The moment ESPN’s Louis Riddick was floated as a 49ers GM candidate on Jan. 1, media pundits have hailed him as an excellent choice for Jed York to make. Even Steve Young endorsed Riddick’s candidacy.
Vinny Cerrato, Riddick’s former boss with the Washington Redskins, hopped on KNBR 1050’s The Audible Thursday morning and had a couple of concerning observations to make.
A) The 49ers have not called Washington’s former VP of Football Operations and…
B) Riddick has never been in the draft room on draft day
“He worked for me and he worked for my good buddy Howie Roseman in Philly,” Cerrato said. “And, you know, it was interesting, I was texting with Howie the other day, he says, ‘It’s funny. He’s worked for me and you and San Francisco has not contacted either one of us about Louis.’ The two places that he worked. I guess they are just using what they see on television.
“I drafted him in San Fran when I was there. Louis worked (with) 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 the draft room on draft day. He wasn’t in Washington. I don’t think he was in Philly. But he’s never made a decision. If you are going to get a young coach and stuff, I think that would be very difficult, because I don’t know that he’s been in those situations to handle that.”
According to this Washington Post article by Jason La Canfora, Cerrato fired Riddick in 2008.
Riddick was once a rising star in the organization, forging a strong bond with Cerrato and owner Daniel Snyder during seven years with the team, but his profile had cooled in the last year. During interviews with prospective head coaching candidates several involved in the process came away believing Snyder and Cerrato would be moving on without Riddick.
Cerarato wanted to make it clear he doesn’t think Riddick is the best choice for the job, and even suggested both Green Bay candidates — Eliot Wolfe and Brian Gutekunst — over his former employee.
“I mean what you see on TV is nice, but he has never been a head decision-maker,” Cerrato said. “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.
“Because he went from Philly, where Howie fired him in Philly, to got the job at ESPN. I mean, he’s a very smart guy. He’s a smart guy. But he just doesn’t have a lot of experience. That’s the thing. I mean, is he a good guy? Yeah. Louis is a decent guy. You know, he just doesn’t have a lot of experience.”
Cerrato served as both the 49ers’ director of college scouting and director of player personnel in the 1990s. Cerrato was credited with drafting Bryant Young, Ricky Watters and Dana Stubblefield.