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Vinny Cerrato on Louis Riddick: “He’s never been a decision maker”

Jan 12, 2017 at 10:43 AM

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Former director of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers, Vinny Cerrato, joined "The Audible" on KNBR this morning to discuss ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, who is a candidate for the general manager position with the team. Riddick interviewed with the 49ers on Tuesday in New York. Cerrato, who worked with Riddick while with the Washington Redskins, didn't necessarily believe that the television personality was the right fit for the job.

"He worked for me (in Washington) and he worked for my good buddy (now executive vice president of football operations) Howie Roseman in Philly," Cerrato said. "It was interesting. I was texting with Howie the other day. He says, 'It's funny. He's worked for both me and you and San Francisco has not contacted either one of us about Louis – the two places that he worked.' I guess they're just using whatever they see on television.

"Louis, I drafted him in San Fran (as a player) when I was there. Louis worked for me in Washington for a long time. He was my pro director. He's very smart. He's a very smart guy. He's never been in a draft room on draft day. He wasn't in Washington. I don't think he was in Philly. Maybe he was in Philly but he's never made a decision. If you're going to get a young coach, I think that would be very difficult. I don't know that he's been in those situations to handle that."

One of the 49ers' candidates is young. Very young. Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay will be 31 in a couple of weeks. He is already the league's youngest coordinator and if hired as a head coach, McVay would become the youngest NFL head coach ever. Although, the Los Angeles Rams – who are now one of two Los Angeles NFL teams – are currently making a strong push to bring him in.

As for the other two favorites among the 49ers' candidates, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is 37 while New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is 40.

"What you see on TV is nice but he's never been a decision maker," Cerrato continued about Riddick. "In Washington, he was never a decision maker and I'm almost sure he was never a decision maker in Philly so he's going to need a lot of learning on the job."

Cerrato believes that his presence on ESPN has helped him to jump on the 49ers' radar during their general manager search. "He's a very smart guy," Cerrato said. "He just doesn't have a lot of experience."

The nice thing about Riddick is that his views have been public since he joined ESPN in 2013 after being fired by Roseman in Philadelphia. He was the director of pro personnel with the Eagles. So the 49ers have had plenty of information to review on Riddick because of his very public status. Since neither Cerrato nor Roseman has heard from San Francisco, it is safe to assume that the team is simply relying on the public information that is out there when evaluating Riddick, which could be viewed as disturbing.

Throw in that Cerrato believes that Riddick would need to learn on the job and that has to throw up some warning flags about the potential hire.

With candidates like Green Bay Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf and even Packers director of college scouting Brian Gutekunst likely eager to take the job, one has to wonder why the view has been that the 49ers are so interested in Riddick.

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.
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