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Posted at 2:26 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Cerrato: Zorn was done in by his ego

By Dan Steinberg

Vinny Cerrato spent like 17 million hours on the Mike Wise Show Tuesday afternoon, which probably means I'll come out with 14 million blog posts about it. Listen to it here. Here's blog number one, in which Cerrato explained what ruined Jim Zorn's hot start with the Redskins. It was Zorn's ego, turns out.

"Lookit, when we started out, we're 6-2 and the guy's doing a good job," Cerrato said. "But then I think ego got into play and then he stopped listening to coaches, became a celebrity. I mean, that's when Rush Limbaugh's on the sideline, he had all these people on the sideline. Give me a break. Just worry about Clinton Portis, Chris Samuels. Worry about the next team. To me, that's what happened. We're 6-2, we're on a run, and all you people in the newspaper were saying Dan finally got it right, hired a great coach, blah blah blah, and then see how fast you guys turned?"

Of course, it turns out that there were at least two things that led to Zorn's downfall. Here's another.

"It's like talking to the media, you tried to tell Jim Zorn, Jim, that's part of your job," Cerrato said. "When you talk to the media, you can't tell them everything. You know, he wanted to tell them everything. I think Jim's downfall was when he went on and started ripping the players, Chris Samuels, and saying it on air. You lose the team. They say bye bye."

At which point Wise asked about hiring Sherm Lewis as an offensive consultant, and embarrassing Zorn in front of his team and the world

"Not at all; it was about improving the football team. The offense was terrible," Cerrato said. "What we wanted to do was bring him help, because on the offensive staff there was nobody that had called plays. I mean, that was part of Jim's problem was the offensive staff that he hired, there wasn't the experience. There had been nobody on the staff that could call a play. I mean, you couldn't promote anybody, because there was nobody on the staff that could do it. And we had just seen Sherm in Detroit, and Sherm actually did a nice job, he came in and he worked, he would do whatever Jim told him to do. The coaches appreciated what Sherm did."

So I guess hiring a bad staff was another thing that did in Zorn.

By Dan Steinberg  | March 8, 2011; 2:26 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Comments

Yeah, you'll have that when you hire a guy for a job he wasn't ready for.

Who's fault was that?

Posted by: tha_prophet | March 8, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

If only he used "Lookit" along with a 3rd person reference!

"Lookit, the owner is Dumb, but Vinny Cerrato is Dumber!"

Posted by: DCFanCouncil | March 8, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world would Mike Wise waste airspace by having Vinny on his show? Why did you just waste bandwidth transcribing it? Why am I wasting my time commenting on it??? D'OH!!!

Posted by: tidalwave1 | March 8, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Vinny Cerrato is a loathsome weasel.

Posted by: Lunger | March 8, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Lookit...If Jim Zorn had had an offensive line worth a crap, and one receiver (other than Moss) that could catch, stay healthy or wake up on time, I believe they would have been much better.

Posted by: capsfan0837 | March 8, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

He stopped listening to the coaches to his detriment...yet these coaches were not competent to call plays. Hmmm...

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 8, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I've defended Cerrato over the years for being a good evaluator of talent, but I can't defend this. He clearly has a personal grudge against Zorn and the two were not even on speaking terms the latter part of the 2009 season. Then when Cerrato got fired, he went out of his way not to thank or even mention Zorn in his farewell press release. Now this...

Zorn was done in for one reason above all others: the injuries that decimated our offensive line in late 2008 that came at the worst possible time, as we were making a playoff push against a string of very good teams. Those injuries were not adequately addressed in the 2009 offseason and we dealt with the same issues in 2009, no pass protection, no run blocking with a bunch of journemen and career back ups along the o-line.

THAT is what did Zorn in, and ultimately did Cerrato in as well. And ultimately may do Shannahan in some day too.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 8, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Cerrato is an idiot trying to cover for his incompetence as the quasi-general manager for the team for a decade. Vinny - go find a rock to crawl under and please don't come back.

Posted by: MrDumberton | March 8, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Cerrato's a numb nut!!

Posted by: jerod1 | March 8, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's the real issue- nobody wanted to be a head coach for the Redskins while Vinny Cerrato was around, so we settled for an incompetent head coach. But the problem stemmed from Vinny in the first place. You are a joke Vinny, and DC's happiest day in ten years was the day you were fired.

Posted by: RedskinsTime | March 8, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Barno
It wasn't just injurys that ruined the 08 season. It was the insistance that we go "west coast" with the team. We went 6-2 with a run first, shotgun pass system... Basicly what the Giants, Cowboys, Packers and Steelers are running.

But the West Coast system is all about pass first, and quick throws from a quick drop.

Campells raiting in Shotgun was something like 106... So lets not use shotgun.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 8, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to listen to two hours of Vinny the Joke but if I had to put my money on it, I'm sure he took no blame for the O-line, Jon Jansen, T.J. Duckett, Archuleta, B-Loyd, or spending three seconds on pass recievers. Mike Wise and Vinny, there's a hit squad

Posted by: Black706 | March 8, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Vinny who? On the radio? Ragging on Jim Zorn? Who cares?

Posted by: BenThere | March 8, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

alex35332, I didn't say there was only one reason that did Zorn in, you are right there were others. But any fair assessment would have to consider the O-line injuries the biggest issue that did us in.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 8, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

So let's use some very very simple logic here.

When Zorn started 6-2, Redskins were winning DESPITE nobody knowing how to call an offensive play.

But once the next year started and the Redskins were playing poorly, THEN all of a sudden nobody knows how to call a play, or had any experience doing so the entire PREVIOUS YEAR?

Cerrato, you are a friggin' idiot. I know for a fact throwing darts at draft pick names and free agents could have done a better job then you.

Nobody should give this clown the time of day within 400 miles of DC.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | March 8, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I love how Cerrato complains about there not being anyone on Zorn's staff who could call a play and using that as an excuse for why he had to bring Sherman in. But I seem to remember during the search for a new head coach Redskins management thought it wise to put together a coaching staff BEFORE HIRING A HEAD COACH. This lead to a number of qualified head coaches saying ummm thanks but no thanks to the Skins and they had to settle for Zorn a coach who they initially wanted as an offensive coordinator. Vinny is a joke and his tenure with the Skins was a nightmare.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | March 8, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"I mean, that was part of Jim's problem was the offensive staff that he hired, there wasn't the experience."

Hadn't Vinny and/or Danny already hired the staff before Zorn got the job? I think I remember that one of the reasons they had so much trouble getting someone to accept the position was that the HC prospects were going to be handed a staff already in place. That it was a staff selected by Snyderatto only made it worse, of course.

Posted by: zimbar | March 8, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I really wish someone would hold Vinny down and poop in his mouth.

Seriously.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 8, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

It's suddenly crystal clear to me what Zorn's main problem was: he was working for crazy man!

Posted by: Alan4 | March 8, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Vinny, for reminding me how much I hate you and that there is somebody worse than Dan Snyder in this world.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | March 8, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

On this one, VC is correct; Zorn's problems were that he publicly criticized his players and the team began to quit on him after he embarassed Portis on the sideline of the Detroit Game.

Posted by: maturebenefactor | March 8, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Why in the HELL does anyone spend any time giving Vinny Cerrato any creditability. He's a jerk /lousy GM and forgets / that he and Synder hired a coaching staff before the head coach. Go crawl under a rock and stay there. No one wants to hear from you and your assessement of a coach. I hope you never sat foot in a GM slot again. You disgust me. RAY

Posted by: rayjay1 | March 8, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Why in the HELL does anyone spend any time giving Vinny Cerrato any creditability. He's a jerk /lousy GM and forgets / that he and Synder hired a coaching staff before the head coach. Go crawl under a rock and stay there. No one wants to hear from you and your assessement of a coach. I hope you never sat foot in a GM slot again. You disgust me. RAY

Posted by: rayjay1 | March 8, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Pot, meet kettle...

Posted by: ceebee2 | March 8, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

""I mean, that was part of Jim's problem was the offensive staff that he hired, there wasn't the experience."

Hadn't Vinny and/or Danny already hired the staff before Zorn got the job? I think I remember that one of the reasons they had so much trouble getting someone to accept the position was that the HC prospects were going to be handed a staff already in place. That it was a staff selected by Snyderatto only made it worse, of course."

And you notice Wise wasn't smart enough to challenge him on it...

Posted by: ceebee2 | March 8, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Poopy

Posted by: jpfterps | March 8, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Wise and Cerrato in the same studio; the Fan must have a large padded studio to accommodate that much mediocrity and dumbness. I hope they fumigated it before LaVar... oh, wait a minute, never mind.

Posted by: sportstalk44 | March 8, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Zorn was in waaaaay over his head as the HC. Cerato was in waaaaay over his head when doing anything related to personnel. And Snyder is just an arrogant dwarf for for hiring either one of these two clowns to work for him.

Posted by: sjp879 | March 8, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Lookit, I think every Steinbog entry about The Cerrato Interview should start with "Lookit, ...."

Posted by: dcsween | March 8, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's problem was he was a qb coach and not head coach material...We all know how that hiring scenario went down and just shows how little the Dan knows about hiring...

Also Zorn does not have the backbone to be a head coach in the NFL...It's not just his demeanor that we see but he has no bite..One doesn't have to be a Parcells but a coach has to be feared in some way...

Posted by: pentagon40 | March 8, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Vinny is a great person to blame Zorn. Vinny is well known because he is now the with in the National Football League. Before joining the Redskins he was the with in the National Football League. Jim Zorn has been in the NFL since 1971. Shut up Vinny. L.

Posted by: HelloNewman53 | March 8, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Lookit, I think every Steinbog entry about The Cerrato Interview should start with "Lookit, ...."

Posted by: dcsween | March 8, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Book it.

Posted by: JohnnyRyde | March 8, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Vinny`s Ego. That is what took the Redskins down for the last 10 years! What a jerk! I 3rd the motion for Poopy!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | March 8, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

The Mike Wise show is bad enough when the only moron is Wise. How Holden Kushner avoided suicide while those two stammering idiots babbled is beyond comprehension.

Posted by: bdub2 | March 8, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting... Most Redskins fans hate Snyder. But Snyder does have a few defenders out there. However, EVERYONE hates Vinny Cerrato. That's quite a feat.

Posted by: franklinmjohnson | March 8, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Cerrato really knew how to handle the media - he went out and got his own radio gig while working as the GM and all he talked about on radio gig was about college football and then he would get really defensive on the air whenever someone questioned his GM record. Damn fool you hired Zorn in the 1st place so what does that have to say about your GM record...

Posted by: blt8828 | March 8, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"We went 6-2 with a run first, shotgun pass system.."

Yep, Buges went 6-2 before Zorn finally decided it was time for the team to shoot for the bottom.

Btw, that kinda makes Cerrato's comment about Sherm Lewis and having nobody on the staff who could call plays (how about the ex-HC?) kinda, um, false, doesn't it?

Posted by: WorstSeat | March 8, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

The offense was terrible, yet he was the one who went out and gave Albert Haynesworth all that money. Yeah, we see how well that worked out. Zorn done in by his ego? The Skins done in by Cerrato's incompetence.

Posted by: stwasm | March 8, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Its this simple! Cerrato hired Zorn...he should have know all this upfront with regard to his experience...references and abilities.

If you remember correctly they had asked Zorn to be offensive coordinator first....so that makes Cerrato's entire analysis even more idiotic!!!

Even if Zorn was to blame you take the high road as a man and jump on grenade.

I think it is a trickle down affect and all are to blame in some way but besides Snyder...Vinny was next in line!!!

Posted by: ping1982 | March 9, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey Vinny, ya want I should talk to dis guy Zorn? He ruint yer reputation as a personnel man. He cud sleep wit the fishes if ya wanted.

Posted by: chopin224 | March 9, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Uh...Vinny? I'm thinking that what did in Zorn as head coach of the Washington Redskins was hiring Jim Zorn as head coach of the Washington Redskins. Actually, it was probably hiring Jim Zorn as offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins, which likely scared away legit head coach candidates. Who would want to take a job where a completely untested coach had already been hired to run the offense?

Nice work. But stop trying to re-write history. You stunk up the place for YEARS. Move on.

Posted by: kemp13 | March 9, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Fat pill-popping racist Rush and crazy Tom Cruise on the sideline, that explains alot. This team is not he same team, lets hope those two bad people dont return.

Posted by: porcelainproductions | March 9, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Zorn has been nothing but a gentleman in the wake of his treatment by the Skins and especially Cerrato. Yet, the architect of much that is wrong with the Redskins just can't shut up. Isiah Cerrato he is.

How about this, Cerrato and Zorn one on one in a cage. Payback time. I'd pay to watch that. All proceeds to charity of course.

Posted by: tslats | March 9, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Kindergarten Cop. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: trebor0012 | March 9, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

This is hysterical!! So Vinny is blasting his own hire? Way to do your homework before offering Zorn the job you idiot!! And airing this stuff on the radio does nothing but make you look like a classless buffoon. Enjoy doing ESPN gigs for the rest of your life because you'll never have a legitimate NFL job again after ruining two franchises (Skins and 49ers).

Posted by: hokiepokster92 | March 9, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Carrato proved to be the weisel that he is in that interview and Wise proved to be the weisel he is. These 2 don't have a fraction of the class that Zorn has. Zorn had absolutely no control over his staff and players. Look at what Shanahan has done with control. 6 and 10.

Posted by: bobilly2 | March 9, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't Cerrato involved in hiring Zorn and his assistants. Isnt the GM, on some level, responsible for having somebody, ANYBODY, on the staff of a pro football team that call, uh, CALL PLAYS? Cerrato was unquestionably the LARGEST mistake in the history of the Redskins. Zorn should never have even in a position to have an ego or call out players publicly. He should never have been head coach. Cerrato is a huge D-bag, always was, always will be.

Posted by: Soupcan | March 9, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What more can you expect from an organization where mail for the quarterback is addressed as "Occupant?"

Instead of kissing Lombardi trophies, all Cerrato kissed during his career was the owner's backside. Do us all a favor, Vinny, and comment on things you know a whole lot about -- and football ain't one of them.

Posted by: billatkinson | March 9, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

What more can you expect from an organization where mail for the quarterback is addressed as "Occupant?"

Instead of kissing Lombardi trophies, all Cerrato kissed during his career was the owner's backside. Do us all a favor, Vinny, and comment on things you know a whole lot about -- and football ain't one of them.

Posted by: billatkinson | March 9, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

What more can you expect from an organization where mail for the quarterback over the last decade+ is addressed as "Occupant?"

Instead of kissing Lombardi trophies, all Cerrato kissed during his career was the owner's backside. Do us all a favor, Vinny, and comment on things you know a whole lot about -- and football ain't one of them.

Posted by: billatkinson | March 9, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Zorn: So tell me Vinny. You're saying our record had nothing to do with all these pre-madonna free agents you signed to ludacris contracts and years of overlooking the OL & DL during the draft?

Posted by: vtsquirm1 | March 9, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for getting my blood pressure going there Dan. Reading this in the offseason just ticks me off. Cerrato is a major tool, and a lying one at that. He blames Zorn's coaching staff? That would almost be insanely funny if it wasn't so sad. This team will continue to blow dead bear for the forseeable future as long as Snyder's at the helm.

Posted by: CHICO13 | March 9, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Lookit, this bonehead and Snyder have ruined this team for years to come. It will take several head coaches and a plethora of draft pick to undo this mess.

Posted by: dbunkr | March 9, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

He is dumb!!!

Posted by: hammer4 | March 9, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

He is dumb!!!

Posted by: hammer4 | March 9, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

A couple other things that did in Zorn (besides his massive ego):

1) not having a capable GM
2) having a reactionary owner who is quick to fire
3) having an ageing team with little talent

Posted by: Mrawl | March 9, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Never mind the fact that it's impossible to take seriously any "executive" who opens a season with "Lookit" .... based solely on his track record of helping to turn a once-proud franchise into a mediocre punch line, why does anyone EVER interview this idiot anymore?

STOP PUTTING HIM ON THE AIR, Mike Wise, and stop writing about him, Dan Steinberg. Zorn was unprepared to be a head coach, but Cerrato hired him. Just because Cerrato must have had compromising pictures on Little Danny in order to keep his job doesn't mean he should have been a GM, and it certainly doesn't mean he merits any air time on any subject. He was worse for the Redskins than Ego-han and Little Danny.

Continuing to seek his opinions only serves to make him believe he's somehow relevant — which he isn't.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | March 9, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Snyder who knows nothing about being an NFL owner hires his best buddy Vinny as GM who knows nothing about football. THEN, Vinny hires Zorn who knows nothing about being a head coach.

And they wonder why this team is such a mess.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 9, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow....Vinny, the words you spoke serve to further illustrate how Dumb you really are.
LOL
Lookit, you are an absolute idiot. Lookit!

Posted by: bernarddeane | March 9, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Nice, Cerrato. Just like when you ask a kid who broke something and they say "It wasn't me!"

Posted by: shanks1 | March 9, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Jim Zorn's EGO???? HAHAHAHA .. Gimme a break.. The guy was doing the best he could with the sh*t football team YOU gave him...

Posted by: gcottrill | March 9, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

And it was Jim Zorn who went on the radio,ACTULLY STARTED A NEW SHOW, to cackle like a hen how at 6-2, the redskins had it figured out, bragging about how they brought so and so in...by the end of the year , this creep stopped taking calls and then stopped doing the show altogether. That was all Jim Zorn there... what a friggin dope ur vinny. i hope your ungreased cheeks still feel the pain of dannyboys pounding .... what a dink!

Posted by: klangley69 | March 9, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"We got a genius for a head coach, I don't know, so I'm sure he's on top of things," Portis said. "He's got everything figured out. All I can do is when he calls the plays is to try and execute to the best of my ability."

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr81 | March 9, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Heres something Zorn will continues be a football coach while Vinny will never touch a GM position again. if Zorn was straight up offensive cord not have so much on his plate at once he would have done better

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | March 9, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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