Vinny Cerrato Resigns from Redskins, Now What?

17 Dec

Adam Schefter announced that Vinny Cerrato, the executive vice president of football operations, has resigned.

Cerrato released the following statement:

“We agreed that the franchise needs someone different in this position. I’m thankful to Dan Snyder and other members of his ownership team for the opportunities I’ve been given over the years.

“Of course, I am disappointed with this year’s results, but I strongly believe that with outstanding draft picks and encouraging performance by our younger players, we have laid a strong foundation for the franchise.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great coaches such as Joe Gibbs, Greg Blache and Sherman Lewis, great people on the Redskins staff, and, most especially, some of the best professional football players in the world. I wish them all the best. I’ve also had the privilege of working for a franchise supported by the most loyal fans in the NFL.”

Happy Birthday Redskins Fans!!! But, rather than rehashing all the things I didn’t like about Vinny Cerrato, I’m going to try to give you a picture of what the Redskins plans are for the future with Bruce Allen taking over as executive vice president of football operations and general manager of the Washington Redskins.

Possibility #1 – Bill Cowher. Bill Cowher is not coming to Washington. There is a laundry list of reasons as to why he isn’t but all I have to say is LOOK OUT JOHN FOX!!!

B.C. to D.C. – 0%.

Possibility #2 – Charlie WeisCharlie Weis is coming to Washington? No. Vinny Cerrato was the main link to QB Jimmy Clausen and drafting Clausen is the only thing that makes sense about bringing in Charlie Weis. Weis couldn’t perform at a college that has high expectations, what makes you think he will do any better at the professional level.

Chances that it’s Charlie? 10%. If Dan Synder tries his hand at hiring a head coach that isn’t allowed to bring in his own staff (again), then Charlie’s odds improve. I would understand if Synder wanted to keep Defensive Coordinator Greg Blanche, so that’s where the 10% comes from.

Possibility #3 Mike Shanahan. There is always the possibility that Daniel Synder will bring in Mike Shanahan. Shanahan already turned down the head coaching job after the Redskins lost to the Chiefs and it seemed the organization was falling apart at the seams. Shanahan stated that he didn’t want to take over the head  coach position in the middle of the season because that rarely works out, but didn’t deny the possibility of taking over at the end of the season. Shanahan also stated that he didn’t want to work with Vinny Cerrato. They have a past, some think it’s good, other point to Vinny’s work with San Fransisco (when Shanahan was there) as the reason they wouldn’t work together.

Chances of Mike Shanahan? 30%. Mike Shanahan is a big name with a good track record. Synder loves the exciting big offense and has previously offered Shanahan the job. Mike Shanahan would have full responsibilities of the team, similar to his situation in Denver. I have been predicting this since Shanahan lost his job in Denver. Of course, anytime a big name is cut that’s what all Redskins fans start thinking, but this one (at the time) made the most sense to me.

Cons – I know that I said I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on Vinny Cerrato’s track record but this is important, so pay attention.  The Redskins have only drafted one offensive lineman in the first or second round since 2001, which is Chris Samuels. I love Chris Samuels and he has always played extremely well, but his degenerative back disease miiiggghht be a problem. The Redskins haven’t drafted a running back since Ladell Betts in the second round of the 2002 draft. Every single team has drafted at least one running back since 2007 — except for the Redskins, who’ve drafted none since 2002. Clinton Portis is injured and may be on his way out. Ladell Betts is injured and not the explosive running back that the Redskins need. These are problems that need to be addressed early and often in this coming draft. The problem is that if Shanahan comes in, he will probably also want a new QB since Jason Campbell has had every system under the sun.

Pros – Clinton Portis averaged his highest yardage per game under Shanahan in Denver. Coaches usually like the players they draft. IF Portis is as close to Daniel Synder as Redskins insiders say he is, Portis won’t be gone and maybe he’ll be productive again. Shanahan also likes muscle-y-armed (paperboys) quarterbacks, so there is the possibility that he keeps Jason Campbell and implements the wristband, things will work out. Shanahan should be smart enough to recognize that any quarterback would struggle with this offensive line and games are tough to win when a team can’t control the clock with a running back.

Possibility #4 – Mike Holmgren. Holmgren seemed pretty pissed that the Seahawks went with Jim Mora when he left. He also made it very clear that his wife asked him to take a year off and that he would be back, preferably “somewhere on the east coast”. Another big name for Dan Synder to look at.

Holmgren to the NFC East? 25%. Mike Holmgren is a hall of fame coach. If Dan Synder brings him in as the head coach the transition for offense should be pretty easy…

This Pros – makes the most sense for the reasons stated that Mike Shanahan didn’t. Mike Holmgren is sympatric to Jim Zorn and if Holmgren came in, he would keep Zorn somehow and the majority of the system the Skins currently have in place. I mean why have the pupil when you can go straight to the master right? That means all the focus for the draft will be on the necessary missing pieces and not drafting a new quarterback and starting from scratch.

The Cons – Mike Holmgren’s draft record is fairly suspect. One of the worst from 1999 to 2002 when he was GM of the Seahawks. This article was long so I didn’t read it all, but if you don’t believe me you can check it out here.

Possibility #5 – Jon Gruden. It was previously reported that Jon Gruden topped the Dan Synder’s wish list, and just in time for Christmas too. With Bruce Allen taking over for Vinny Cerrato, the speculation meter is off the charts. But Gruden has already signed a multi-year deal to remain on Monday Night Football, so Dan Synder would have to dig reaaalllyyyy deep to fish Jon Gruden out.

Jon Gruden/Bruce Allen reunion? 40% chance. Apparently Jon Gruden’s wife is looking for houses in the DC/Ashburn area.

Pros – The Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen combo has worked out before, twice. Gruden has a good defensive mind and has a coaching similar to the historical “NFC East” “hard-nose” “power-running” etc…

Cons – Jon’s other job and same cons as Shanahan. Bringing in a coach that’s from a completely different system means either a new learning curve for Jason Campbell or more likely, a new QB. I also can’t picture Jon Gruden putting up with Clinton Portis’ issues during practice, which would most likely mean a new running back drafted. There are only so many draft picks we can have when would the offensive line get addressed!?

All big name coachs have a hard time with GMs and with Daniel Snyders reputation of looking over the shoulder of everyone, it’ll be a tough for any big coach to be happy in DC. Of course, this could all be completely irrelevent. Without a salary cap, Washington might aquire everything they need over the free agency and it doesn’t matter who is coaching, but I like to think they will play for the future after 2010.


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