- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Redskins held their annual pre-draft press conference on Tuesday. Joe Gibbs, Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder answered questions from us know-nothings for nearly an hour. After taking a day to process what actually happened (not much), what was actually said (a little) and the highlights (some), here are some of my impressions.

1. This is the only time all year that The Danny talks to the media. From a beat writer’s perspective, this stinks because he is heavily involved in personnel decisions and negotiates most of the big-money, free-agent contracts. I would like to get his perspective on why so-and-so is a good fit for the Redskins and why so-and-so wasn’t worth the money they were demanding. Because the team doesn’t have a general manager, the need for the owner to be available more often would give the fans (and media) a chance to gain insight into the way the Redskins operate.

2. Snyder said hiring a general manager was not considered. This is not a surprise. He is convinced the current front office structure - listening to scouts and assistant coaches give their reports and then the Snyder-Gibbs-Cerrato trio making the decision - works and will continue to work. Thing is, no person in their right mind would accept the GM job if Cerrato was still in the building. That’s something Snyder will have to address when Gibbs returns to watching stock cars turn left and hanging out with the grandbabies after the 2007 or 2008 season. Snyder said there wasn’t an uproar to hire a GM two years ago, following a playoff appearance. That’s not entirely the case. I believe hiring a GM after a playoff year would have been applauded by Redskins Nation.

3. Cerrato said it would be a mistake for the Redskins, if they stay at No. 6, to draft strictly for need and instead take the best player. This quote requires reading between the lines. The knee-jerk reaction is that it’s semi-insane. The best player on the board when the Redskins draft could be Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson. The Redskins won’t take him, right? Probably not. So that means the Redskins will draft for need. Breaking down Cerrato’s quote and paraphrasing, my guess is that the Redskins’ take is that they are going to take the best player available … at the team’s No. 1 need.

4. Gibbs said it will be tough for a drafted player to crack the Redskins’ starting lineup. Huh? This team went 5-11 last year. They stunk on defense. Looking at the team’s depth chart, they could draft Gaines Adams, Alan Branch, Amobi Okoye and LaRon Landry and all would be good enough to start Week 1 against Miami. Do the Redskins think Omar Stoutmire, Kedric Golston/Joe Salave’a and either Renaldo Wynn/Phillip Daniels are better options than those rookies? I don’t think so.

5. Snyder said he-Gibbs-Cerrato met with receiver Brandon Lloyd in Arizona and that he was working out and “we’re very proud of him.” This came out of left field. Lloyd was a bad player and an even worse presence last year in the locker room and if it weren’t for the team’s desire to get rid of Adam Archuleta, the team could have jettisoned Lloyd and eat the salary cap hit. They’re “proud” of Lloyd because he’s working out? Whatever.

6. Gibbs said the Redskins gave “no credence” to published reports - those confirmed by other NFL general managers and acknowledged by commish Roger Goodell - that Adams, Okoye and Calvin Johnson admitted to smoking pot. This was a clear sign that the Redskins covet Johnson and Okoye and aren’t letting their dalliances with weed hurt their status. Snyder added the Redskins were “ahead of the curve” on character issues. Hello, Sean Taylor?

7. I’ve been asked the last 24 hours about what I think the Redskins will do. After listening to the press conference, I think they want to trade up but know they can’t and they will choose Okoye or Landry with the sixth pick, with my edge given to Landry.

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