're improving, and i'm sure will be much better provided the FO GETS THE HINT AND DRAFTS FOR NEED!!! The reason I have such an issue is if we hired any coach, big name or unknown, and they told us they had a 3 year plan to get us back the Redskins of old, we'd buy it and wait and see. But now we're throwing Zorn and Campbell under the bus. I'd personally keep em both. Tell them what this next year means for them. Draft smart, and let it ride.

Wake up people. The people making the decisions aren't the ones on the field!

Posted by: alwaysactingafool | December 16, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Vinny's free agent blunders and his complete disregard of building an offensive line through the draft far out weigh the things he's lucked/stumbled in to over the years. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.

Vinny needs to go. I'm tired of being so close and waiting for next year on an annual basis. He just doesn't get the big picture and understand the right mix/blend of using the draft, trades and free agent aquisitons in NFL personnel management. He's a scout at best, not a CEO.

Posted by: SkinsKen | December 16, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Why keep a guy as your GM who hires a coach to install the WCO who runs it without the proper talent to do so. Doesn't this tell you something about his ability to judge talent all around ?

Posted by: pjente | December 16, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse


Danny - offer a bigger check and more freedom to Holmgren. W/O a GM with a clue about football, you'll cease making MONEY!!!!!

Posted by: fr3dmars | December 16, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

More of the credit should go to Joe Bugle. He's taken a bunch of mismatched parts and made them into a respectable line. Better line play translates into better play from the QB and RB's, which is why our offense has a pulse again.

Posted by: unquiltom | December 16, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

"Does Cerrato deserve credit?"?!?!?!!

You're kidding, right?

Of course, you're the same dweeb that would still say "lose Jason Campbell" even if he has 2 more 100+ ratings days finishing the season.

Oh, NM!

Posted by: fr3dmars | December 16, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company