Christmas Comes Early For Redskins Fans

Steve O Speak

Washington Redskins’ fans woke up this morning to exciting news that could be the first move in returning Washington to respectability and prominence in the NFL. Executive vice-president of football operations Vinny Cerrato resigned this morning, a move that all Redskins fans could come together and agree is the right move for this franchise. Cerrato is in his 2nd stint with Washington, and his title has changed over the years, but he has always had a major role in free agency, trades and the NFL Draft. The results of those three acquisitions should have had Cerrato removed years ago, but 2 playoff runs in the last 6 years (both under Joe Gibbs) have helped him keep his job. Now after two straight losing seasons, Cerrato can’t avoid the accountability of the Redskins failures any longer.

Cerrato handpicked Jim Zorn as the Redskins headcoach and literally picked almost the entire coaching staff without Zorn’s input. Cerrato also has had complete control of the Redskins drafts these last two seasons. Including 2008 when they traded back to select two receivers and a tight end in the 2nd round, despite having Santana Moss, Antwan Randel-El, and Chris Cooley already on the roster. He traded away draft picks in bad trades (Jason Taylor). His moves this past offseason were much better. Albert Haynesworth is one of the best players in the league and a huge reason why Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo both have double digit sack figures. DeAngelo Hall has been the Redskins best corner back and leads the team in interceptions, and Derrick Dockery has been Washington’s best offensive lineman. On top of those big signings, Cerrato selected Brian Orakpo in the first round of the NFL Draft. Orakpo has made a huge impact this season, and could possibly be heading to the Pro Bowl this February. Despite these moves the Redskins are 4-9 and are in last place in the NFC East.

With Cerrato out, the Redskins need a new General Manager, one who hopefully understands the importance of the draft and draft day trades (Cerrato made some AWFUL deals). Also one that understand the importance of the offensive line, as the Redskins have practically ignored the offensive line in the draft. While they’ve signed some big name free agents, they’ve never brought in any quality back-ups. In fact Cerrato’s approach to the offensive line was more reminiscent of an Arena football offensive line than an NFL offensive line. The other issue with Cerrato is he would get too hung-up on the big name players and forget to look at the age or the team chemistry aspect when it came to free agency. Some of his moves worked, but a number of them also failed.

The Redskins need an elder statesman, (not necessarily defined by age, just time in the league) to give them the respect this franchise deserves. Cerrato didn’t give them that, and is probably a big reason why they couldn’t find a big name coach two years ago. Now the Redskins can only hope that their move for a G.M. can help them secure one of the many big name coaches on the market this offseason, and return them to respectability. One thing for certain is this move will energize the Redskins fans for MNF against the Giants this week. Christmas came early for fans and I think they will be out in full force to voice their happiness against Eli, the Giants and their playoff hopes.

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