Vinny Cerrato: Jim Zorn ruined by ego, becoming a celebrity

More than a decade in the public spotlight hasn’t made former Redskins executive Vinny Cerrato any more self aware.

Asked on the Mike Wise Show Tuesday to discuss former coach Jim Zorn’s downfall as Redskins coach, Cerrato blamed Zorn’s ego.

“Lookit, when we started out, we’re 6-2 and the guy’s doing a good job.  But then I think ego got into play and then he stopped listening to coaches, became a celebrity. I mean, that’s when Rush Limbaugh’s on the sideline, he had all these people on the sideline. Give me a break,” Cerrato said via Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog.

“Just worry about Clinton Portis, Chris Samuels.  Worry about the next team. To me, that’s what happened.”

The host of the Vinny Cerrato radio show blaming Washington’s downfall on Zorn’s ego is stupefying.  It would be like if Dan Snyder made fun of another owner for free agent spending.

There are so many other reasons the Redskins failed under Zorn, and most of them lead directly back to Cerrato’s decision making.  (Including the decision to hire Zorn.)

In Cerrato’s view, Zorn’s handling of the media was another crucial ingredient.

“When you talk to the media, you can’t tell them everything,” Cerrato said.   “You know, he wanted to tell them everything. I think Jim’s downfall was when he went on and started ripping the players, Chris Samuels, and saying it on air. You lose the team. They say bye bye.”

These comments reflect poorly on Cerrato, not only because they are classless and attempting to shift blame elsewhere.

They also indicate Cerrato still doesn’t understand what actually contributes to wins and losses in the NFL.

UPDATE: More quotes from Cerrato, courtesy of

48 responses to “Vinny Cerrato: Jim Zorn ruined by ego, becoming a celebrity

  1. At some point in the future, the self publisher of the Vinny Cerrato bi-monthly, hand printed newsletter will caution his readers that “You can’t tell the media everything…”.

  2. Dan Snyder Lite.

    He and the Danster put Zorn in an impossible position.

    There’s a reason the Redskins have stunk for all these many years. It all starts at the top. And now the front office is better than when Vinnie was in there but I wouldn’t expect it to change much under Shanahan.

  3. Isn’t this the same guy who was filmed playing placeholder while Dan Snyder attempted to kick a field goal?

  4. Does anyone else see the irony in this? Cerrato uses this interview to throw Zorn under the bus, citing, among other things, Zorn throwing some of his players under the bus in interviews.

    I guess the lack of success during the Cerrato regime had nothing to do with 1st round picks used on QBs Patrick Ramsey and Jason Campbell. Or 2nd rd picks used on Ladell Betts, Taylor Jacobs, Devin Thomas, Fred Davis and Malcolm Kelly (all skill-position players who are apparently not as skillful as originally thought). Credit for good picks on D like Sean Taylor (R.I.P.), Orakpo, Laron Landry, but his job is to stock the team with talent and he didn’t do enough of that.

  5. He knows what he’s talking about because one of his Eyes went Celebrity and the other Eye was all about business…

    What a clown… How many times has Vinny been FORMER executive of the Redskins… and why throw Zorn under the bus…. He and Clown Snyder were the ones who took a QB coach and advanced him pass the OC spot right into a the HC spot… so blame yourselves when it don’t turn out right !

  6. largent80, Portis and several players threw Zorn under the bus as well, including the D.C. media, when they knew how messed up the front office was with Vinny and Snyder running the show.

    Zorn interviewed to be the O.C., and a few days later they told him “Eh, Jim, would you mind being our head coach?”

    Vinny is still suffering from delusions of grandeur. It’s amazing.

  7. Zorn was a bad coach, but Vinny was the worst thing to ever happen to the Redskins. Yes, worse than Snyder. Snyder has learned from his mistakes and is turning things in the right direction. Vinny learned NOTHING in 10 years and unfortunately was more directly involved in all the cancerous players and contracts that came to DC.

  8. Zorn was in over his head as a Head Coach, but it’s not his fault that he was offered the job by an idiot like Cerrato and then accepted it. Cerrato is to blame. BTW, Thanks for Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, Cerrato!

  9. Are you sure Vinny just didn’t do the bugeye mind stare at Zorn who then decided to just make the team lose so he could hang in his office and listen to Rush all day?

    Lookit, that’s about as believeable as what Vinny had to say on the jerk wise show today. Lookit Vinny is a total incompent boob who’s talent evaluation and a@#$ kissing ways ran the skins into the ground regardless of who HE and Beltbuckle boy Danny hired as coaches!

  10. Another sports writer hatchet job. Regardless of who’s at fault in Washington, this is either a sports writer carrying water for someone, or carrying a grudge. Notice he never says that what Cerrato said wasn’t true.

  11. I once posted all of Cerrato’s drafts here. There were a couple good picks, but I think a rabid fan could have done better over the years. He ruined TWO franchises(see 49ers and ‘Skins). Think about it. The FIRST thing Marty did when hired was fire Cerrato. The FIRST thing Danny Boy Snyder did when he fired Marty was re-hire Cerrato. I don’t know what Cerrato had on Snyder, but I can’t see why else he placed so much trust and value on someone with NO success on their resume. At least lean on someone that has maybe done it before???

  12. Covering you ass, Cerrato? What do you mean “don’t tell the media everything”. Don’t want to be too transparent do you? And I thought that the Vikes, Bengals, Raiders and Titans were the most dysfunctional.

  13. What most of you may not know is that before Cerrato screwed up the Redskins he did the same thing for the 49ers. Shows how stupid Snyder is for hiring him in the first place.

  14. who the hell is Vinny Cerrato to pass judgement. this moron is part of the reason why the Redskins are a dysfunctional cluster fu*k. this idiot couldnt tell good talent if it kicked him in the teeth. just shutup!!

  15. So everyone wants to blame Vinny? He did whatever Snyder wanted and went along with anything. How many people would turn down millions to sit by Snyders side and take the heat?

    Snyder is the one ruined the Redskins

  16. as a lifelong redskins fan,i’ll never why snyder gave cerrato a job ever running the team when about the only job he’d qualify for is being a janitor following detailed instructions written down on paper!

  17. docredskin says: Mar 8, 2011 5:31 PM

    Vinny Cerrato makes Matt Millen look like Ron Wolf.


    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

  18. Not to take away from how awful a GM Vinny Cerrato was, and he was the worst in history, but leave it to the Hack Mike Wise to bring that clown in for an interview. Could he be more irrelevant? I guess those are the guests you get when everything you write is a joke and you have zero credibility. On tomorrow’s show Michael Westbrook and Joe Gibbs’ neighbor.

  19. Finally!!! Now I understand why Cerrato and Snyder went after that “completely without an ego” Shanahan as their current coach.


    Cerrato was fired before the end of the season and had zero input on hiring Shanahan. Bruce Allen took over before the end of the year and before a new coach was hired.

  20. Vinny hired a quarter back’s coach as a head coach and it highlighted his football stupidity. He is just bitter towards Zorn because he is still in the nfl and Vinny is “consulting” in the college ranks.

  21. If he followed his own advice, he shouldn’t have told the media that you shouldn’t tell the media everything. Essentially he is either saying: (A) I haven’t told you everything about Zorn and therefore you can’t trust anything I’ve said about him to be true; or (B) I did tell you everything about Jim Zorn, but now I’m just as egotistical and into being a celebrity as he was by spilling my guts to the media. Either way, he comes off looking like a clown.

  22. Vinny Cerrato said in his interview that it was perfectly acceptable to LIE to protect team interests!Lying was a part of the GM everyday job. Balony Bull !!. You shut your face rather than make up lies..He thinks the end always justifies the means.What goes around comes around and it just bit Vinny in the butt ! If I lied everyday to conduct my business, I would lose Trust first and the Business next.

  23. I am sometimes critical of blogs on this site but I must admit, this one is well written and I agree with everything in it.

  24. So … we are led to believe that Zorn pals around with Limbaugh and had him hangin’ on the sideline?!? What – wasn’t Keith Richards available?

    Skins never should have gotten rid of Marty. Major mistake.

    This Cerrato character is one wild-eyed lookin’ sumbitch – he and Snyder must have been quite the dynamic duo.

    Party on, Vinnie!

  25. I’m a liberal, so far be it from me to cut slack for a Rush Limbaugh far (Zorn, presumably), but Cerrato’s rant, which includes the detail of Limbaugh’s presence on the sideline, sounds like it could be at least partially politically motivated.

    I have no idea what, if any, Cerrato’s political leanings are, but when Limbaugh is part of a discussion, there’s almost always a political opinion/ideology lurking within.

  26. If there were any doubts about whether Cerrato wouldn’t get another job in the NFL, I think they’ve been completely removed now.

  27. largent80 says: Mar 8, 2011 5:16 PM
    As a longtime NFL fan I am happy to see even a poster named after Zorn’s best WR is still sticking up for him. 🙂

    Wash. fans I am serious…I think I laughed more at all of your comments here than on any other PFT blog recently. Kudos to all of you for being able to maintain such good senses of humor.

    Half man, half eyeballs indeed.

  28. Cerrato is claiming Zorn got an ego from hanging with celebrities on the sidelines…but who let them on the sideline in the first place??

    Snyder, of course. He and Crazy Tom Cruise are business partners, and the Skins are 0-2 when Cruise shows up on the sidelines, including when the Lions broke their 19-game losing streak.

    Having Tom Cruise on your sidelines is bad karma!

  29. You blame The owner it start’s there with him always start @ the top. I been a Redskin fan starting back in the 70. We should be one of the top teams around.When you have big money and know smarts you do dump things. Wize up Daniel Synder

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