NIce profile in the Washington Post on Sunday of Washington Redskins Special Teams Coach Keith Burns, a T.C. Williams graduate.
RICHMOND — Each morning at training camp, while the offense and defense jog through the motions of another 90-minute walk-through, the leader of the third facet of the Washington Redskins circles the field, out of sight and with plenty on his mind.
Every now and then during his 10 loops along the sideline, Keith Burns will raise his head and rustle through the right pocket of his jet-black shorts. Buried inside is a 5-by-7 spiral notebook filled with X’s, O’s and words of wisdom that the former NFL player hopes to successfully implement in his first season as the Redskins’ special teams coach.
“I keep a notepad on me all the time, just jotting down little things that we need to work on or did work on recently,” Burns said. “One of the guys that I met a while back told me any time that you’re around a lot of coaches and they’re giving you interesting wisdom, always write it down because you’ll never be able to get that information all the time or you may not be able to remember it.”
Burns packed 11 notebooks for his first Redskins training camp. Once filled, the pads will be stashed along with the hundreds of others he accumulated during his six years as an assistant special teams coach for the Denver Broncos, each one dated for the sake of easy recall.
Burns, 41, likely will rely heavily on his notes as he takes over for longtime special teams coordinator Danny Smith, who moved to the same position in Pittsburgh, and looks for a replacement for special teams captainLorenzo Alexander, a Pro Bowler who departed for Arizona via free agency in March.
Burns, who starred at T.C. Williams High and Oklahoma State, was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round in 1994. Though the linebacker started his first three games, the next 13 seasons would see Burns carve out a niche on special teams, leading the Broncos’ unit in tackling during the first of Denver’s back-to-back Super Bowl wins under Mike Shanahan in 1998.
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