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Vinny Cerrato Talks Signings on ESPN 980

Posted by Matt Terl on February 27, 2009 – 10:00 am

Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato went on ESPN 980 this morning to discuss last night’s signings with Andy Pollin and Kevin Sheehan.

When I left Redskins Park around 4:30 in the morning, it seemed like things were going to take more time to develop, so it’s particularly interesting for me to see Cerrato break down the timeline from last night, and explain at least a little of the bidding process.

On how last night went:

“It was a long night, it was up and down, you know. At times you felt good, at times you felt terrible. But at about 5:30 this morning, we got the deal done with Albert, and probably about midnight we got the deal done with DeAngelo.”

On how the DeAngelo Hall negotiations proceeded:

“It heated up about 11:30. I can’t remember if it was right before midnight or right after. I mean, it was right around there that they accepted the deal.”

On what Albert Haynesworth brings to the Redskins defense:

“I think we played outstanding defense, because we finished fourth, sixth against the points, but I think getting sacks and creating turnovers helps score points. I think it was something that we wanted to improve this offseason, and I think with the addition of Albert, I think what he does is he just distracts inside. I mean, he takes two or three blockers most of the time.

“He had eight and half sacks, but I think what he does is he helps everybody else get sacks, get turnovers. I mean, talking to all our players prior to this about, ‘What do you think about getting Albert Haynesworth,’ they were all ecstatic. I talked to London Fletcher, and Griff, and Fred Smoot. DeAngelo, right after we signed him I kinda told him what our plans were, and he says, ‘Go get the big guy, that’s what we need.’ Because if you get a push in the pocket up the middle, the quarterback cannot step up, and then it gives the outside guys a better opportunity to get to the quarterback.”

On Haynesworth’s injury history:

“I think last year he missed two games, but they had already clinched the division. So could he have played? Possibly. Did he need to play? No. They just needed to rest for the playoffs. But the thing about it is, when you watch the tape … the last two years, he’s been to the Pro Bowl, he’s played outstanding, and I think he’s had, what, thirteen sacks the last two years? And I think [Kyle] Vanden Bosch has probably made the Pro Bowl both times because of Albert.

“He’s played every year between 55, 60 percent [of the snaps], probably, and we’ll have a pretty good rotation in there and he’ll line up all over the place. At Tennessee he played some at end in pass rushing and stuff, and he’ll do the same here.”

On improving the offense this offseason:

“Well, we’ll look at some things here yet in free agency, possibly to help on the offensive side, and we’ll look at the draft also. But I think offensively, the biggest improvement’s gotta come from the two young receivers and Fred Davis. I think those three … if those three improve a lot, I think the offense will improve a lot. Because that’ll help Santana on the other side, and I think it helps with the run game and stuff. But we’ll address the offensive line.”

On who was in the running for Hall and Haynesworth:

“I know that DeAngelo had a little bit more that he could’ve taken from somewhere else, and with Albert — as was reported on TV by John Clayton — there were six teams. I mean, he would know better than me. I mean, the agent’s not gonna tell me there’s six teams but … there were six teams involved, and involved for a long time [from midnight]. And then I think right towards the end, that it just came down to us and one other team right at the end. And, actually, they offered more money than we did.”

On the current status of the salary cap:

“We’ve gotta do a couple things yet to get some room, which we will do.”

You can listen to the interview here.

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