Q & A With: Vinny Cerrato

Washington's vice president of football operations talked about the excitement over Joe Gibbs' return and what's next.

Q: How do you keep a realistic perspective on Joe Gibbs' return?

A: When you're here, you live in a small world and you don't get a chance to get out much. But you do have to keep it in perspective. And we've got a lot of work to do in the offseason. That's what we're doing. We're evaluating everything, seeing what our needs are and seeing where we need to go this offseason in free agency and the draft.

Q: What will you do at the Senior Bowl?

A: Everyone will get a chance to evaluate their positions to look at the guys that they'll be evaluating on tape. It's their first look at all these guys. Then we have the combine after that. It's the beginning of the process.

Q: How much have you talked to Joe?

A: We'll sit down further starting [Thursday] and really look at all our players over the next few days as we go to the Senior Bowl. This is great for me. I love spending time with him. To spend time with him and the assistants is very refreshing and very enlightening because of what they've done.

Q: What have you picked up from them?

A: They have a lot of history and they know a lot about players and they know what types of players they're looking for. It's very refreshing and it's such a professional environment. It's fun to come to work every day.

Q: How much does it help you that they know exactly what they want in a player?

A: It'll be a team effort, that's what everyone believes in. We all believe in working together and coming out with a Redskins type player. That's the nicest part about it. Everyone is on the same page, everyone is looking for the same thing. That's why it's so much fun: We all want the same thing.

Q: This staff is quite experienced; how will it shape the team?

A: They've been there, they've done it. They've won. They've got Super Bowl rings. When they talk they have instant credibility because they've done it. They can say, `If you do it this way, this is what can happen because they've seen it and they have the wins and the rings to prove that what they talk about works. When a player looks at these guys, they have instant credibility: `If this guy tells me this, I know it will work because they've done it with Art Monk and all these guys.'

Q: How great is this for everyone?

A: It's very exciting. Like I said, you have to pinch yourself when you come to work. You've got to spend time with Coach Gibbs, Coach Bugel and Gregg is an impressive man, too.

Q: What do you like about Gregg's style?

A: The thing that's most impressive about Gregg is that he's very intelligent, he's very organized and he's very detailed. He's a very impressive person.

Q: How gratifying is all this for Dan Snyder, after taking so much abuse from fans and media?

A: I think he's always been supportive of every coach. He was supportive of Coach Spurrier and he did everything he could to support him. Now with Coach Gibbs he's very excited. We were looking for the next Joe Gibbs and he got Joe Gibbs. You've got to give a lot of credit to Daniel Snyder. What makes it attractive for everyone who would like to come here is that he's willing to spend money and wants to win in the worst way. You can't ask for more from an owner.

Q: What does it say that so many people are lining up to get tickets?

A: People have hope and they're excited because Coach Gibbs is here. They know what he can do and what he's done. We've got a lot of work to do and we have to get the types of players the coach needs.

Q: Were you surprised by the fervor in which this hiring was received?

A: I've never seen anything like it. It's very refreshing, very exciting. It makes you want to do everything you've got to do to make this thing a championship level team. It makes you pumped up every day to come in.


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