Texas Calls in the Big Guns
By Paul Myerberg // Dec 29, 2010
Needing help in its coaching search — the program must replace a handful of former assistants — Texas and Mack Brown have called on a most unlikely source: former N.F.L. front office maven Vinny Cerrato, last seen butchering several drafts and personnel decisions in a most disastrous manner with the Washington Redskins. What does this mean for Texas? As those unfortunate enough to live through Cerrato’s painfully inept tenure in the nation’s capital can attest, this move does not instill confidence in the future of these all-important coaching decisions.
At least Cerrato has fans in Texas: the Lone Star State’s contingent of Cowboys fans must appreciate the hard work Cerrato put in setting back rival Washington’s rebuilding process.
Cerrato’s relationship with Brown extends back to his playing days at Iowa State, as Hook ‘Em Report notes — Brown was the I.S.U. wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator during Cerrato’s stay from 1979-82. So that’s why Brown has Cerrato on speed dial, as well as why the embattled coach would even consider hiring Cerrato to evaluate all of his program’s options at both offensive and defensive coordinator — as well as at wide receivers coach, offensive line coach and more.
In Cerrato’s defense: he spent eight seasons as an assistant on the college ranks at Minnesota and Notre Dame from 1983-90, serving as Lou Holtz’s recruiting coordinator for Notre Dame’s national title run in 1988.
That was two decades ago, however; since then, Cerrato’s reputation as both a talent and coaching evaluator has nosedived. There’s a reason he’s been unemployed since the Redskins cut ties following another disappointing campaign a season ago, of course.
And Texas wants him to be its point man in the most important set of assistant hires in the country? Part of me is cringing; another part of me won’t be able to look away, like a bystander caught gaping at the scene of an I-95 pileup. In fact, one might say that what has occurred at Texas since September has been one long wreck; in that case, calling in Cerrato for guidance is like bringing a squirt gun to a five-alarm blaze.
Hopefully Cerrato can get on board the “family values” train — the path of logic that eliminates Dana Holgorsen as a candidate for offensive coordinator because of perceived questions about his time spent off the field and eliminates Randy Shannon as a candidate for defensive coordinator because of his somewhat checkered past while ignoring Major Applewhite, a former Texas quarterback and Rice offensive coordinator — and current U.T position coach — for a meaningful promotion for no real reason whatsoever.
One area where Cerrato might come in handy: as with Dan Snyder with the Redskins, perhaps Mack Brown can use him as a fall guy if — or when — things go sour.
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Tags: Mack Brown, Texas, Vinny Cerrato
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