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Skins Shakeup: VP Vinny Cerrato Resigned

UPDATE: Cerrato out. Allen In.

From PFT:

The Washington Redskins have moved very fast in filling the void left by today’s resignation of Vinny Cerrato.

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Redskins have hired Bruce Allen as their executive vice president and general manager.

A press conference is expected this afternoon to make the hiring official.


Report and confirmation received at PFT this morning:

Vinny Cerrato is out of work.

Unless you get into a full on conversation with a die hard Redskins fan, Cerrato is usually the guy left out of the conversation in terms of who needs to move on. Typically, Dan Snyder and Jim Zorn’s names respectively fill that space.

As a Yankees fan or a Dallas Cowboys fan to some degree, one could appreciate the main problem with the Redskins… uber-micro-management from the highest levels of the organization. And like a NY or Dallas fan could tell you – it never pays off. And that was the lasting impression we have unfortunately of George Steinbrenner, who was always pictured looming over the Yankees organization with all 10 fingers and toes directly in the management’s pie at all times. Perhaps that’s why the Yankees didn’t return to championship form until his departure.

The Cowboys know the pain as well, Jerry Jones typically comes down from his throne at half time to shake things up along the sidelines… but as many of us peons know its that much harder to perform your tasks when your big boss is looking directly over your shoulder at what you’re doing with his team. When is the last time they won a playoff game?

And while Jim Zorn is a horrible play caller, he is a good egg. So his “West Coast Offense” didn’t work — atleast he put his name and reputation out there and took a big risk in trying something new with a struggling football team on so many levels. That’s not to exonerate him of course, if nothing else changes I expect Zorn will be getting his pink slip too toward the end of the season as well.

But the Cerrato resignation looks to me like a typical force out situation by Snyder and he was simply allowed to save face by calling his departure what he says it is. I could be wrong of course, but when you consider Mike Holmgren is up for grabs, you can be sure Dan Snyder wanted to move fast to claim him.

From PFT:

…Holmgren is the focal point of the initial speculation, since there’s no other reason why the move would be made before the end of the 2009 season. Given that the Browns are engaged in intense negotiations with Holmgren, the Redskins needed to clear out the spot at the top of the front office in order to have a shot at the Big Show.

And why do they want big Mike? Because he understands how to transform a losing team into a Superbowl contender (Seattle, ’05). Because he knows NFC football inside and out and the winning formulas innate to that hard-nosed style of play (Green Bay, ’92-’98). And of course he’s connected to Jim Zorn from Seattle, and perhaps he understands the transformation Zorn is going for with the Redskins, believes in the cause, and can fully bring this struggling team with talent more direction toward their goal of being a much better football team than when Zorn inherited his responsibilities.

That takes the right kind of leadership from the top down, and as Snyder himself indicates – Cerrato’s friendship, not leadership, is perhaps the best asset he brought to the team.

“[H]e is my friend, and he has always been there for me and the Redskins. He’s the consummate optimist and has always made decisions based on what would be the best for the team.”

There’s no doubt about it, the Redskins have an end of the season shakeup happening over in D.C. — perhaps the players will bail out of the rest of the season as well starting next Monday night when they host the Giants who are still hopeful for a playoff birth.

While the Giants have to win out their last 3 games to have a shot at the post season, the Skins will have to hold onto their optimism through the off season and start anew in 2010.

But no matter what happens, this final question about the Redskins management needs to be asked. Will they have an opportunity to succeed as a team so long as Dan Snyder continues to hold all the cards?

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