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Cerrato On The Draft, This Year And Last

Posted by Matt Terl on March 27, 2009 – 12:29 pm

More from Vinny Cerrato’s radio appearance this morning.

Rick “Doc” Walker — who did a terrific job during this show — asked point blank about the Redskins’ upcoming draft selections, and Cerrato was surprisingly frank. So here’s something to factor to your future draft speculation, as well as some more insight into the thinking behind last year’s draft.

On if University of Texas DE Brian Orakpo will be there at the thirteenth pick:

Cerrato: “No. He will not be there.”

On Andre Smith, who Walker calls “the nastiest guy I saw on film,” and if he would be a viable pick if he dropped to thirteen:

Cerrato: “He would be a definite candidate Doc.

“You know what, the thing about it was, prior to the season ending in college he was projected to go as high as two. And then he got in trouble with the agent thing, so he got suspended for the game. Then the combine, he left early and then at his workout, I don’t know who advised him to run without his shirt on.

“But then the thing about it is, what happens, Doc, is you make those thoughts at that time. Then what happens is when you get into the meetings in April, you go back to the tape — and the tape don’t lie — and then you start watching the tape and say you know, this guy is pretty good. He probably won’t be there at thirteen, either, Doc. The guy is a talented player.

“Who is going to be there? I don’t know because, Doc, there is so much time yet.

“Let’s just take us through kind of where we’re at, what our schedule is. The scouts come back in the end of March, on that Sunday. And then we meet from then, basically until the week prior to the Draft. And that is kind of when we’re taking our board and ranking each position and that is when all the scouts are in there.

“The pro scouts, college scouts, because everybody is responsible — the staff is in there too. Coaches are in there, too. When we are in there it is like, you say what you have to say now because if you don’t say it now, in a week I don’t want you to come back and say, you know what? I like this guy better. It ain’t happening.

“If you want to say something you say it in this room when we are talking about him, otherwise it don’t change. Because then you know what happens is, after the meetings, then coaches, they go talk to their friends. ‘How did you like this guy? How did you like that guy?’ And then they’ll say, ‘Oh, maybe I’m wrong,’ and then we’ll start second-guessing ourselves.

“Why do that work then if you’re just going to talk to your friends? You have to be about the work that you have done and what you have seen and what you have seen at that time because the thing about it is, we are sitting in there and … say Andre Smith. We are taking him and we’re making a tell-a-story tape and a tell-a-story tape is like 40 plays and after you watch the tell-a story-tape.. and the reason I don’t call it a highlight tape is because it’s not highlights. It’s tell-a-story. You put it together and show what he can do and what he can’t do, so when you are done watching you say, alright you know his strengths and his weaknesses.

“So if he can’t pass block, you show him getting beat a bunch of times in pass pro. If he is a great run block, you see all the drive blocks. We watch the tell-a-story tape then we watch about three regular games of him and then what we’ll do is, Scott Campbell will run the projector and what I like to do is take notes the whole time. It’s like I’m writing a report again.

“And then after we get done watching the tape Scott will go around the room and ask everybody their opinion, what they think. And then we will write one Redskin report on the guy and put a Redskin grade on it and then we’ll put him up on the board. Then we’ll watch the next guy and so on and so forth, all the way down. And it’s a lot easier to compare them when you are watching them one right after another, bam bam bam, all the way down and you get a pretty good comparison.”

On selecting Devin Thomas over Virginia Tech (and now Denver Bronco) WR Eddie Royal in last year’s draft:

Cerrato: “We liked Eddie Royal, Doc. What it came down to is, Eddie Royal is about 5’9″, okay? Santana [Moss] and Antwaan [Randle El] are both that size. We wanted bigger guys. We did not want another little guy because we already had two. We wanted bigger guys. We wanted a couple bigger guys, so that is why we went in that direction. We weren’t looking for another little guy because we had Santana and we had Antwaan and we wanted bigger guys. We already had that mold and we didn’t have the big guy. In the west coast offense, there are a lot of slants and a lot of those things and having a bigger presence was what we were looking for.”

On drafting Chad Rinehart, and his performance last year:

Cerrato: “I liked him at the Senior Bowl, because you saw him playing guard and you saw him pulling….

“The thing about it is basically during the whole [2008] season he ran the other team’s plays. He was on the scout team. What plays did he get with the starting team? Really none. Well, he did the last two weeks because he got to dressing, and what the players and what Buges told me is he really improved a lot the last two weeks because he was getting in the real reps. Because otherwise they are running the other team’s plays. As you are running the other team’s plays, you’re not worried about your steps, your fundamentals, all those things.”

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[At this point, Doc Walker asked who filled in for Pete Kendall during his regular Wedensday non-practices.]

Cerrato: “[Jason] Fabini, because of the guys that were dressing. Rinehart wasn’t dressing. The reason Fabini was dressing was because he could play right tackle, right guard, left guard, because as you know, we were dressing seven, so you have to be versatile, so you always- [Justin] Geisinger was always dressing because nobody else could play center. Fabini dressed because he would play all three spots.

Walker: “Couldn’t that retard a young kid’s growth? How can a rookie learn 5 positions?”

Cerrato: “That is basically impossible. Because a rookie coming in, they know nothing anyhow, they are overwhelmed, especially an offensive lineman. He’s playing left tackle, left guard, right tackle … and as you know, all the positions are different.

“Fundamentally, the steps are different. At guard the guy is on him right away. At tackle he has the wide rusher. At guard he has two guys next to him to help him. Everything is different. It takes time to develop so what you are going to see, like what you are going to see now, Devin Clark, those guys, they are going to play guard in the offseason now.

Walker: “What about Stephon Heyer?”

Cerrato: “Stephon is playing right tackle. That’s it. He is a right tackle. He is playing right tackle right now. I said, ‘hey, Stephon. Take that job. Go get that job.’

“He weighed in at 330 pounds and he looked good. What Stephon needs to do is just keep working on his fundamentals. When he would bend his knees, Doc, he has arms that would go from here to down the street. As a pass rusher if he gets his hands on it, he’s good, but if he just sits down and got his hands tight — and I’m sure you heard that many times, tight hands — now if he does his fundamentals right he is hard to beat. But when he stands tall, doesn’t bend his knees, you can walk him back. So strength and fundamentals is what he is going to be working on this whole offseason.”

Again, thanks to Intern Bridgette for transcription help.


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