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If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
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If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

If it is true that Vinny Cerrato and Jim Zorn must make the playoffs next season to keep their jobs, then what would you do to improve the team if you were in their shoes?

Ive looked at Schneed10s excellent Salary Cap Status 2009 thread (Im not going to summarize it here, so you may need to read it yourself to follow along) and, if I were Vinny or Jim, Id make most of the moves that he mentioned but I would go further because I would need to feel that I had addressed the things that were most likely to cost me my job.

We cant count on a new CBA, so we need to deal with putting next years team together with the salary cap the way it is right now. Schneed10 projects the Skins to be $0.6M under the cap after making the moves he foresees. Those moves include cutting Marcus Washington and salary reductions for Jason Taylor and Shawn Springs. Thats obviously not enough money to address our most critical needs in Free Agency and I dont think that we can count on any drafted player to fill a critical need next season, so more cuts or trades will need to be made if V&J are to keep their jobs.

There arent that many places to look to free up cap space. As it turns out, some of the players who could be cut or traded are injury prone and injuries are a major factor in a teams success or failure. If a player cant stay on the field, then he is not going to help the team to get to the playoffs. So, I would not re-sign Shawn Springs and Cornelius Griffin, thus saving $6.7M against the cap. They may be our best CB and DT, respectively, but if theyre not on the field, it doesnt matter.

With Phillip Daniels coming back, Jason Taylor will probably be used as a hybrid LB/DE or, worse, as a part-time DE. Id pass on that a $4.0M price tag (assuming he accepts a salary reduction). By not re-signing him, we save another $4.5M.

With the projected emergence of the young WRs and TE, we could also release James Thrash and Todd Yoder, thus saving another $1.6M.

Those moves would put us $13.4M under the current salary cap.

Now what do we do? First, we desperately need a RT to protect JC. Id sign FA RT Stacy Andrews. Second, we need a solid DT. Id sign FA DT Rocky Bernard who has much of the same skill set as Griffin, only hes younger, healthier and, therefore, more productive. Thirdly, if theres enough cap space remaining after those signings, Id try to pick up a FA LB.

If there is a new CBA and, with it, an increase in the salary cap, then Id go after FA LB Karlos Dansby to replace Marcus Washington.

We need a game breaker. So, in the draft, Id select Percy Harvin (I assume hell be in the draft) who could be our Slash as a PR/KR/RB/Slot Receiver. Yes, I know we need to draft linemen, and we will. But first, I need to keep my job. So, were bringing in proven, but still young, FA players to fill our greatest needs and drafting a home run hitter to help us score more points.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

Good analysis of the numbers, I always love to see that. This is one of the many combinations of moves the Skins could make to get well under the cap for a free agent run.

Of course, the downside is you're turning over at the following starting positions:

- OLB, Washington
- CB, Springs
- DE, Taylor
- DT, Griffin
- RT, Jansen/Heyer

And then if you don't resign Kendall and go with somebody younger, you're turning over at LG, too. That's a lot of turnover and change for someone looking to save their job.

If Vinny is indeed on the hot seat (and I want to emphasize that's just rumor at this point), then he's caught between a rock and a hard place. If he's got just this one season to save himself, it's a pretty tough choice to make:

- Do I turn this roster over for fear that they'll be too old/inept to compete this season, thereby taking the risk that so much change will result in a learning curve and a tough year?

- Or do I stick to my guns and ride the players I have in the hopes that continuity will help Zorn take the next step, taking the risk that my players will be too old?

If it were me, I'd dance with the girl I brought to the ball. I'd keep the roster intact, fill it out with a little bit of depth and youth through the draft, and hope that the team rebounds.

Why? Well, is Randy Thomas just old and done, or was it his neck (disc problem) that held him back? Maybe he bounces back. Is Jason Taylor old and a poor fit for this system, or can Blache get more out of him in a season free of calf injuries? Can Phillip Daniels come back and make a difference as an interior pass rusher on 3rd down?

If I'm Vinny I'm playing the cards I was dealt, and betting that the same players that took us to the playoffs in 2007 under Gibbs can do it again under a 2nd year of Zorn.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:03 PM   #3
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

If I werre VINNY, I'd sign a number of veterans aged 29 and up to contracts that would make them uncutable for atleast 2-3 years. Then I would trade a 2010 1st round pick for a 2nd round pick this year and a 2nd round pick next year for a 3rd round pick this year.

This would:
1) Allow me to upgrade the team NOW; and
2a)Make the the team less attractive for someone who would potentiall replace/fire me if hired by Snyder in 2010 (ie, why would Bill Cowher/Mike Shanahan/Mike Holmgren come to a team with a bunch of old veterans AND no high draft picks?)
2b)Increase the likelyhood that I keep my job a 3rd year, if for no other reason than Snyder would not be able to find anyone who wanted to take my position.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:03 PM   #4
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

Well the first problem is that I don't know if anyone (outside of Vinny and Danny) know exactly what it is that Cerrato has to accomplish. Is is it make the playoffs? Win the division? Make the NFC Championship game?

Secondly, the temptation is to throw all your chips into 2009 (2010 and beyond be damned). But suppose you make the playoffs, but then completely tank in 2010 does that just mean you're losing your job in 2010?

There has to be a balance of turnover and continuity. How that's achieved is something I'll need to think over and get back to you
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

I am not sure you can count on CB Springs to renegotiate his deal. He has refused to renegotiate the last two off seasons, why would be willing this year?

Depending on what kind of cap number Jason Taylor is willing to come down to, I wonder if the temptation to get the entire $8.5M in cap space by his release will outweigh his potential improved play and say a $4M in cap space? I would cut Taylor and draft a pass rush DE with the 1st round pick. I would not gamble that Taylor, who will turn 35 in September will have another MVP season. As a GM, I would not accept a $4m cap number for an old, injury prone situational pass rusher. If he were a starter and produced in 2008, I would do it. But 2008 was a bad year for Taylor.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:17 PM   #6
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

No matter what happens Vinny isnt going anywhere. It would be a huge mistake to fire Zorn no matter what happens (but nothing the Skins do would surprise me) and would be another step toward the Skins keeping Pace with the Raiders as teams nobody will want to go near.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

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Originally Posted by irish View Post
No matter what happens Vinny isnt going anywhere. It would be a huge mistake to fire Zorn no matter what happens (but nothing the Skins do would surprise me) and would be another step toward the Skins keeping Pace with the Raiders as teams nobody will want to go near.
I agree, Vinny will never get fired. At worst they will move him to another position.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:27 PM   #8
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

Regarding specific players I think the path of pragmatism is likely drive Vinny's decisions. Guys like Springs, Taylor, and Daniels either 1) cost absurd sums to retain (especially considering what we get out of them) or 2) miss too much time to be counted on or 3) fit into both categories. Very easy to justify cutting them (cutting Taylor doesn't cost a dime, Springs has never shown inclination to restructure or help the team and Daniels has been hurt a ton). Goners from a practical perspective - dump them and we instantaneously have at least a few million in the bank.

Griffin and Washington appear to be special cases IMO. Washington will be relatively expensive to replace but could be cut and resigned or restructured on the cheap. Griffin is our best DT and he was a GD warrior this season, playing very solid through injuries. I think it was his best season since '05 not looking at statistics and that should count for something. Also we keep coming up against the reality of owning so few draft picks but needing to make serious upgrades on the o-line (probably have to draft/sign 1 or 2 very legit starters by opening day). In short i could see Marcus and Cornelius stay on another year because we may not have the resources to replace them and they're salaries can be manipulated.

Jansen isn't going anywhere. I don't care what happens to Heyer as long as he doesn't start.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by irish View Post
No matter what happens Vinny isnt going anywhere. It would be a huge mistake to fire Zorn no matter what happens (but nothing the Skins do would surprise me) and would be another step toward the Skins keeping Pace with the Raiders as teams nobody will want to go near.
You are right, JZ needs to stay! My jury is out on VC.....for now
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:48 PM   #10
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

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Originally Posted by The Goat View Post
Griffin and Washington appear to be special cases IMO. Washington will be relatively expensive to replace but could be cut and resigned or restructured on the cheap. Griffin is our best DT and he was a GD warrior this season, playing very solid through injuries. I think it was his best season since '05 not looking at statistics and that should count for something.
I think Washington is done.

As for Griffin, I agree with what you said about the quality of his play; however, he just hasn't stayed healthy enough to be on the field as much as we need him to be on it. Rocky Bernard had over twice as many tackles as CG and he had 4 sacks (CG had 1). That's a lot more production for the money.

Last edited by KI Skins Fan; 01-15-2009 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:50 PM   #11
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigHairedAristocrat View Post
If I werre VINNY, I'd sign a number of veterans aged 29 and up to contracts that would make them uncutable for atleast 2-3 years. Then I would trade a 2010 1st round pick for a 2nd round pick this year and a 2nd round pick next year for a 3rd round pick this year.

This would:
1) Allow me to upgrade the team NOW; and
2a)Make the the team less attractive for someone who would potentiall replace/fire me if hired by Snyder in 2010 (ie, why would Bill Cowher/Mike Shanahan/Mike Holmgren come to a team with a bunch of old veterans AND no high draft picks?)
2b)Increase the likelyhood that I keep my job a 3rd year, if for no other reason than Snyder would not be able to find anyone who wanted to take my position.
This could happen w/ VC.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:58 PM   #12
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

get rid of everybody! start new.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:58 PM   #13
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

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Originally Posted by redsk1 View Post
This could happen w/ VC.
Jeez, you think?
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:09 PM   #14
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
Of course, the downside is you're turning over at the following starting positions:

- OLB, Washington
- CB, Springs
- DE, Taylor
- DT, Griffin
- RT, Jansen/Heyer
You don't really believe that Springs, Washington, and Griffin will be healthy enough to make a difference next year, do you? They'll each play four games healthy, four games hurt, and miss eight games. That is not acceptable.

Jansen/Heyer = Disaster at RT. You may fear too much change, but surely you would agree that this position must be improved, wouldn't you?

Taylor would need to play much, much better next season to be worth the money. I seriously doubt that he will.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:25 PM   #15
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Re: If you were Vinny, what would you do to keep your job?

If I were ME, and I had Vinnys Job, I would:

Coaching Staff
-Keep Everyone in place but make Zorn relinquish some of his duties (I would allow Zorn to keep playcalling duties, beleiving that he would improve in that area if he had fewer responsibilities elsewhere)

Resign
-DeAngelo Hall.
-Monty

Cut
Of starters: Griffin, Rabach, Washington, Taylor, both kickers

Trade
-Santana Moss (3rd and 4th rounders - for kicks, lets say we trade with SF. They get more out of Moss in 2 games than we ever got out of Lloyd in 2 seaons)
-kedric Golston (4th rounder)
-Chris Horton (low 2nd rounder)

Sign in Free Agency
-Rocky Bernard, DT, Seahawks. He will be 30 when the 2009 season starts and I would sign him to a contract appropriate for someone his age. He managed 33 tackles and 4 sacks on a horrible defense in 2008. He would replace Golston and give us time to develop a young DT in the draft.
-Karlos Dansby, LB, Arizona. His stock will keep rising as long as Arizona keeps winning. He may become too expensive for us, but we'll see.
-Devery Henderson, UFA, New Orleans Saints. Replaces Moss.
-Two new kickers... anyone but the guys we have.

Draft
Trade the #13 pick to ATL for their 1st and 2nd Rounders (ATL selects 24th) and draft:

1(ATL): Ciron Black, OT, LSU. Black starts at RT in 2009 and swaps spots with Samuels in 2010.
2(ATL): Max Unger, C, Oregon Unger replaces Rabach immediately and has the versatility to play OG as well.
2(For C.H.): Fili Moala, DE/DT, USC Maola is also versatile and a good pick here if still available.
3(SF): Clay Mathews, OLB, USC Replaces McIntosh as a starter by the end of the season
3(WAS): Eric Moncur, DE, Miami Makes an instant impact on special teams as he works his way into a starting role in 2010.
4(SF) Anthony Parker, G, Tenn Project Guard to start in 2010/2011
4(For K.G) Captain Munnerlyn, CB, SC #3/#4CB
5(WAS):Curtis Taylor, FS, LSU Competes for roster spot.
6(WAS):Darryl Richard, DT, GT Competes for roster spot.

2009 Offensive Starters
QB:Jason Campbell
RB: Clinton Portis (splits carries with Betts)
WR1: Devin Thomas
WR2: Devery Henderson
TE1: Chris Cooley
TE2: Fred Davis (2TE sets becomes our standard formation as opposed to 1TE/1FB)
OL: Samuels, Rinehart, Unger, Thomas, Black

2009 Defensive Starters
DL: Carter, Montgommery, Bernard, Evans/Moala
LB: McIntosh, Fletcher, Dansby
CB: Rogers, Hall
SS: Landry
FS: Springs (when healthy)/Moore

Last edited by BigHairedAristocrat; 01-15-2009 at 03:28 PM.
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