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Why the Redskins don't need a G.M. - Essay


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Btw ... how can we even begin to judge last year's draft (which you for some reason want to consider sans Campbell & Rogers) at this point. Don't guys like White and Broughton get longer than one injury rookie season to prove whether they can contribute or not?

BTW, Nemo wasn't injured last year, he just ended up being inactive for most games.

I think some don't like last year's draft because they don't think the late picks didn't really fill obvious needs. I also think there are some out there who are bitter that we didn't pick up Chris Canty.

Problem is, as you say, it is hard to judge the value at this point. A lot of people here view White as a wasted pick, but he's trying to learn a very difficult position, which he didn't play in college. McCune has shown some value in special teams, and seems to have a lot of natural ability. Nemo was just a good value pick, and may be valuable if we had lost Rock, or if we do lose Betts.

It wasn't a perfect draft, certainly. There were many people (including myself) who were disappointed that they didn't pick a DL of some sort. Course, you never know if the skins even liked any of the guys available at a given pick.

As I said, we'll find out in a couple years how last year's draft did.

Jason

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I'm not sure the "system" is working well right now. The head coaching part is working well' date=' the free agency part is working well, the money making aspect is working well, but the drafting has sucked for over a decade. Vinny - as far as I can tell - is the main draft guy. I would hope that Gibbs is NOT watching a Cal-Washington game in November; I would hope that Vinny is.

If you every room in your house is immaculate, but the upstairs bathroom has a leaky pipe, do you say...well, overall, the house is great. I will just ignore that leaky pipe.[/quote']

22626857.jpg

:)

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I'm not sure the "system" is working well right now. The head coaching part is working well' date=' the free agency part is working well, the money making aspect is working well, but the drafting has sucked for over a decade. Vinny - as far as I can tell - is the main draft guy. I would hope that Gibbs is NOT watching a Cal-Washington game in November; I would hope that Vinny is.[/quote']

I love it when people use generalizations. :D

drafting may have sucked for over a decade, but Vinny is really only responsible for 5 years of that. For two of those drafts, the head coach changed the next year. Really, with the exception of his first draft (where only the top picks stuck), he's actually done decent.

Question is, what do you think of the last two drafts?

Now, you say the free agency part is working. Don't you think that Vinny has

something to do with that as well? I mean, they scout FA like they do draft picks, but they have better information on how they play against NFL competition.

Jason

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The bolded parts, brother ... you start by saying "the system is working very well right now" ... but then close with "You say "why mess with success", I say, why wait until disaster?" ... which clearly implies favoring a change now. Why do you do that? :)

If the point is simply that you hope someone is being groomed behind Vinny to perhaps take over someday, then I'm fine with that. It's be a positive thing to hope for. I'd just be wondering if we really needed all these pages to get to that point.

Btw ... how can we even begin to judge last year's draft (which you for some reason want to consider sans Campbell & Rogers) at this point. Don't guys like White and Broughton get longer than one injury rookie season to prove whether they can contribute or not?

As to the tiny print "we all know I'm right" gambit. I've seen a lot of folks do that around here. Not sure why. If one REALLY believes what he's saying is truth, he simply says it and moves on, knowing people will see it for themselves. Just as they'll see false bravado for what it really is. :)

Hmm, seems like we actually agree. 'k. Good with that. I think if you go back and reread all my posts, you will see that's kind of what I have been advocating. Not "off with his head".

As for the rest of your post ... come on, man, you telling me you don't know humor when you see it? Forgive me, but the tone of all your posts hasn't been completely sarcasm-free, so to speak. I simply wanted to lighten the mood, to make sure you realized I was treading lightly, not taking myslef too seriously. I'm a dope, an internet message board dope who knows precious little about how to run a football team. I know what I do well and what I know well, and football front office aint it. Just making my observations and stating my opinion, that's all. Just wanted to make sure you didn't think I take myself too seriously. That's all. No more no less.

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Actually Om rather than the leaky roof analogy, I much prefer my characterization of Cerrato as the team's vestigial organ, i.e. he's the Redskins' appendix. The appendix is an organ which serves no discernable purpose and only has a downside. That is, it can either A) remain anonymous or B) get all inflamed and have to be removed at an inopportune time.

Now in the context of one's body there's no real reason to remove the appendix since we have paid days off, health insurance etc. However, in the context of an NFL football team one doesn't get such niceties. If God forbid, something were to happen to Gibbs, I'm not sure Williams and/or Saunders are up to doing his job(s) and theirs. Additionally, having someone with an actual backbone and a real brain working with with Snyder (who IMHO still has a bit of a ways to go in figuring out the dynamics of running an NFL club) to sort out the inevitable power struggles and football related decisions among Williams and Saunders would be invaluable.

For example, should something happen to Gibbs how would Snyderatto assuage the hurt feelings of whichever guy (probably Saunders) we don't pick as H.C.? If they do elevate Williams to H.C. do you really trust Williams and/or Snyderratto to find an O.C. if Saunders gets in a huff again and hits the road?

Quite frankly, I worry that Gibbs is taking a risk with the future of the team by keeping around a "useful boob" in order to get his way with player decisions. That, to me is the true nexus of this discussion and makes your point (as well as Inmate's original argument) to not "rock the boat" moot. In short, we run the very real risk of putting too many eggs in one basket by just "trusting in Gibbs"...at least in doing so too much anyway:) Were you to argue otherwise I'd just have to conclude that you're not a beliver in insurance policies or saving for a rainy day.

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Goaldeje,

Okay, no "off with his head!" labeling for you. I lumped ya. I shouldn't lump. :)

As to the recognzing humor thing? Gotcha. :)

Is the "lump" thing a fat joke? 'Cause I don't like that!

And Yusuf, excellent point, excellent analogy.

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Sorry, MADD. I didn't take my own advice. Feel free to jump back in.

You're on your own now. This argument has devolved into something like this:

One side taunts the other by calling them Vinny lovers, but they don't really defend Vinny -- even they recognize his past failures -- but they do think the Gibbs-led team is on the verge of something special and don't want to make any disruptive changes. That's a fair position.

And in return, the other side calls the first side Vinny haters, when they actually aren't obsessed with Vinny either -- they just want to improve a known weakness in the team. Also a fair position.

And around and around they go...

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Actually Om rather than the leaky roof analogy, I much prefer my characterization of Cerrato as the team's vestigial organ, i.e. he's the Redskins' appendix. The appendix is an organ which serves no discernable purpose and only has a downside. That is, it can either A) remain anonymous or B) get all inflamed and have to be removed at an inopportune time.

No, no, Yusuf! You've got it all wrong! Vinny is your second kidney. A kidney is a critical, necessary thing to have, but you can live with just one of them. In the Skins case, they have Gibbs -- a very functional kidney -- so Vinny is superfluous.

The danger, of course, is that without Gibbs you go back to relying solely on Vinny. That's a life or death situation...

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Yusuf, nice use of "nexus" and all, but ... you're still

1) proceeding from a fact not in evidence (that Cerrato is simply a "useful boob" to this team),

2) assuming that Gibbs is not already working on whatever "succession" plans he feels in the best interests of the organization,

3) offering much more than platitudes about preparing for "a rainy day." Simply throwing names out there and saying, "THIS guy would be better," as some have done in this thread, assumes that he'd fit personality/wise, philosophically, etc.,

4) not accounting for the very real possibility of disrupting the fine balance the FO has now by shaking things up simply, as I've said a few times now, on spec.

I also think this thread has largely overlooked one key factor ... GM's whose names end up in threads like this as "models" for what teams should be looking for earned those names by being part of winning organizations. Poorly owned and coached teams do not win and make their FO people famous. FO people become famous by being part of teams with good ownership and coaching. Chicken, meet egg.

Wouldn't it be something if, in 3 or 4 years, fans of other teams given to this kind of off season fantasy football flights of fancy are talking about Vinny Cerrato as the kind of guy their team should be chasing? "I don't care what you say, just look what dude did in Washington. All he needed was some stability and a decent coachign staff to work with, and he turned a perennial laughinstock into a perennial contender. We need that ish here." :)

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Wouldn't it be something if, in 3 or 4 years, fans of other teams given to this kind of off season fantasy football flights of fancy are talking about Vinny Cerrato as the kind of guy their team should be chasing? "I don't care what you say, just look what dude did in Washington. All he needed was some stability and a decent coachign staff to work with, and he turned a perennial laughinstock into a perennial contender. We need that ish here."

Good Lord, man, now you've really gone down the rabbit hole. What they'll actually say is, "I don't care what you say, all we need is a Hall of Fame coach and an unlimited budget, and even our doofus of a GM could succeed."

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Good Lord, man, now you've really gone down the rabbit hole. What they'll actually say is, "I don't care what you say, all we need is a Hall of Fame coach and an unlimited budget, and even our doofus of a GM could succeed."

Yes, the less, um .. discerning ... on BOTH sides of that debate will surely say such things. And one or two actual thinking individuals will understand that it's not quite that simple. :)

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For example, should something happen to Gibbs how would Snyderatto assuage the hurt feelings of whichever guy (probably Saunders) we don't pick as H.C.? If they do elevate Williams to H.C. do you really trust Williams and/or Snyderratto to find an O.C. if Saunders gets in a huff again and hits the road?

Saunders is at the age now (and coming off the type of offensive success) where if he was going to become a head coach, it would have happened already - kinda like Jim Johnson of the Eagles. So I don't think there will be hurt feelings. He'll just have to settle for getting paid about 200K per game whether we win or lose. I'd love for someone to hurt my feelings like that!

PS - yes I know he was a HC in San Diego 20 years ago but for all intents and purposes - it's not really relevant.

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Wouldn't it be something if, in 3 or 4 years, fans of other teams given to this kind of off season fantasy football flights of fancy are talking about Vinny Cerrato as the kind of guy their team should be chasing? "I don't care what you say, just look what dude did in Washington. All he needed was some stability and a decent coachign staff to work with, and he turned a perennial laughinstock into a perennial contender. We need that ish here." :)

Doubtful. When making a list of the best GMs in baseball, Brian Cashman's name is rarely - if ever - mentioned. Most people consider him Steinbrenner's punching bag who was given an unlimited budget and bought whatever success he could with it.

Cerrato is Snyder's punching bag, with a near unlimited budget, and has not bought much success until Gibbs came to town. Even Snyder himself has essentially cut Vinny off at the knees with comments like, "I needed someone to yell at."

Vinny's been here too long and has had too dubious a run to ever emerge as a highly-regarded personnel man. If the Skins win a Super Bowl, Gibbs will be given all of the credit. You will even see stories like, "The fact that he could win in spite of Cerrato is a testament to his greatness."

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Yes, the less, um .. discerning ... on BOTH sides of that debate will surely say such things. And one or two actual thinking individuals will understand that it's not quite that simple. :)

I think it's pretty accurate. Do you think that if Gibbs had gone to the Lions or Cardinals -- along with a free-spending owner -- that they wouldn't have improved by leaps and bounds? I can't believe you think Vinny has been the reason -- or even a significant part of the reason -- for the Skins turnaround. I think Gibbs makes the whole organization look better.

Can you provide one shred of evidence that Vinny has improved from his pre-Gibbs failure? (And yes, he was a failure: there is only one measure of success in the NFL, and that's wins and losses. The teams Vinny put together -- no matter what excuse you use -- failed. The coaches failed. The players failed. And Vinny failed.) If he hasn't improved, but instead has been co-opted by Gibbs, then your defense of him is pretty feeble.

If he has improved, please, let us all know! And saying, "Well, Gibbs hasn't fired him yet, so he must be good..." isn't the most ringing endorsement.

Damn you, OM! You sucked me back into this vortex of vacuity...

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Doubtful. When making a list of the best GMs in baseball' date=' Brian Cashman's name is rarely - if ever - mentioned. Most people consider him Steinbrenner's punching bag who was given an unlimited budget and bought whatever success he could with it.[/quote']

That's a good point. I've heard people around the league chuckle about Vinny -- he was given a Yankee-sized budget to go buy the best players, and he consistently bought the wrong ones. Most of them, however, think Vinny was not really to blame. Danny was making the decisions.

I've never heard anyone describe Vinny as an astute judge of talent.

That's why I find it so remarkable that Vinny's defenders are so passionate. It's not like he's a guy who was really good but fell on hard times. Was he ever any good? What good did he ever do for this team? What trades, draft picks, or free agent acquisitions did he make that make you love him so? Vinny was just a pawn for Danny. At least Danny got tired of losing and hired Gibbs.

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I think it's pretty accurate. Do you think that if Gibbs had gone to the Lions or Cardinals -- along with a free-spending owner -- that they wouldn't have improved by leaps and bounds?

I suspect they would have. And when they did, I’d not let myself say in public say things like, “yeah, but even though Millen appears to have finally found someone competent he can work well with, they definitely oughta fire his ass now that’s it IS working.”

I can't believe you think Vinny has been the reason -- or even a significant part of the reason -- for the Skins turnaround. I think Gibbs makes the whole organization look better.

Those aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. I can’t believe you refuse to even consider that Vinny HAS been part of the reason, even after watching how well this group was worked together, plus the evidence of direct statements to that affect from Gibbs’ own mouth. The elephant in the room. I KNEW nobody was listening.

Can you provide one shred of evidence that Vinny has improved from his pre-Gibbs failure? (And yes, he was a failure: there is only one measure of success in the NFL, and that's wins and losses.

Evidence:

1) 10-6.

2) Second round of the playoffs.

3) The confidence of one of the great football minds in the history of the game.

4) A roster overhauled completely over 2 season on which you’d be hard pressed to find any serious holes.

One of these days, someone will actually respond to the notion that it’s just not as simple as “one measure of success, wins and losses.” Particularly when it comes to front office personnel. GM’s, even more so than coaches, do NOT work in a vacuum. Yet you and others continue to discount the turnover in coaching styles, the sudden lurches in change of direction from a Turner team to Ground Marty to Air Steve and all the other organizational dysfunction that Vinny had zero to do with.

The “one measure of success” bromide is good internet fodder---it’s quick and easy. It just doesn’t do justice to a serious conversation about what it takes to put a winner on the field in the modern NFL.

The teams Vinny put together -- no matter what excuse you use -- failed. The coaches failed. The players failed. And Vinny failed.) If he hasn't improved, but instead has been co-opted by Gibbs, then your defense of him is pretty feeble.

“If” he hasn’t improved, that line of argument might be worth pursuing, because yes, in context of the other areas of failures you noted, he certainly did deserve part of the blame. But you have zero evidence that he hasn’t “improved” either. The evidence we DO have is that what had been a disaster of a struggling team is now a winning team, a playoff team, entering a season with every expectation of playing deep into January again.

Of COURSE Gibbs gets the lion’s share of the credit. The man’s a freaking football genius. But the suggestion that because that is true Vinny not only deserves NONE of the credit, but should be cut adrift, holds no water at all. By your own logic, if it’s fair to kill him the team fails, he also gets some of the credit when it succeeds.

If he has improved, please, let us all know! And saying, "Well, Gibbs hasn't fired him yet, so he must be good..." isn't the most ringing endorsement.

That’s just one of many similarly insightful things I and some others have said in this opus of a thread, brother MADD. It’s also something I’m surprised to see a smart guy like you so cavalierly dismiss.

Damn you, OM! You sucked me back into this vortex of vacuity...

Every time I think I’m out … they drag me back in. :)

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I suspect they would have. And when they did, I’d not let myself say in public say things like, “yeah, but even though Millen appears to have finally found someone competent he can work well with, they definitely oughta fire his ass now that’s it IS working.”

And that is the crux of the matter. You see, Millen is a lousy GM. He's proven it. And if some coach comes along and makes a gourmet meal out of the dog food he's put together, Millen doesn't deserve any credit and still should be fired. Vinny's the same way.

It's kinda funny. You say that after the Skins win the Superbowl this year, fans of other teams will point to Vinny as a model for success. But I can make an absolute guarantee to you: No team will offer Vinny a GM position. And that's because they know the truth that your burgundy-colored glasses are hiding: Vinny is an empty suit, and the credit for the Skins success belongs solely with Gibbs.

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)“If” he hasn’t improved, that line of argument might be worth pursuing, because yes, in context of the other areas of failures you noted, he certainly did deserve part of the blame. But you have zero evidence that he hasn’t “improved” either.

Fascinating... you admit Vinny was a failure before Gibbs got here. I assume that the difference in the past two years was purely Joe Gibbs -- after all, if Vinny was going to make changes, sure he would have made his mark in the preceding 5 years. But you look at the 10-6 record, regardless of the fact that Gibbs jettisoned almost every starter Vinny had found, and assume that Vinny has improved.

Logically, of course, you can't prove a negative. I can prove it rained yesterday, but I can't prove it didn't rain yesterday. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. And so I can't prove that Vinny hasn't improved. But you could, if there was any evidence, prove that Vinny has improved. But you don't even try. That's because there is no evidence to support that notion.

Sigh... I guess we'll have to hope he does improve, because Gibbs won't be here forever, but Vinny surely will. Hope, as they say in the military, is not a strategy, but it's all we've got to cling to. Here's to hope!

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MADD,

Still you ignore the idea that even a guy like Millen, who admittedly has become an easy target for fans who think they know better, is largely reliant on having both good ownership and good coaching and some continuity to succeed.

Straight up ... do you accept that concept at all?

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Fascinating... you admit Vinny was a failure before Gibbs got here.

Wrong. What that is is an apparently willful twisting of what I DID say. You're better than that, MADD.

I assume that the difference in the past two years was purely Joe Gibbs -- after all, if Vinny was going to make changes, sure he would have made his mark in the preceding 5 years. But you look at the 10-6 record, regardless of the fact that Gibbs jettisoned almost every starter Vinny had found, and assume that Vinny has improved.

Logically, of course, you can't prove a negative. I can prove it rained yesterday, but I can't prove it didn't rain yesterday. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. And so I can't prove that Vinny hasn't improved. But you could, if there was any evidence, prove that Vinny has improved. But you don't even try. That's because there is no evidence to support that notion.

Sigh... I guess we'll have to hope he does improve, because Gibbs won't be here forever, but Vinny surely will. Hope, as they say in the military, is not a strategy, but it's all we've got to cling to. Here's to hope!

Wait a minute ... you're the guy trying to make the case the man should be fired. The burden's not on me to prove why he shouldn't. Due respect, but so far all you've done is criticize certain picks, which you don't even know directly how involved he was in making, over a period of time where the organization he worked for was in total flux ... or worse. The case for why he should be fired, now, while things are going as well for the team as they are, has not been made here. Not even close.

Feel free to keep trying though. :)

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MADD,

Still you ignore the idea that even a guy like Millen, who admittedly has become an easy target for fans who think they know better, is largely reliant on having both good ownership and good coaching and some continuity to succeed.

Straight up ... do you accept that concept at all?

Oh, sure. It's a team sport. You need strong ownership, a strong front office, and strong coaching to succeed.

But that's my argument, not yours. I'm saying that Gibbs deserves a stronger partner than Vinny. You're arguing that we should settle for a weak guy -- Vinny -- because he's now surrounded by a Hall of Fame coach and a free-spending owner. Sure, he'll absorb some reflected glory when they win the Superbowl, but does he really deserve credit? He couldn't get it done without Gibbs. The teams he built could barely crack .500 (and yes, that's the whole organization's fault too). Gibbs is possibly the best coach ever in the history of the NFL. You should be able to succeed in football with Gibbs helping you out.

Now, Joe Gibbs said he only need to win two out of three facets of the game (offense, defense, special teams), so maybe the Skins can succeed with only two of the three management facets (ownership, front office, and coaching). But... and this has been my position from the start... why wouldn't you shore up that weakness? Why not win three out of three? Just saying that you'd prefer continuity is ridiculous -- at this point of the year, you could replace Vinny and no one would notice.

Om... you're the world's only Millen fan. But it all makes sense to me now! If you like Millen, you LOVE Vinny.

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I keep tryin' to get out and they pull me back in. But what the heck, it's the offseason and all I've got left is a Bullet-less NBA playoffs.

Yusuf, nice use of "nexus" and all, but ... you're still

1) proceeding from a fact not in evidence (that Cerrato is simply a "useful boob" to this team)

Thanks. Vocabulary was always one of my favorite subjects in school and I try (not always successfully) to limit my use of $10 words where a :2cents: one will do...OK, I'll plead guilty to being a bit weird on that one but what else am I to do with my underused Liberal Arts edumacation?:geek:

As for Cerrato's "usefulness" to Gibbs, I've covered that before. All I'll say again is that if you examine Cerrato's track record and his close relationship with Snyder it doesn't take a genius to figure out that given his prior butting of heads with Beathard, Gibbs did the math and decided that Cerrato would be a lot more useful if kept around rather than having to deal with a credible "GM". Given this scenario, Gibbs is of course not going to bad mouth the guy...after all, his inertness is useful. I realize this is conjecture but it sounds a lot more credible to me than Vinny making a rapid turnaround in competence overnight.

2) assuming that Gibbs is not already working on whatever "succession" plans he feels in the best interests of the organization

I'll concede that one as we don't, and probably can't know with any degree of certainty what his plans are in this area.

3) offering much more than platitudes about preparing for "a rainy day." Simply throwing names out there and saying, "THIS guy would be better," as some have done in this thread, assumes that he'd fit personality/wise, philosophically, etc.

4) not accounting for the very real possibility of disrupting the fine balance the FO has now by shaking things up simply, as I've said a few times now, on spec.

This really is a very valid point. However, in cases like this where someone has underperformed in the past, I'll go with the risk inherent in the change rather than the risk of doing nothing and getting the same results. After all, organizational change can be managed by controlling what is changed and how the change is implemented etc. Sorry, but I'm a big believer in the old adage that "If you keep doing what you've always done you're gonna get what you've always had".

I also think this thread has largely overlooked one key factor ... GM's whose names end up in threads like this as "models" for what teams should be looking for earned those names by being part of winning organizations. Poorly owned and coached teams do not win and make their FO people famous. FO people become famous by being part of teams with good ownership and coaching. Chicken, meet egg.

Wouldn't it be something if, in 3 or 4 years, fans of other teams given to this kind of off season fantasy football flights of fancy are talking about Vinny Cerrato as the kind of guy their team should be chasing? "I don't care what you say, just look what dude did in Washington. All he needed was some stability and a decent coachign staff to work with, and he turned a perennial laughinstock into a perennial contender. We need that ish here." :)

I agree with everyone else's response to this one. To go back to my prior comments about doing something differently to get different results, Snyderatto are the constants and Gibbs and Co. are the variables that have been changed. Now to what would you attribute the change in results, the constant or the variables that have changed?

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The case for why he should be fired, now, while things are going as well for the team as they are, has not been made here. Not even close.

Feel free to keep trying though.

That's because you're not willing to accept the evidence. We've seen data to support the following two points:

(1) Vinny has done a lousy job in the draft since he arrived.

(2) Despite a fat budget, Vinny has done a lousy job acquiring free agents since he arrived.

Those are pretty much his entire job description, so failing at those two is bad. There aren't many people who argue those two points. You can nitpick over specific players, but looking at the results over Vinny's tenure is a pretty damning indictment. You seem to think that all his failures are just a result of his bad luck to be saddled with bad coaches, and now that he's got Gibbs everything is rosy. That, of course, is willful blindness. Vinny is not respected around the league for a reason.

Now, over the past two years, we've seen a change in both drafting and free agent acquisitions. The changes, however, had a set of very recognizable fingerprints on them, and they weren't Vinny's.

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I'm saying that Gibbs deserves a stronger partner than Vinny.

So, are you saying that you know what Gibbs wants better than Gibbs? :silly:

Remember, Gibbs is Team President, and has the support of Snyder. If Gibbs wanted to get rid of Vinny, he would have done it.

I also don't think Vinny is an "empty suit". One thing that has been proven in the past, no head coach can also do the job of GM and all that entails.

Jason

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