A look at the Cerrato era

Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog has a retrospective on the Vinny Cerrato years. Dan's not particularly kind to Cerrato, what with his sarcasm about the highly underrated film, "Kindergarten Ninja."


He also found a classic photo of owner Dan Snyder and Cerrato sitting in lawn chairs watching Redskins training camp. And I think that is what has irritated fans so much about Cerrato. Yes, he made some baffling football decisions over the years that backfired. But it was his friendship with Snyder that really irked the fans. It felt like he flaunted the fact that he was protected by the owner.

On some levels, he hated the perception that he only had a job in the league because of Snyder's benevolence. He often reminded us of his time at Notre Dame and San Francisco. And indeed, he had been part of two highly successful organizations before coming to the Redskins.

But because of the way they carried themselves, Cerrato and Snyder always came off as two snobbish frat guys. Cerrato is much more outgoing than Snyder, and he embraced the opportunity to host his own weekly radio show for the Snyder-owned ESPN 980. But he never connected with the team's fan base. On his watch, the Redskins did not draft enough quality offensive and defensive linemen. Instead, they were always going after the big splash.

It's appropriate that Cerrato spent his final year with the club in pursuit of flashy names such as Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez. He and Snyder basically embarrassed their own franchise quarterback, Jason Campbell, as they fell all over themselves to locate his replacement. And it seems fitting that Campbell is playing some of the best football of his career as Cerrato makes his exit.

You always felt like this move needed to happen, but the friendship that Cerrato and Snyder shared made you wonder if it ever would.