Dan Snyder says he fired Vinny Cerrato for letting him hire Jim Zorn

January 29, 2013

At some point, the various reasons that went into whom Dan Snyder did or did not hire and/or fire as his head coach after Joe Gibbs retired will cease to be interesting to Redskins fans.

But you know what? We haven’t reached that point yet. I thought we might have, but then I read the Snyder-heavy chapter in Gary Myers’s new book “Coaching Confidential,” which is a terrific read for the NFL -obsessed.

Myers got Snyder to sit down for what appears to be a fairly lengthy interview, an unusual event in recent years. And Snyder dropped a few fascinating nuggets, such as these:

On Marty Schottenheimer: “I like Marty and still do to this day,” Snyder said. “We are good friends. He’d still be here if he didn’t want to do it all. He was insistent on doing it all. That was something that I don’t think works. One guy can’t do everything. He was a machine on that front. He wouldn’t drop the personnel side and give us a chance at more of a team energy.”

On Steve Spurrier: “I took a chance, and I think everyone respected the chance I took. I don’t regret taking the chance trying to get Spurrier. He was a cool guy. I still get along with him.”

On Jim Zorn: “The general manager needs to prevent the owner from hiring someone who’s not qualified. And that’s why Vinny is no longer here, to be truthful with you. He’s not here because his job was to prevent the owner from hiring a not-qualified coach. Having said that, we went in and had the worst two-year experience I ever dreamed. I apologized, according to my wife, ten thousand times. I apologize openly. I made a big mistake. It’s a terrible experience when you know you got the wrong guy to lead the franchise.”

Myers also reported that Jim Fassel was so convinced he was getting the job in early 2008 that “he started to gather his belongings in Phoenix for the move to Washington.” But fans were rebelling, and Zorn wound up with the gig.

“We went through staffing. My fingerprints are all over that staff. We were framing a contract,” Fassel told Myers. “I didn’t know it at the time, but Vinny knows and likes Zorn, and they had been close friends for a long time. Once Zorn got there and they had time on their hands, he is a very engaging guy.”

So that’s that. Like I said, I find it fascinating. Also, in the acknowledgments, Myers tells a story of Snyder putting a towel on the floor of his office, and the two men eating peanuts in the shell and tossing the shells on the towel. I gotta try that move.

For more, here’s a Q&A with Myers about the book. And you can buy it here.

(Via @dcuniverse)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Sports
Stats, scores and schedules
Next Story
Dan Steinberg · January 29, 2013

Every story. Every feature. Every insight.

Yours for as low as JUST 99¢!

Not Now