- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cerrato’s final gift

Vinny Cerrato might be gone, but his spirit lives on. What a generous guy, and ingenious, too. With pinpoint precision, his big present to the Washington Redskins - a 350-pound, ticking time bomb - exploded on Christmas Day. It wiped out the tree, the fireplace and any shard of respect that might have survived this sorry season.

During the preseason, a former NFL coach said as an aside during an interview, “Keep your eye on [Albert] Haynesworth. If things go wrong, he’s gonna go off.”

Things certainly have gone wrong.

And as such, boom.

For the guaranteed $41 million portion of Haynesworth’s $100 million contract, the Redskins got exactly what Cerrato, the deposed decider, and owner Dan Snyder paid for: a talented defensive tackle who can’t stay healthy and whose mere presence sometimes works against the greater good.

Haynesworth has dominated at times, stuffing the run and hounding quarterbacks. That is, when he plays. It became an item of comic relief to see him sucking wind on the sideline. The cameras loved it. And, as always, he missed a few games because of injury.

But the real joy of Haynesworth, who caused a ruckus or two in Tennessee, including stomping the face of an opponent, revealed itself last week. First he blasted the club’s “leadership” after Monday’s blowout loss. On Friday, brimming with Christmas cheer, he showed up late for a meeting, was sent home after he argued with coach Jim Zorn in full view of teammates and the media and then ripped his coaches to a reporter.

Haynesworth would not make a great Santa.

But he probably has some valid points to make. And he seems to truly want to win. Typically, however, he put himself above everyone else. Somehow he made an organization that couldn’t possibly look worse, look worse.

Now that’s talent - $41 million worth.


“If you want to throw something, at least throw something that isn’t going to hurt. So I guess that was the best situation.”

- Kobe Bryant after several Lakers fans reacted to a 102-87 loss to Cleveland by throwing foam hands onto the court at Staples Center

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