Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

ES: Around the Horn: addressing the offseason


themurf

Recommended Posts

4126432110_bd7d0113b3_o.jpg

(photo by Brian Murphy)

The 2009 Washington Redskins have been a tale of two seasons. In the first act, the offense was inept, while the defense played well. In the second frame, the offense has woken up, while the defense has been up and down. With the team seemingly getting its act together against the toughest part of the schedule, the million dollar question is - where do we go from here? Who should stay and who should go?

We posed this question to some of the most respected members of ES in hopes of getting a sample of what the fans truly feel about this situation as we head into the offseason. They each got 200 words to make their opening statement and then we’ll open this up for everyone to join in the discussion.

We also want to hear from you. Who’s right? Who doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about? This is your chance to join in on the fun as well.

KDawg

Most importantly, we need to get rid of Vinny Cerrato. No matter what he does at this point, he’s a hated man in DC that pretty much can’t win (not that he should) in the court of public opinion. Vinny has screwed up so many situations that now he has us in a market for a new coach and our offense has just begun to fire on all cylinders. If you fire Zorn, now, you can’t tell a new coach that he has to keep Sherman Lewis or Sherman Smith on board, although if we hire a West Coast Offense oriented head coach, there’s a chance we keep one of them for continuities sake.

When the new GM hires a new head coach (I’m not sure if that’s the best move, but it will probably be the result) the team is left in that coaches hands. And I can’t give you a good opinion of what will happen at that point because I don’t know who that coach will be. All I know is if they are hired by someone other than Cerrato, it could be a long first few seasons as we rebuild from Cerrato’s ineptitude.

Lombardi’s Kid Brother

The 2009 Redskins started the season in such abysmal fashion that the fans have reached the point where general incompetence is now regarded as success.

Like water, a football team over 16 games will find its own level. Are the Redskins playing better football over the last month than they did during the black comedy that was September and October? Of course. But it would take a superhuman effort to maintain that level of failure.

This is a tough, hearty mediocre team with an overmatched coaching staff. They managed to "play with" some teams in some who were bound to play down to the level of the competition. Denver is more like the Skins than their 6-0 start would suggest. Dallas is in their regularly-scheduled swoon. Andy Reid will always give you a chance to beat him. The Saints seem to be pressing down under the stress of the quest for perfection. And the Raiders are awful. Any number of below average teams could put up a below average record against this slate.

Unless the team goes on a Steelers of 2000-type late season run of wins, the vote hear is to blow the whole thing up. Front office. Coaching staff. Nearly all offensive personnel.

E-Dog Night

After a 3-game, almost-not-losing streak to three of the better teams in the NFC, followed by a thumping of the atrocious Raiders, there is an inexplicable collective notion emanating from Redskins Nation that things are headed in the right direction. Jason Campbell is playing better, Fred Davis and Devin Thomas are emerging as legitimate receiving threats. Surely this validates Vinny Cerrato's moves, right?

No. What will work is a sobering acceptance that a wide chasm separates this current Redskins team from an NFL championship. And it all starts at the top.

A legitimate NFL personnel man MUST be hired and given control over ALL personnel decisions, including a new coach. Without that move, all other decisions are moot. Keep Jason Campbell around for one more year. He isn't a championship QB, never will be, but he's better than the other options at this point and he'll come cheap. Then, trade trade trade. There isn't much worth keeping on this team. Anyone who can be traded for decent draft picks must be traded. That includes Portis, Moss and Cooley. And if value can be had on draft day, trade down wherever possible to stock this thin team with much needed depth.

Major Harris

Six or seven weeks ago, I was one of many Redskin fans that was ready to blow the whole thing up. I had a lingering thought in the back of my head...what if Campbell starts to play well? What if the 2nd round crew gives Vinny some vindication? What if the team starts to compete?

Well, we're here now and I still say that you can't take a four week snapshot and make decisions. For that reason, Cerrato goes. The body of work speaks for itself. Two playoff games with one win (all on the back of Gibbs) just doesn't cut it. If we only make one move, Lord let this be it.

When it comes to player personnel, it really does depend on the cap situation. I'm just a fan and it's more fun when you can pretend that there aren't cap ramifications …

Cut Portis. Seriously, every other back that has carried the ball for us this year runs better than Portis.

Cut Randle-El.

Do something with Laron Landry. Right now, I'd say cut him.

Rabach goes or takes a cut to become a back up.

Trade Cooley.

In short, blow it up, but not all the way.

The-Rock

I would like to see the Redskins retain Jason Campbell for 2009. He is not going to lead the Redskins to anything special, but I believe that drafting a QB next season would be a massive mistake. We need to address our offensive line problems and bring back the Redskins running game.

Speaking of the running game, Portis should be gone if we can avoid the cap penalties. I feel he is a distraction, a bit washed up, and in my opinion, we could find a RB who will produce as much or more in the later rounds of the draft or between Mason and Ganther. On the O-Line I would like to see the skins spend a top pick on an OT to fill Samuels’ place and a C/G later in the draft. I would retain Davis and Cooley, and cut Randle-El, promoting our younger guys.

Regardless of who the HC is I want Sherm Lewis to stay as OC. Defensively I think we’re good. I would draft some linebackers mid to late for depth, but our real needs are on offense. I would really like to see a change in our defensive coordinator to someone more aggressive.

-----

And now we open up this discussion to the rest of the class.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not only "always wise." I am now "respected."

Oh, God, am I going to be unbearable after this.

It looks like the vote is unanimous against Vinny. No one really seems to care about Zorn. He seems to be a fait accompli right now. We split on Campbell.

The-Rock wanting to keep Sherm Lewis is intersting. But that assumes we stick with the WCO. For argument's sake, if Bill Cowher shows up, he ain't running the WCO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not only "always wise." I am now "respected."

Oh' date=' God, am I going to be unbearable after this.

It looks like the vote is unanimous against Vinny. No one really seems to care about Zorn. He seems to be a fait accompli right now. We split on Campbell.

The-Rock wanting to keep Sherm Lewis is intersting. But that assumes we stick with the WCO. For argument's sake, if Bill Cowher shows up, he ain't running the WCO.[/quote']

You bring up an interesting point - everyone wants Cerrato gone. As the default moderator, let me add this wrinkle - what if I told you Vinny would definitely be back next season? I'm not saying this with any inside knowledge, rather throwing it into the mix for the purpose of continuing the conversation.

I ask each of our five panel members, as well as the rest of the unwashed masses, what's the best way to proceed if Cerrato is still employed at Redskins Park next season?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great thread!

Of the five opinions above, I agree somewhat with all of them, but I think I agree most with KDawg's opinion because he doesn't try to determine what we will do AFTER we rid ourselves of Cerrato and hire the new GM. That is up to the new GM, of course! And while this thread is about opinions, I think NOT giving an opinion other than getting a new GM is a better demonstration of the will power a certain person in the front office could do well to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ask each of our five panel members, as well as the rest of the unwashed masses, what's the best way to proceed if Cerrato is still employed at Redskins Park next season?

Swan dive from a tall building.

Actually, I'm not sure. Vinny got us into one heck of a mess with all of these possible trades for QBs and alienating Campbell...

Castrating Zorn and refusing to fire him was another major snafu.

All of those things have led to our issues... We're looking better offensively, and now we're going to change something... Great, so we change coordinators, that means we may as well take a new QB because we know Jason doesn't just pick up a new system that quickly.

Zorn has to be gone at this point, doesn't he?

I don't have a clue what happens if Vinny stays...

There's really no way in knowing or even giving a good educated guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You bring up an interesting point - everyone wants Cerrato gone. As the default moderator, let me add this wrinkle - what if I told you Vinny would definitely be back next season? I'm not saying this with any inside knowledge, rather throwing it into the mix for the purpose of continuing the conversation.

I ask each of our five panel members, as well as the rest of the unwashed masses, what's the best way to proceed if Cerrato is still employed at Redskins Park next season?

I personally think Cerrato will be back next year in the same capacity. So, I think this is a very good question.

The issue is not really Cerrato. The issue is Dan. Cerrato is just the repository for our anger at Dan.

One of two things need to happen. And both are essentially the same thing.

1. Dan needs to fire Cerrato and bring in a strong willed GM who will build a while between personnel and the owner's box. Dan does not have a say in FAs. Dan does not have a say in draft picks. Dan does not get to hang out with players in Vegas. There are really only a handful of guys I can see doing this.

2. Dan needs to keep Cerrato, but - by mutual agreement - they need to cut the cord and let Cerrato truly rebuild this team from the ground up. A three-year plan. A new coach - who gets to choose his staff. A youth movement across the board. This would require Dan Snyder essentially to stop being Dan Snyder.

Honestly, Vinny is a fun scapegoat, but the problem is his boss ultimately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ask each of our five panel members, as well as the rest of the unwashed masses, what's the best way to proceed if Cerrato is still employed at Redskins Park next season?

as much as i hate to think about that scenario....

i'd say if you keep cerrato, you keep his bed here, too. let him lie in it. give jc another year, keep zorn and staff, and if we continue to improve and become a legit playoff contender, he can truly be vindicated.

portis is #2 on my list behind cerrato.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as much as i hate to think about that scenario....

i'd say if you keep cerrato, you keep his bed here, too. let him lie in it. give jc another year, keep zorn and staff, and if we continue to improve and become a legit playoff contender, he can truly be vindicated.

I find myself thinking very similarly... But at the same time, I know this won't happen. Vinny stays, he's going to need scapegoats... Which means casualties...

And I don't think Portis will be one of those casualties.

Scary thought. Although, the notion of keeping the offensive system in place is a great one as I think it's beginning to hit it's stride a little bit... But Zorn isn't an NFL Head Coach at this point, either... But maybe a year can make a difference? I don't know. This whole thing is so whacked out I'm not sure there are ANY easy answers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scary thought. Although, the notion of keeping the offensive system in place is a great one as I think it's beginning to hit it's stride a little bit... But Zorn isn't an NFL Head Coach at this point, either... But maybe a year can make a difference? I don't know. This whole thing is so whacked out I'm not sure there are ANY easy answers.

you're a coach, so you know coaches get too much credit for the good and too much blame for the bad....

i think he deserves some credit for how this team has played inspired football despite their record. a lot of teams would have packed it in by now.

one thing is for sure, you're right, there are no easy answers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scary thought. Although, the notion of keeping the offensive system in place is a great one as I think it's beginning to hit it's stride a little bit... But Zorn isn't an NFL Head Coach at this point, either... But maybe a year can make a difference? I don't know. This whole thing is so whacked out I'm not sure there are ANY easy answers.

I just don't see how Zorn can return under any circumstances. He just isn't very good at his job. It's not even a "little too in over his head" thing like with Wade Phillips.

I just don't see anything that Zorn does well as a head coach.

I'm sorry, but the argument that "the team is playing hard" does not impress me. Gibbs emphasis on "character" is still here. This is a team filled with good character guys. London Fletcher would play hard in a UFL game in front of 50 people. Campbell, god bless him, is the same. Carter seems to be the same. There are a lot of good guys on this team. I don't think they need motivation. This is not a team filled with Dana Stubblefields.

Even some sketchy character guys like Haynesworth and Hall let it all hang out when they actually see the field.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just don't see anything that Zorn does well as a head coach.

some of the best play calling this team has seen this decade was the 1st half of last year. of course, that was followed by some of the worst. but the potential is there. zorn was in over his head, but that falls back on vinny. that doesn't mean zorn can't ever do it. but if we keep vinny and fire zorn, where are we? we're back to year one of the vinny rebuilding experiment. no way he deserves a mulligan for this year. if he's rebuilding, he's rebuilding, and that started as soon as gibbs left. it shouldn't be re-started when zorn leaves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

some of the best play calling this team has seen this decade was the 1st half of last year. of course, that was followed by some of the worst.

There was a lot of gambling in Zorn's early playcalling that paid off. Half-back passes. Going for it on fourth down. Etc. Everything he called worked. But the nature of gambling is that eventually the odds will catch up to you.

The question is was the 6 games an accurate representation of his play-calling? Or the following 16?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You bring up an interesting point - everyone wants Cerrato gone. As the default moderator, let me add this wrinkle - what if I told you Vinny would definitely be back next season? I'm not saying this with any inside knowledge, rather throwing it into the mix for the purpose of continuing the conversation.

I ask each of our five panel members, as well as the rest of the unwashed masses, what's the best way to proceed if Cerrato is still employed at Redskins Park next season?

This was one of the more difficult things to touch on briefly, which is why I focused on personnel moves that I think make sense. There are two things every fan must deal with: what they think is realistically going to happen, and what ought to happen.

I think that most Redskins fans would agree that with all of the arguments that have piled up against Vinny and his many mistakes which have led our beloved franchise to a decade of mismanagement and mediocrity, he ought to be lose his job. He even said himself that he felt his job security was directly linked to Jim Zorn, since Zorn was his guy so to speak.

The reality of the situation is much more grim. Vinny Cerrato isn't just another employee for the Redskins, he is a close personal friend of Dan Snyder. I think that with the team failing in all facets of the game early in the season there actually was a good chance Cerrato could have been fired...if only it had continued. The team has bounced back to mediocrity, bordering on good but not quite there. Vinny Cerrato has gone 10 years fielding teams that perform in this manner, which leads me to believe that he isn't going anywhere just yet.

Even if Cerrato is fired, who is going to take his place? We all know that the real problem with this franchise is Dan Snyder. Cerrato isn't self employed, and evidently SOMEBODY has been pleased by his work these past 10 years. That somebody happens to be our team's owner, and if Cerrato is fired chances are good that A. Dan will hire another incompetent yes man rather than hiring a real GM and giving away all of his power on personnel and coaching decisions. and B. Vinny Cerrato, as Dan's friend, will still hang around the Redskins, and still have Snyder's ear which is all he needs to continue to mess things up.

So getting back to our personnel moves, everything I wrote about is my ideal situation. The reality of things in my opinion is, Cerrato is back next season, so is the Portis and Moss show, Jim Zorn will be fired, Jason Campbell will be released, we will draft a QB such as Jimmy Clausen with our 1st round draft pick, and we will continue to not address the offensive line while fans scramble to overstate the abilities and durability of Levi Jones, Mike Williams, Stephon Heyer, and Casey Rabach. The probability of those things happening is greater than what I proposed, but it sure is a lot more depressing to think about isn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blowing it all up is a dumb approach in any year. The smart thing to do, whether the team wins the Super Bowl or finishes 0-16, is to upgrade at every position that is not filled by a grade A performer, on the field or in the front office, as the opportunities arise.

This begins with an unbiased grading of their job performances. If there's a grade A prospect for the QB position available in the draft, we should take him. If not, we should hold on to grade C, Jason Campbell until a better QB comes along.

Similarly, we should want to maintain continuity with schemes that work and dump those that don't. We are seeing evidence of an offense starting to produce despite backups on the O-line and at the RB position. If this trend continues through week 17, we should be very careful about making changes that have the potential to derail that progress.

Dan Snyder will be the owner. That fact is a given, and must be taken into account when grading Vinny Cerrato. Vinny might be the only man alive capable of dealing with Dan's ego. This popular call for a "real GM" is wishful thinking, not a viable alternative.

The first problem is that we really want a grade A general manager and that is a very rare bird. The overwhelming majority of the GMs on the job today have proven their mediocrity. Holmgren, being interviewed for the Cleveland job, is a proven mediocrity who wouldn't work for Dan. Shanahan couldn't cut it as a GM. The other names mentioned in this forum for the job are just that -- names.

Even if Dan hired a GM, how long could Dan's ego allow him to just standby and watch? Marty had full control for a year (Marty was a dumb hire, but that's not the point). Joe had full control for four years, but that was Joe Gibbs.

Vinny should stay. He's a weasel, but he's been used as a scapegoat for Redskins fans lacking the balls to list the failed personnel policies of Joe Gibbs. Vinny also has a pretty good handle on the draft. He has done well since Gibbs left and he took over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From one of the unwashed masses, I am amazed at the number of people who continue to call for trading personel for draft picks.

1. Who are these mythical teams that are going to give good draft picks to us. Are you saying getting a 4th-5th round pick (remember he is coming off an injury) for Cooley is better than having Cooley? .

2. How has our record been for selecting viable players through the draft? Draft picks do not equal a better team, good draft picks do.

It is a "Let's Make a Deal" mentality and they will always make the next trade, Monty.

So, if Vinny stays :doh:, look for a new head coach (Zorn to get the blame), a signing of a FA pointed out on ES, and a poorly run draft.

:helmet: The Rook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From one of the unwashed masses, I am amazed at the number of people who continue to call for trading personel for draft picks.

Everyone thinks that the only way to build a team is the Jimmy Johnson model.

What no one realizes is that the league was uncapped then and Jimmy was light years smarter than nearly all the other GMs then. Everyone understands the value of draft picks now. So, you are rarely going to see Herschel Walker or Ricky Williams trade now - unless Al Davis is involved or Mike Ditka comes out of retirement.

The other models are boring. The Steelers, Colts, and Ravens just save all their picks, occasionally trade down in the middle rounds, and relentlessly follow their formula.

The Pats always try to have an extra #1 that they then parlay into lots of middle round picks. The problem with this is that Belichik no longer seems to know what he wants in a player. He seems to just randomly accumulate second rounders and then drafts a bunch of DBs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a lot of gambling in Zorn's early playcalling that paid off. Half-back passes. Going for it on fourth down. Etc. Everything he called worked. But the nature of gambling is that eventually the odds will catch up to you.

The question is was the 6 games an accurate representation of his play-calling? Or the following 16?

He called ONE HB pass. The fourth-down calls were all right on the money, good calls whether they worked or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok. He's great. Whatever.

I'm not going to get into a micro argument with you on Zorn's individual decisions. For whatever reason' date=' it's just not working out. So, I think he should go.[/quote']

Well, I can't argue with a penetrating analysis like that.:evilg:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You bring up an interesting point - everyone wants Cerrato gone. As the default moderator, let me add this wrinkle - what if I told you Vinny would definitely be back next season? I'm not saying this with any inside knowledge, rather throwing it into the mix for the purpose of continuing the conversation.

I ask each of our five panel members, as well as the rest of the unwashed masses, what's the best way to proceed if Cerrato is still employed at Redskins Park next season?

I say hope and pray that he addresses the o-line situation through the draft and does not draft one of the qb's coming out in the first round. I'm for not "blowing it up" right now. Lose some high priced vets like CP, let Rogers go, and certainly do not bring back Landry. I don't know enough about their contracts but obviously if trades can be made for picks, go that route. We could be competitive without wholesale changes or starting from scratch again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read about cutting players and firing Vinny. I agree with firing Vinny for the reasons given - his track record, his draft and FA mistakes (driven by coaches and Dan Synder desires, i.e. being a YES-man), and his poor communication skills.

There's a reason why in a league that is designed for parity, there are two undefeated teams this year (and one perfect 16-0 team last year) and so many poor and mediocre teams (Detroit 0-16 last year) - MANAGEMENT! If you have poor management in this league your team will remain stuck in loserville. I'm not saying anything everyone doesn't know - our FO is pretty bad. The only redeeming quality is the owner's willingness to spend, without that, we're 0-16. Matt Millen would be better than Cerrato

As far as JC is concerned...I'm tired of hearing and seeing people wanting to cut Campbell because they never think about who will replace him. There are not many options at QB in free agency this year. Draft a QB, but make it a competition to see who's better. Then, trade Campbell if he doesn't pan out. We let too many of "our own" go without anything in return.

Oline in this year's draft seems decent. I'd go with a 1st round OT and 2nd round QB (do we have a 2nd rounder this year...I totally forget considering we lose 'em so easily).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...