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About That Consultant Thing

Posted by Matt Terl on December 18, 2009 – 12:02 pm

Vinny Cerrato has released a statement regarding a report earlier today on ProFootballTalk that he “will remain with the team as a Snyder consultant.” Here’s the statement, without any glibness from me getting in the way:

A report on profootballfootballtalk.com early this morning regarding me, my future within the Redskins organization and the outrageous suggestions about so-called secrets is erroneous and irresponsible. Three times the blogger notes that he has no facts, and that is the only true statement made in the article. Dan has agreed to pay me through the term of my contract, which ends in February.

UPDATE: ProFootballTalk has also posted a follow-up item on this, based on a separate conversation.

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London Fletcher On The Departure Of Vinny Cerrato

Posted by Matt Terl on December 17, 2009 – 2:15 pm

Plenty of Redskins players were asked about the resignation of Vinny Cerrato today; the vast majority of them had nothing particularly substantial to offer. Mostly, they expressed this by saying things like Hey, I just worry about football, or That’s front office stuff, and out of my hands.

So I’ve selected London Fletcher as my sample of this type of interview, for three reasons:

First, because he’s a team captain and therefore an appropriate representative.

Second, because he’s a thoughtful guy who’s been around the league for awhile.

And third, because it offers me a chance to remind you to vote him into the Pro Bowl. (Seriously. Do it.)

Anyhow, here’s Fletcher’s group interview session from today, standing as a sort of synecdoche for the entire team’s group interview sessions today. Read more »

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Press Release On Vinny Cerrato's Resignation

Posted by Matt Terl on December 17, 2009 – 8:38 am

Here’s the official press release regarding Vinny Cerrato’s resignation from the Washington Redskins:

Vinny Cerrato today announced his resignation from the Washington Redskins. Cerrato has served as the club’s executive vice-president of football operations for the past two years, and previously served in five different roles, beginning in 1999.

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Vinny Cerrato On Jim Zorn: The Transcription

Posted by Matt Terl on October 23, 2009 – 10:21 am

On Wednesdays and Fridays, I appear on Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet. I sit next to Larry Michael to answer fan questions or pick games or talk about what’s going on at Redskins Park.

And, occasionally, I sit there and fidget while he goes on a rant. That happened Wednesday, when Michael held forth about members of the media doing nothing but transcribing radio shows and being, I believe his word was, “stenographers.”

The gist of his argument was, I believe, that people on live radio sometimes say things in an awkward fashion but that — unlike writers — they don’t have the opportunity to edit the final product. He really seemed to feel quite strongly about it, and went on somewhat at length, and I fidgeted, and that was that.

So keep all of that in mind as you read the following eleven-hundred word transcript of the first few minutes of Vinny Cerrato’s radio show this morning, the bit where Cerrato declared that Jim Zorn will be the head coach for the rest of the season and hopefully beyond, and his explanation of the playcaller switch.

If you want to listen to the rest of it, I’ve embedded it after the transcript segment (with thanks to ESPN980), but here’s one stenographer’s interpretation of the first part. Read more »

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After Day 2, Vinny Cerrato Still Seems Happy

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2009 – 8:08 pm

Much like yesterday, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato emerged from the draft room to talk to the media looking much more relaxed and much happier than he has in some time.

Not quite as relaxed today as yesterday, given that he had to go from the press conference straight to the phones to work on signing undrafted free agents, but relaxed nonetheless, and pleased with the draft despite not landing the offensive linemen that everyone expected.

“When we signed Mike Williams [on Friday] and the way he looked at the workout,” he said, “that kinda helped that. Where we were picking there really weren’t — it really wasn’t a deep draft for offensive linemen. For guards it was not a very good draft. There were good centers, but they all went late first round and we didn’t have a second round pick. When we got to the third round with [Kevin Barnes], that was the highest rated guy we had on the board. That’s why we went that direction. There really wasn’t an offensive lineman at that spot.”

On how much Mike Williams is expected to participate in minicamp:

“We used to have Bubba Paris and other guys like that in San Francisco. What we are going to do with Mike is, for this first month he will just work with the strength coaches and the rehab guys, work on conditioning and work on some drill work with [Joe Bugel] to get ready for June OTAs.”

Read more »

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Vinny Cerrato Is Happy

Posted by Matt Terl on April 25, 2009 – 7:15 pm

Executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato talked with the media moments ago and — for the first time in weeks — appeared genuinely relaxed and happy. He explained how he had fruitlessly tried to trade up to get Brian Orakpo — who he says was ranked in the top 5 on the Redskins board — only to have the player fall to him at thirteen.

Here’s the video; transcription is after the jump for those of you who prefer reading things to watching things. (Also, don’t miss Coach Zorn’s comments in the previous post.)

Read more »

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What Was Said At The Predraft Press Conference

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2009 – 4:01 pm

The predraft press conference was held this afternoon at Redskins Park, with Executive Vice President Football Operations Vinny Cerrato, owner Daniel M. Snyder, and head coach Jim Zorn sitting in the front of the newly-remodeled auditorium, taking questions from the local media.

Nothing that was said screamed “stop the presses, breaking news,” which seem to me as it should be. All of the back-and-forth subterfuge of the draft would be pretty pointless if the decision-makers just came out and patiently explained to the newspaper reporters exactly what they were planning to do three days in advance.

But there were some interesting clarifications as to how the Redskins draft procedure works, what the draft philosophy is, and some further elaboration on the Redskins Grades and the Redskins Board that Scott Campbell was talking about yesterday.

Cerrato: “Welcome to the draft media event here. I guess as we go into the draft, I guess I start out saying that we talked to every team, up down, all around.

“So, there is a possibility we will do three things on Saturday: trade up, trade back or stay the same. I hope that helps.

“Otherwise, when you look at the Draft, as Mel Kiper told me, there are good players in every round. You just have to find them. I think it’s a decent draft, probably not as deep as it was last year, but there is quality there. I think there is good defensive line. There are good receivers. There is talent in the o line. I think there is depth throughout the draft.”

On if he feels more teams are willing to move up or back this year:

Cerrato: “You don’t know until Saturday. Because you know what, right now everybody is willing to go up, back, wherever. So you don’t know until Saturday. On Saturday, there are deal makers and there are pretenders. There are people just searching to see if somebody will give you an unbelievable deal.”

On if only having five picks will encourage them to trade back: Read more »

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Tuesday, March 31: A Last Bit From Friday's Red Zone

Posted by Matt Terl on March 31, 2009 – 12:19 pm

Let me return for just one more post to Vinny Cerrato’s radio appearance with Rick “Doc” Walker last Friday, and a topic that I didn’t address in my earlier transcriptions: special teams.

Special teams is, for the moment, where most of the position battles are shaping up. Long snapper Ethan Albright is facing competition, as is kicker Shaun Suisham. The punter position is essentially wide open. And there are even a few possibilities for some change at returner.

So it’s interesting to hear what the Executive Vice President/Football Operations has to say on those subjects.

On the kicker battle:

Cerrato: “The thing what we are going to do, Doc, is we are going to make it competitive. Even at kicker with Shaun [Suisham]. I think Shaun, inside the 40, I mean I think he was like 95 percent. Outside of the 40 is where he struggled.

“What we, well hadn’t mentioned here, when he did have [Derrick] Frost as the holder he was much more consistent than when he had [Ryan] Plackemier, so there is something to go into that also, not to make excuses for him. What he needs to improve upon is his long distance field goal accuracy. Short, inside the 40 he was excellent. He needs to improve upon that (long-range) because he did improve upon his kickoffs.”

A quick interjection: I mentioned when Suisham signed his tender that I had noticed a possible correlation between the change in holders (from Brooks, not Frost, to Plackemeier) and his change in output, but I didn’t give the actual numbers. So here they are: Read more »

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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.
Read more »

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Friday, March 27: Return of the Red Zone

Posted by Matt Terl on March 27, 2009 – 10:22 am

“Inside The Red Zone With Vinny Cerrato” returned to the ESPN980 airwaves this morning, airing for an hour with Rick “Doc” Walker in the host’s seat in place of Redskins beat reporter (and excellent T-shirt wearer) Frank Hanrahan.

The themes were familiar — the Jason Taylor trade, the young wide receivers, the upcoming draft — but it’s always interesting to hear Cerrato face the questions head on.

(Also of interest in this particular broadcast was Walker’s ever-evolving roster of imaginary call-in guests. “Louie from Landover and I want to know,” he’d say, or “Luther from Landover.” Or “Ray from Reston” and “Ray from Rockville.” I was eagerly awaiting the thoughts of Quincy in Quantico, Yolanda in Yorkshire Knolls, or Wallace from Winchester-on-the-Severn.)

If you want to listen to the show, it’s up in ESPN980’s Audio Vault, but here are some of the more interesting answers.

On trading for Jason Taylor last year:

Cerrato: “Let’s go back to the Jason Taylor thing: would I do it again if it were the same thing right now? Yeah, I think I’d have to. We’re coming off a playoff year. First day, first drill, we lose our starting defensive end, and there’s a pro bowl defensive end out there. To give up a two and a six the following year, which was really a seventh this past year….”

“And the other reason I pushed to do it is when Phillip [Daniels] went down, the air went out of the team. And I remember telling Jim and Dan, we need to give the guys some confidence. Give them something to feel like, all right, we have a chance again.” Read more »

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