Dan Snyder bought the Washington Redskins in May 1999 and at first looked like a savvy businessman who loved the team and might become a great owner.
Little did fans know that his hiring of Vinny Cerrato that year would doom the team to years of disappointment and mediocrity.
There was a brief moment of hope in 2001 when Snyder fired head coach Norv Turner after an 8–8 season and hired a tough, experienced coach, Marty Schottenheimer, and gave him some real power. One of the first things Schottenheimer did was fire Vinny Cerrato.
Who was Vinny Cerrato? He had been the player personnel chief for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990s, leaving mostly wreckage behind, before he was hired by Snyder in 1999 and fired by Schottenheimer in 2001. But when Schottenheimer’s Redskins went 8–8 in 2001, Snyder fired Schottenheimer and, figuring he could run the team with someone like Cerrato as his yes man, rehired Vinny.
It’s been one disaster after another ever since.
Why does Snyder keep Cerrato while firing coach after coach and losing game after game? The best guess is that Snyder the fan thinks he’s smarter than all the other NFL professionals and as long as Cerrato is there he can decide who to sign and who to play.
Dan, it’s over. Fire Cerrato. Hire a general manager who knows the NFL and let the GM hire the next coach. For all of Jack Kent Cooke’s bluster as the Redskins owner, he was ten times smarter than Snyder. Cooke hired Bobby Beathard as the real boss of the team, Beathard hired Joe Gibbs as coach, and the rest is history.
For our version of Redskins history, here are several of our calls for Snyder to stop playing fantasy football and run the Redkins as a professional football team.
Dan, It’s Time to Sack Cerrato! (December 2007)
Snyder’s Seven Redskins Sins (August 2007)
Fire Snyder? No, First Fire Vinny (January 2005)