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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March 19-- Cerrato talks draft and Hackett

The Redskins are determined not to overspend for anyone this off-season.. Vinny Cerrato joined us for an interview that will air tomorrow on Comcast and re-air when I fill in for the Riggo crew next week..
Among the topics: DJ Hackett, who Cerrato said the team offered much less then the 2 million he received as part of his 3.5 million dollar two year deal with Carolina.. The Redskins wanted Hackett to prove durability and if so, prepared to pay him following this year a salary more commensurate with that of a full time producer.. Hackett chose to go with the better deal..

It's a strange shift from the Skins off-seasons of the past where if the Redskins wanted a player, they spent in picks and salary to ensure it got done.. I asked Vinny about this philosophy and he said the team isn't holding onto it's 8 mil in cap space for a big splash move for say a Chad Johnson, but that the team is determined not to overpay any longer and hurt their locker room chemsitry..

I also spoke with Joe Gibbs last night at a Urban Youth racing event where he was the keynote speaker.. It's another interview that will air next week during the Riggins hours on Redskins radio.. He described Dan Snyder as an owner who was very wide-eyed when he first arrived for his second go around as head coach, but described Snyder as someone who has matured significantly in terms of the way the team does it's business..
I asked him if the Redskins were to make a deep run in the playoffs next year, how much credit would he deserve for setting up the team or success, "None," he responded..
he feels Jim Zorn's entry as a first time head coach is really no different then when he came as an unheralded offensive coordinator to the Skins back in the early 80's.. That Zorn will learn his way, but in typical Gibbs form, praised Zorn as a good person which is a criteria that will shine through..
Gibbs is obviously focussed on his Nascar teams right now but he said he is preparing to become more involved in an evangelical side as his enters this next portion of his life.. When I asked him how life is now 3 months after leaving the Skins for a second time, he succintly said "Good."
Honestly he looks younger, it seemed very happy and it was nice to see Joe with a smile on his face..

Back to the Skins, Cerrato went to Chris Long's workout at UVA yesterday and said it wasn't overly impressive, however he expects that the defensive end very easily could be the top overall pick in the draft, describing that selection as almost a "no brainer."
As for the Skins draft position, asked how he feels about their spot at 21, Cerrato said that "if we don't pick there, we're more likely to move down then up." Obviously it's early to have any real sense of that, but it was a striking dose of honesty about where the team stands.. They don't mind their spot in the lower third of the first round..

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