Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the Washington Redskins, Vinny Cerrato shows up. Fortunately, Rich Tandler was around to protect you.
Cerrato, Washington’s executive vice president in 2008 and 2009, Was a guest on the Mike Wise Show on 106.7 “The Fan” radio recently with a lengthy defense of his tenure with the team. Cerrato defended the hire decision of Jim Zorn as head coach by contending a weak pool of candidates. Cerrato acknowledged Zorn to have been a mistake.
Tandler’s rebuttal in csnwashington.com cited Tony Sparano (Miami), John Harbaugh (Baltimore) and Mike Smith (Atlanta) among candidates Cerrato and team owner Dan Snyder did not interview for the opening. Those three combined for three division titles and six playoff appearances since then. All were available during Washington’s coach search.
Rich went half as far as he might have to make his point that poor football decisions were being made by Cerrato. He might have gone into the Jim Fassel saga.
Fassel was the architect of the Redskins move to the West Coast Offense. Zorn was signed as offensive coordinator at Fassel’s suggestion…when Fassel expected to be named head coach.
Cerrato and Snyder lost their nerve in the face of an overnight fan revolt against Fassel. They say they were too busy to notice the “Fire Fassel” movement. With perfect hindsight, Snyderrato and fans who opposed him can agree that Fassel would have been better off with Fassel than with Zorn, with or without help from Sherm Lewis.
Tandler might have reminded that Cerrato and Snyder briefly wooed USC’s Pete Carroll who backed away, as did a number of prospects. Seattle signed Carroll to be Seahawks head coach last season. The Seahawks clinched the title of the weak NFC West division.
Finally, because I don’t want to spend too much more time on Vinny Cerrato, Lets recall that Snyderrato settled on Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo as the hot and heavy target. Spagnuolo teased Cerrato, then used the Redskins offer, that Washington denies making, to lever an enriched contract with the Giants.
Spagnuolo joined the troubled St. Louis Rams franchise as head coach in 2009. He’s gone 1-1 against Washington since.
Here’s the final hiccup. In the Cerrato-led coach search, Fassel and Zorn were the only two candidates able to name their own offensive coordinator. Fassel named Zorn, but then did not get the job. Zorn did get the job, and then named Sherman Smith who, like Zorn, was a rookie at the position. Cerrato did not see the risks of stacking the rookiness–Smith’s and Zorn’s to go with his own.
I just shake my head.
Point after: The podcast of 106.7′s Cerrato interview can be found here. Dan Steinberg transcribed portions of the Cerrato interview and published them in a series of DC Sports Bog posts. May as well start with this one. Tandler’s skewer of Cerrato can be read on csiwashington.com here.