Vinny Cerrato on ESPN Radio yesterday
Vinny Cerrato is a former GM/VP of the Redskins. While he may not have been that successful, he was blunt and completely to the point. He didn't dress anything up in a 30 minute spot with Patrick McEnroe who is a die-hard Jets fan. They were filling in for Van Pelt.
In any event, he touched upon some absolutely outstanding points:
1) This team is an absolutely unappealing job to any potential GM right now. Dreams of Bill Polian or even Stephen Ross are not viable. He said he wouldn't even take the job. Then he reeled off why:
A) The team needs torn down. Age has eaten into the defense. There are plenty of bad contracts there as well.
B) The team is over the cap RIGHT NOW for next year. They have to cut guys. The lone bright spots on this team aside from Cromartie and Wilk were the play of the safeties. Who just earned themselves both solid contracts. He thinks the Giants will get Landry and Bell will end up elsewhere since they don't have the cap room to make appealing offers to either.
C) The owner is most likely not going to fire Rex, essentially forcing any new GM to deal with the issue that got this team into this position in the first place: The owner listens to Rex, who can't assess talent at all. Head coaches like Rex, who can win with a properly constructed team, need completely removed from having any sort of input on talent evaluation. Because their egos are so large that they think that they can "fix," anybody. Cerrato then went on to highlight that the blind loyalty to Sanchez is mistakenly viewed by many Jets fans as due to mandates because of his salary by management and the GM, when the truth is that Rex truly believes that Mark Sanchez can be fixed. The problem being that the only thing Rex understands about offense is how to defend it.
D) Woody Johnson was not the final say on acquiring Tebow. According to Cerrato, the story went like this:
Rex and Tannebaum were sitting in an airport when they received a text to let them know that Manning was signed by Denver. Rex pointed out that Tebow may be available. Tannenbaum called Denver's GM on the spot and asked if Tebow was available and what they were looking for for him. They both believed that Tebow could effectively provide offense to this team. Rex repeatedly brought up the Thursday night game in 2011. That lead to Tebow's acquisition.
My favorite line about this story from Cerrato last night:
"Neither realized that part of having an effective wildcat is not requiring massive personnel changes that essentially telegraph the play. There's a major difference to a defense if a wideout goes into motion and becomes the QB vs. here comes Tebow, time to blitz everybody." To me, this is obvious and mind-blowing.
E) Woody Johnson is not a very appealing owner compared to others. The media in conjunction with this exacerbates this, leading to yet more issues. See issue F as the why.
F) This is what kills me:
Cerrato then pointed out to McEnroe, whose co-host (I forget his name) is a Giants fan, that Woody is trying too hard to be different from the Giants which are for all intents and purposes the gold standard on how to run a NFL team. He seemingly refuses to mimic what they do or to even pay attention to it. It's maddening to him and part of the reason why the job is so unappealing.
G) Defense may win you the actual Super Bowl game itself, but you need a QB to get you there. It behooves the organization as a whole to cut ties with Rex, Tannenbaum, Sparano, Bradway (and most of the scouting department), and even Pettine and allow somebody to gut the roster, suck for the next year and be in contention for the #1 pick in 2014, a draft that has some pretty serious talent at the top so far. The alternative would be to keep the current regime, allow the "cap master," Tannenbaum to pare down the payroll and suck next year, then fire everybody and allow the new GM or VP to rebuild this team.
H) This tied to G: You can't just run the ball 40 times a game and expect to be a true contender. You at the very least need balance. This is why Rex Ryan should be gone above all else: His philosophy is outdated and irrelevant. The tough part to swallow is that he may very well be the best defensive mind in football.
I) Mark Sanchez projects to be a worse version of Alex Smith. And Cerrato thinks Harbaugh made the right move going to Kapernick. He went on to say that neither Sanchez or Smith will win a Super Bowl without a top 5 defense and top 5 running game. He said that this essentially means that they are overrated because outside of 7 or 8 QB's with some being rookies most of the league could be successful with these things.
J) The 2009 Jets roster was the best of the bunch. If they had a Matt Moore-type veteran, Thomas Jones is healthy at the end of the year and that team could have beaten the Colts. He said that the Jets defense that year was on par with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens as was Jones on par with Jamal Lewis.
K) If you are going to run "Ground and Pound," then you need your best offensive talent to be your running back. The Jets best offensive talent was at Tight End and Wide Receiver prior to Holmes' injury.
L) He said Sanchez and Tebow effectively have no trade value. He actually laughed and said that it's hilarious that "trading Sanchez" is even mentioned. The only plausible trade would be to Seattle but he doesn't think Carroll's ego is big enough to do that, even if it does dump Flynn's contract. He said Tebow should be cut. That's the least the team could do for the guy so he can have full control where to play. He said leaks like this in an organization like the Giants would get the GM fired and that's exactly what should happen here.
Cerrato left off by telling McEnroe this:
This is going to get worse before it starts improving. Woody Johnson really needs to understand the depth of how poor the job by Tannenbaum and Rex in assessing talent has been in most of their draft picks and by infusing this culture of no repercussions or responsibility that such a player-friendly coach has onto this organization. This should be done properly in a 2-3 year rebuild, possibly even 4.