The Forlorn Era Of Cerrato And Zorn

JW NixSenior Writer IISeptember 29, 2009

When Vinny Cerrato joined the Redskins, he had just come from a successful time working with the San Francisco 49ers. He has joined the Niners after working for Lou Holtz at Notre Dame University for many successful years, including a championship season in 1988.

In his eight years in San Francisco, he was part of a machine that went to the playoffs seven years in a row. The team never won fewer than ten games during Cerrato's time there. When he joined the Redskins in 1999, they made the playoffs that season.

Then Cerrato and team owner Dan Snyder began to hire washed up talents, including Hall Of Famers Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders. The team, already aging, found little relief with an influx of has-beens.

When Marty Schottenheimer was hired as head coach and general manager in 2001, Redskin fans would not recognize the importance of that moment until now. Schottenheimer was given the ability by Snyder to fire Cerrato, and he did immediately.

The Redskins became the first team in NFL history to follow a five game losing streak with a five game winning streak that season. It was accomplished with such mediocre talents like quarterback Tony Banks at the helm, where the team was third from last in the league in scoring.

If only Snyder had stayed the course with Marty Ball.

Schottenheimer was fired after his lone season in Washington, then would move to San Diego to help build a Chargers team that has been a winning team since. He was replaced by Steve Spurrier in Washington, where the team won just twelve games in two wretched seasons.

Though the hiring of Spurrier was a bad move in hindsight, the worst hiring in 2002 was when Snyder brought Cerrato back. It was a move most NFL experts laughed at. Many have said, since then, that Cerrato wouldn't be hired by any other team, and only Snyder would be foolish enough to hire such incompetence. Even the experts on ESPN, where Cerrato had worked in 2001, have long said such criticisms.

The laughter of NFL pundits continues today, though Redskins fans never wanted to see their team become a walking punchline.

There are several theories bandied about to how the inept Cerrato continues to stay in Washington, including the theory Cerrato is blackmailing Snyder to keep his job by possessing some form of incriminating documents or photos that would ruin Snyder's empire.

Cerrato's "expertise" has seen him neglect team need, especially the last several seasons. One example is his drafting tight end Fred Davis in the second round of the 2008 draft, even though the team had a young All-Pro in Chris Cooley at the position.

Sitting on the draft board was a huge defensive end named Calais Campbell for a team starving for defensive end depth. Cerrato blew off this, something he has consistently done when it comes to the Redskins needs in his time back in Washington. Campbell is now a regular contributor on the Arizona Cardinals, and helped them to a win recently by blocking a game winning field goal attempt.

Davis is a guy who should remind Redskins fans of former wide receiver Michael Westbrook in that he is not a fan of the game, and only plays it for the paycheck. He has given Washington virtually nothing since the day he was drafted.

These are the types of players peppered into the Redskins of today. A team desperate for linebacker depth, Cerrato decided to neglect the position until using a few picks on projects late in the draft. One of the projects had character issues, and didn't even make the team.

Whether it is wasting draft picks on projects, or trading away draft picks for washed up veterans who prefer to be 'Dancing With The Stars' in Hollywood than play football, the Vinny Cerrato era has been the worst of times for Redskins fans.

This Snyder team continues to dance with Hollywierd. Jim Zorn was seen yucking it up with Tom Cruise before he lead his team onto the field to break the Detroit Lions losing streak.

Zorn looked smitten with Cruise and had an expression on his face that he could not believe nor envision  he would have ever found himself rubbing elbows in the world of entertainment. His time as head coach of the Redskins has been anything but entertaining to anyone but himself.

Dan Snyder has it in his biography that he grew up a fan of the Washington Redskins,and this is what inspired him to buy the team. Though Snyder is known to be very eccentric, a bit of a hot head, and admits to knowing virtually next to nothing about football, he has marketed the team well off the field.

If the Redskins are to have a chance, Snyder needs to step away from the field after he performs two very necessary moves on behalf of the Redskins organization.

The first move, and most critical, is to fire Vinny Cerrato immediately at the conclusion of the 2009 season. It is vital to the team ever having any chance at a future. The guy to consider replacing him with is the guy he replaced in Charley Casserly.

Casserly bleeds burgundy and gold, and is the guy who helped build some very good teams in Washington, as well as making the correct move in drafting Mario Williams with the first draft pick in the 2006 season for the Houston Texans. The Texans are now considered by many as an up and coming team.

The next move is to fire Zorn, a guy who isn't ready to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL, let alone a head coach. His play calling against the long suffering Lions was spotlighted by the nation, but most Redskin fans had already seen this.

Jim Zorn needs to go back to the AFC, because that is the type of game he calls and thinks can work in the NFC. His gutless and effeminate approach has loser written all over it in the NFC East.

Snyder needs to wake up now, and relieve the team of the inadequate Cerrato and Zorn. There is no way he cannot hear the screams of Redskins fans even in his ivory tower perch. Another year with Cerrato or Zorn is like being told to support the Dallas Cowboys, and a real Redskins fan would prefer to commit hara-kiri than do either.