NFC East: George Michael

Skins insider dishes on Snyder, Cerrato

October, 2, 2009
10/02/09
11:53
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


If you grew up anywhere near Washington D.C., you're familiar with longtime TV personality George Michael, who also had a nationally syndicated show called "The George Michael Sports Machine." Growing up in the Dallas area, I remember staying up late on Sundays to watch Michael's sports highlights show on NBC.

Michael's known as a huge Redskins homer and a good friend of the team's owner, Dan Snyder. And that's what makes the interview he did with Washington Post columnist Mike Wise so fascinating. Michael was brutally honest about Snyder, Vinny Cerrato and coach Jim Zorn. Dan Steinberg from the Post provides some of the highlights:

Asked whether Cerrato is a capable talent evaluator, here's what Michael said: "Oh, there's no ifs buts or ands. I mean, I know that for a fact, I know that from other people around the league. Here's the problem Mike -- and God, I can't believe I'm telling all this truth -- Vinny Cerrato is a ZERO when it comes to public relations and building relationships with people in the world. I'm sorry. My Good God. He doesn't ask why don't people like me, but you've got to go out and you've got to do things. ... I feel bad that Cerrato has not gone out and tried to build these relationships."

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington has criticized Snyder for the way he used to glare at the players after losses and then hug them after wins. Here's Michael's take on that statement:

"He never went into the locker room and glared when Joe Gibbs was the coach," Michael said of Snyder. "That did not happen with Joe Gibbs. Because Gibbs went before the public after that loss to the Buffalo Bills and said, 'I lost this game.' Now coach, that's a load of horse manure. He did not lose the game. It sticks with me every day of my life, but that's the kind of man Joe Gibbs was. Another coach was yelling in his ear, 'Call another timeout, call another timeout.' He called the second timeout. ... To take the heat, to take the heat off of the guys who screwed up on the field, to take the heat off the safety. ... Gibbs goes before the public and says, 'I Lost This Game.' "

Michael was particularly critical of Zorn for telling reporters after the loss to the Lions that his team was showing improvement.

"But I must tell you this, after you lose to the Detroit Lions -- and I do personally love this guy Jim Zorn, he's a great guy -- you cannot go before the public and say we're making improvements. Dear God, if you're making improvement and losing to the 0-19 Lions, my [expletive] is grass and you're the lawnmower. We're in trouble, baby."

Pretty interesting stuff from a guy who's spent a lot of time with Snyder over the years.

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