Ex-Redskin Samuels ready for next step

Ex-Redskin Samuels ready for next step
January 24, 2012, 7:02 pm
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MOBILE, Ala. When he was forced to retire because of aneck injury in 2009, former Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels knew wanted tostay in the game, not just close to it.I didnt want to be through with the game because I love itso much, he said.Samuels then embarked on a coaching career that started witha training camp internship with the Redskins, continued as a high schooloffensive coordinator and will continue this year at the University of Alabama,the school he was an All-America player before making six Pro Bowl teams withthe Redskins.While watching the Redskins coaching staff lead the Southteam through a Senior Bowl practice Monday, Samuels said he will join NickSaban as a student assistant, allowing him to get SEC experience and finish hisdegree.Ill be able to learn from some great coaches, Samuelssaid. Its been a blessing. Im honored to be among those coaches. Its a hugeopportunity.Alabama has won two of the last three BCS titles.Samuels played for respected line coach Joe Bugel and Hallof Fame coach Joe Gibbs with the Redskins, but it wasnt until he sat in a staffmeeting did he discover how much he didnt know about the game.I learned a great deal from playing all those years and Ivebeen around a lot of great coaches, Samuels said. But a lot of players dontrealize its different playing football and coaching football. The Redskinscoaching staff taught me about shifting different personnel groupings anddifferent concepts in the passing game.I thought it would be easy because I played, but it wastotally different.After his internship, Samuels scoped out opportunities inthe mid-Atlantic region but ultimately decided to join a former high school teammateat Blount High, located about 25 miles northwest of Mobile.Samuels called the plays and the Leopards finished 10-2,reached the playoffs and averaged 32.5 points per game.It was like when I whipped everybody in Tecmo Bowl, Samuelssaid. It was strategizing and maneuvering guys and trying to get guys to playto the best of their ability.They really coach football well down here. I looked atdifferent states and I felt like it would be better for me to come home becausethey run college-like systems.And now Samuels is going back to college.Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com