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Saturday, February 16, 2008

February 16-- Cerrato sheds light on off-season direction for Skins

Vinny Cerrato joined Redskins radio for the full hour on Friday and was very open and candid about the decision behind hiring Jim Zorn as the team's new head coach as well as giving a sense of the direction the team will take in rebuilding the roster during the off-season..

First on Zorn: There was some assertions that Zorn was close friends with Vinny and therefore led to his promotion as the head coach from offensive coordinator.. Cerrato says that is untrue, that the first in depth conversation he had with Zorn came when he was here to interview for the offensive coordinator position..
On the reasons behind Gregg Williams not getting the job and being allowed to part ways with the organization a few weeks ago before a head coaching decision was made, "It was not going to be a good marriage for both sides. We let him go when we started getting requests to interview Gregg for other defensive coordinator opportunities." So the timing of it had a little to do with Williams ability to find his next employer and not just the fall out of the leaking of the potential hiring of Jim Fassel..

The compensation for the Jets will receive for the acquisition of G Pete Kendall last summer will be a 4th round draft pick in 2009, so as of now the Redskins have their full compliment of draft selections..
Cerrato fielded calls from listeners regarding the philosophy of trading away picks and acquiring some many free agents on the roster.. He used the Kendall scenario to explain some of the decisions that are made particularly with lower round picks.. "Last year 52 of the picks from rounds six and seven were cut. Sometimes the draft is not deep." Cerrato explained that it is cheaper or all teams to select undrafted free agents, with less money guaranteed necessary to sign them especially if the beliefe is there are few if any diamonds in the rough that low..
As for drafting, Cerrato said the team firmly believes in the draft but is always willing to move picks for more established players..
He said he accepts all responsibility for moves that did not work out such as Adam Archuletta, Brandon Lloyd and TJ Duckett (not as much for Duckett considering the circumstances that Clinton Portis was hurt in the team's first pre-season game that summer).. He explained that the Archuletta and Lloyd signings were a little different then some of the others, namely, Fred Smoot (who the team already knew), London Fletcher (who played under Gregg Williams and Jerry Gray) in that none of the coaches knew either of those players before the team decided to make moves to get them.. He also wanted to be clear, "No one is going to be perfect, but I am accountable."

As far as free agency goes, the Redskins don't sound as if they plan on being major players. Vinny said, "There are not a lot of free agents out there. We probably won't be a big player."
As far as needs, Cerrato stressed finding a "big" WR, a swing o-lineman who could play center or guard or one who could be guard or tackle.. Back-up ecnter Mike Pucillo likely won't be back with the team and the age of the guards and tackles are at issue.. Also, the team wants a another FB because the offense may call for more out of that position then before.. Mike Sellers is certainly safe as the starter..
On D-- Cerrato will likely be after a CB based partially on the health of Carlos Rogers who may not be ready to go by camp after suffering a major knee injury.. The team wants depth at safety and wants to find a defensive tackle who can help with pass rush..
Cerrato denies the team is in need of a edge pass rusher.. he cited the 10.5 sacks of Andre Carter and the 10+ sacks combined from the other edge as signs that the glaring deficiency comes from the lack of a rush on the interior line.. Expect the Skins to make a play for a Justin Tuck style player whether it be in the draft or via Free agency..
DT Cornelious Griffin has a large cap number, but is safe on the roster..
The Skins will likely use a late draft pick on a young quarterback..
LB Rocky McIntosh is "looking good" as he rehabs a surgically repaired knee, the hope is he'll be back for training camp..
Cerrato says the team and Zorn have both talked to free agent QB Todd Collins, the Redskins are hoping to re-sign him to be the back-up at the very least..
FB/KR Rock Cartwright likely will be allowed to enter free agency to see what his market value is.. The Skins would like to retain him however if a back-up or starting RB spot comes to him, the Skins likely will not match whatever offer comes his way..

The Redskins have no interest in a possible reconciliation and resigning of former LB LaVar Arrington..

With Sherman Smith as the new offensive coordinator signed, the Redskins staff is now complete.. the team will send a contingent to Indianapolis for next week's combine..

OK men..


Blogger Alex Chilton said...

Hi Bram,
I have a request for your Redskin's brain. Listening to Redskins lunch on Friday - I was thinking about all the loser FA/Draft moves in the Snyder/Cerrato era AND all the succesful FA/Draft moves. The thing I can't tell is how accurate is all the comments (especially the negative ones) with respect to the Redskin's offseason moves.

So, what I was hoping for was an article with a list... of all the draft picks, all the free agent moves and possibly a little bit of the reasonings at the time (i.e. T.J. Ducket bc of CP's injury) and just some un-biased, logical reporting of the facts - neatly laid out for the fans. Just to soerate the fact from the fiction - whatever that may be.

And also in the analysis - I would love to see some comparisons to other teams - possibly the Patriots. Are we that far off in terms of FA and drafts than New England? I mean I know we're not whrere near New England in terms of success - but they certainly have had their years where they go FA crazy - and nobody really says much about that (obviously bc they are winners .. but ...)

Anyway - I think you would do the team, the fans and the city a service by giving us the facts - and letting us make our own opinions regarding 'the state of the team'.

Thanks for your consideration!

5:08 PM  
Blogger feeshta said...

Bram, could you please get some confirmation on whether the Skins have a 4th rounder this year or not. You state in this post that they have their full compliment of picks, but everywhere I have seen lists the 4th as having ended up with Denver via the Duckett trade. I know that trade was a bit convoluted with the "early third round value" thing, but what gives here?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Covering The Redskins said...

I made a mistake.. They don';t have a 4th rounder this or next year..

Alex--That's some homework assignment.. I better get to work..

8:47 PM  

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