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Words of Wisdom from Marty about the Redskins

The Burgundy Ghost

The Starter
Jul 15, 2009
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Words of Wisdom from Marty about the Redskins (DC Sports Bog)

Marty has known about the Redskins FO problems since 2000.
Great quotes from DC Sports Bog:

"When you send Dan [Snyder] out along with Vinny Cerrato, Vinny's going to tell him whatever he thinks Dan wants to hear," Schottenheimer said Thursday on "The Red Zone," the SIRIUS NFL show he hosts along with Solomon Wilcots. "Dan, God love him, I don't know that the analysis and evaluation of quarterbacks is necessarily down his alley."


"I've said for a long time, in my opinion the problem down there--obviously it starts at the top with Dan--but [the problem] is Cerrato," Schottenheimer said Thursday. "I don't particularly respect the guy. He and I had our issues when we were there. Basically what he said was, 'Marty, Dan may be listening to you during the preseason,' he says. 'But wait until I get up in the owner's box during the regular season, and then we'll see who Dan listens to.'

.....I swear he's got blackmail photos of him or something

Thanks Marty for at least trying to fix the problem in 2001. If we had only knew then what we know now, there would have been parades and a statue somewhere in your honor for firing Vinny and giving the Skins a chance.
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Yeah, I'm still a Marty fan. Last time I remember him talking like this was before he took over in 2001. Maybe my wish to see him as the GM and he can bring his son Brian in to be the head coach is gonna come true?
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Mixed feelings about Marty.

One the one hand, he's always struck me as a bit of a martinette. Stolid, unimaginative, a dinosaur. And there's the playoff-collapse albatross he's earned throughout his career---awesome regular seasons, tragically predictable post-seasons.

And I think his DC history has treated him a little better (read: revisionist) than he may have actually earned, given the context of who he's being compared with and what has happened to this organization since he was fired.

I haven't forgotten the depths of that 0-5 start in 2001, when the team looked as bad as it ever has in its storied history, or the reality of that team rallying as much against him as for him ... or that when 0-5 became 5-5 and teams began taking us seriously again, his Redskins went belly up in the final weeks and limped to 8-8, not stormed.

All that said ... the man has some serious balls. Anyone who will say publicly something like what he just said about Vinny (specifically, the part about running to the owner's box to get in Danny's ear), is made of sterner stuff than most public figures these days.

There aren't too many more comfortable in their own skins than Marty Schottenheimer.

Gotta love that.

As to his coming back here as GM ... not sure I'm really wanting to go there. The draft he largely oversaw that year, while admittedly a tiny sample size and w/o inside knowledge of just how much influence he really had, was less than inspiring:

1st - WR Rod Gardner
2nd - CB Fred Smoot
4th - QB Sage Rosenfels
5th - WR Darnerian McCants
6th - DT Mario Monds

The Rosenfels pick in particular stands out in memory. I remember reading an account of how that pick was made ... Marty getting up from the war room table, walking up to the board as the Redskins' pick came up, pointing at Sage and saying "him." Apparently no one else in the room had a clue where that came from--it wasn't a pick they even had really had on the radar.

That always struck me somehow as ... telling.

Also, just for fun and at least a little context/comparison, here's the previous year with the redoubtable Norv Turner helping Vinny:

1st - LB LaVar Arrington, LT Chris Samuels (both no brainers)
3rd - DB Lloyd Harrison
4th - OG Mookie Moore
5th - ?? Quincy Sanders
6th - QB Todd Husak
7th - DE Delbert Cowsette, ?? Ethan Howell

Not intending to come down on Marty with all this ... let's face it, the man has shown (or at least showed--it's been a long time) that he can turn programs around at win consistently in the regular season. And no question, that in itself looks pretty damned golded given what Redskins fans have endured the past 15+ years.

I'm just not as big a Marty fan as many I see in Redskins Nation over the past few years ... I think some of us are definitely seeing him not so much in terms of how good he was in his brief stint here, but by contrast with just how godawful some of the years around him have been.

Tell you what though. I'll definitely buy him a beer next time I see him for the Vinny comments.
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The entire Redskin nation, with exception of Dan Snyder, knows that Vinny is a major problem and needs to go.

If memory serves me correct, Vinny was the one that convinced the 49ers to draft Jim Druckenmiller out of VT in first round. Many in the 49ers organization were opposed, but they took him regardless.

All I can say is Vinny would make one helluva used car salesman.
Vinny Cerrato was fired by Bill Walsh when he came back as GM of the 49ers.

That plus Marty's repudiation of him is enough to convince me we are not going to see the Redskins morph into the Caps, an organization that really hasn't made a bad decision in the draft in 4-5 years and has completely turned itself around.

The experience of the Caps is instructive because when he first purchased the team Leonsis pushed through the deal for Jagr and then paid him a contract that strangled the club for several years.

Other veterans were acquired In FA that didn't perform up to their paychecks.

Basically the same situation as the Redskins EXCEPT that Leonsis learned and stepped back from the edge.
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I was curious, so I went back to look at Marty's draft record with the Chiefs, and it is pretty dang putrid. There are a few hits in there (DT, Grunhard, Sheilds, Joe Horn, Gonzo, Reggie Tongue), but it is mostly littered with misses.
Vinny is a joke in league circles, that's no secret. He's Dan's enabler and until he's out of the picture this team will never be better than 9-7, even in the best of situations.

I remember the Marty year very clearly. There were concerns over his vanilla offense (Jimmy Raye). There were also concerns about how he treated the vets on the team (Bruce and the Oklahoma Drill). Marty is also a bit of a comic book stereotype leader at times too, but I forgive him that.

I think it was all calculated on Marty's part. He was asked to come in and build a team the way he wanted to build it. In his world defense, a strong running game and playing field position football is what he believes in. He wanted to weed out the players who had just come here for a big payday.

Bruce Smith had proven absolutely nothing in DC to that point yet he expected special treatment. So he complained to.....you guessed it, Dan. Marty wasn't interested in "Hall of Fame Member to Be" Bruce Smith. He was more interested in un-drafted rookie Antonio Pierce and everyone on the team playing together. The flash of the free agents meant nothing to him. He bit the bullet, slashed the payroll and made due with less for a year in order to set us up with the cap space for the future. He was thinking long term.

The under story of why Marty got the boot was his unwillingness to fire Jimmy Raye. Raye was the fall guy for everything the offense was not getting right. So when that excuse was given for his dismissal the fan base was in agreement with that point enough to be pacified. That's pure BS. Dan wanted to run the show and be the man more than he wanted to try to build something meaningful. Doing that directly is not Dan's style (too much media heat), but he can do that through Vinny. Vinny doesn't care if people think he's an idiot. The only person that matters is the guy signing his check. He's a useful idiot.

Back to Marty for a second; With the level of talent on the team at the time, going 8-8 (however he got there) was rather remarkable. Tony Banks was the best QB on the team at the time. Remember? Drafting Sage was a good move. If Mr. Favre hadn't come back this year he would have likely been the starter in Minnesota. He put up good numbers in relief just about everywhere he's been. No, it wasn't just as simple as him pointing to the board when Sage was selected. Even a backup QB doesn't stay in the league for 9 years by accident.

Marty never had the chance to finish what he started and we went right back to what we were doing before he got here. I have no doubt had he been given another two years to finish what he started recent Redskin history wouldn't be such a joke. Do you doubt he could have had the team in the playoffs as soon as the following year? I don't.

Dan is losing a whole generation of Redskin fans by being exactly what he tries so hard to pretend he isn't, a meddling, GM wannabe, know-nothing jerk. I want my team back.
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Does anyone doubt this is how's it's been all along, even with Joe here?

It's why we're screwed
Coupla things, HF, I believe you addressed to me ... :)

1) The purpose of relating the story about Marty plucking Sage Rosenfels off the board wasn't about whether or not Sage could play (which to me, after nine years, puts him somewhere just south of Gus Frerotte in terms of "diamond in the rough" picks), so much as it was about the eyebrow-raising factor of Marty apparently stunning everyone in his own team's war room when he made it clear, while the team was on the clock, that's who he wanted with that pick.

Maybe I haven't been around enough draft warrooms, but my guess is there are very, very few picks made on modern NFL Draft Days that come as a surprise to anyone in the room. Disagreement over a pick, sure, but surprise bordering on shock when a name comes out of the blue? I'd bet real money against it.

I'll try to dig up the story to make sure I haven't read more into it with hindsight.

2) Your argument about Marty's level of success in 2001, given what he had to work with, is valid ... I wasn't really arguing against it. The point I was looking to make was that based on his career, I had then and have now no real belief that he was ever going to do more for the Redskins than make them regular season winners for the few years he was here.

I just never viewed him as a long-term solution here--a championship coach--which is what I was really after back then. We were coming off a division title in '99 and a "disappointing" 8-8 in 2000 ... as I recall, few viewed this team as a total rebuilding job; he was expected to take them to the next level. I think the career numbers are pretty good indicators it wasn't unreasonable to have concerns over his likelihood of delivering on that ...

Regular season: 200-126-1 (.558)
Playoffs: 5-13 (.278)

... that and that he routinely took regular-season juggernauts (12, 13, 14-win teams, 1st seeds) to the playoffs, and lost as the favorite.

Is that better than what the Redskins have had instead since 2001? Hell yes, I tried to suggest so before. But was he a long-term/title contention option, which is what we thought we were getting? Not in my view, even then, when he came here at age 58 ... to work for the volatile young Dan Snyder.


If this is disjointed or my facts are wrong, apologies in advance. I'm way out of practice. :cool:
Was vinny in Lord of the Rings?

Shifting focus from Marty to Vinny for a minute ...

I'm not quite as militant in my anti-Vinny-ness as some of you guys ( :cool: ), but it's not like I'm defending the guy.

Some of the most epic Redskins-related interent debates I ever had were with Art and Die Hard back in the day over why in the hell Dan Snyder--never shy about spending money on players, facilities, marketing, etc.--didn't apply the same philosophy to hiring the best GM money could buy. Over why he was so willing to "settle" for, at best, an average guy with a mixed track record that was in demand only here in DC.

The only answer I could come up with that made sense back then was that Vinny let Dan feel okay about being personally involved, however peripherally, in football ops. Sadly, all these years later, it's the only answer I can come up with today to explain why Vinny "Meh" Cerrato remains behind the big desk down in the Personnel Dept.
I hear ya Om and I guess where we diverge the most is in our expectations of Marty. I expected him to come in and un-do some of the Norvitis that had infected the team. I knew Marty's history and all of his past failings and I was willing to overlook them because I felt he could add direction and discipline to the team. I felt he was in the process of doing that. Marty was boring, crusty and about the furthest thing from flashy as you could get. Still, I liked the guy and think his poor playoff record was more due to John Elway than anything else.

We'll never know how that would have worked out because he didn't get the chance. We know what's happened since then. What we can be sure of is that if he had stayed around for more than a year things would have been different. Super Bowl different? Who knows?

I'm playing a kids game here of “what if” and that isn't productive. The bottom line, as you mentioned, is Dan wants to be involved directly with all aspects of the team and will remain involved for the foreseeable future. Vinny will be his mouthpiece for doing that. If that's a given, the question is how emotionally involved with this team am I going to remain? The answer is “a hell of a lot less than I have been in the past.”

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