Vinny Cerrato on Shanahan, Snyder and the future

December 17, 2013

(Nick Wass/AP)

While Redskins fans are no doubt tired, frustrated, agitated, disturbed, and fed up with The Washington Post so much as mentioning the name Vinny Cerrato, the fact remains that Cerrato has spent more time with Dan Snyder than you or I, and thus his opinion is at least moderately interesting.

(Unless you, reader, are related to Snyder. Or friends with him. Or if you are him. I mean, if you are Dan Snyder, then I would grant that you know what Dan Snyder is thinking more than Cerrato does. Still, thanks for reading. Oh, and text me your plans.)

(Also, if you’re not interested in Cerrato’s thoughts, you should probably navigate away right now. I’ll wait.)

Anyhow, Cerrato was on MASN’s Mid-Atlantic Sports Report this week with Rob Long (his current radio co-host) and Andy Pollin (his longtime radio adversary). He was there to talk about the Ravens, but he was asked about the future of the Mike Shanahan and the rest of the Redskins’ coaching staff.

“It’s $13 million to replace that staff and probably another $10 million to hire another staff,” Cerrato said. “So you’re not looking at just $13 million; you’re looking at $20-some million. But the way Dan would look at it, too, is a lot of those coaches will get jobs, so he’ll get some of that money back. And does he make a change? You know, that’s a lot of money for him to make a change. I mean, it’s a tough decision for him, because it’s a lot of money, especially if they’re having trouble selling suites and tickets and all that stuff. They’re going to run the numbers and see how it works out. And financially, if it’s not a great deal, I don’t think he’ll get rid of [Shanahan].”

“Vinny, the Dan Snyder you worked for liked to be involved, and that is the reported source of discontent between owner and coach,” Pollin then said. “Is that overblown, or do you think Dan Snyder is a guy who likes to meddle, get close to the players? Is that your experience with him?”

“Well the thing about it Andy, when I read an article the other day, all the trips that he took RGIII on, and all the different [places] he took RGIII, I don’t remember him doing that much with any player as much as he’s doing with RGIII,” Cerrato replied. “But he’s never had a franchise quarterback before. I mean, all Dan wants to do is win, and he’ll pay the money and he’ll do whatever. And sometimes, does he talk to his players and get close to them and like to talk to them and have relationships with some? You know, Eddie DeBartolo did with Joe Montana.”

“Looking at where they are right now, they’re going to lose probably a No. 2 overall draft pick [or] No. 3,” Long said. “How long does it take them to turn this thing around?”

“Well, they’ve got $32 million in cap room, so if they can make some of the right choices there, they’ve got a lot of places they need to upgrade,” Cerrato said. “They need to get a new special teams coach, No. 1, probably a new D-coordinator No. 2. And then they need to upgrade the talent. And if they can make some good choices with that $32 million in cap space, they can come back quicker without the draft picks. Because if you don’t have the picks, you’ve got to go get the players from somewhere. So go get some of the guys in free agency, is what they’re going to have to do. And then the draft picks that they do have, they’re going to be top picks in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth rounds. They’ve got to make those picks count, and then you’ve just got to start next year. You’ve got to band-aid it until you get through, and you can continue to add depth and young players.”

“Hey Vinny, if you had to make a call, which way does he go, does Shanahan return or not?” Pollin asked. “Make a call right now.”

There was a lengthy pause.

“I’ll say he doesn’t,” Cerrato said.

Listen to the segment here.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · December 17, 2013