The Redskins officially announced the hire of former Denver Broncos assistant special teams coach Keith Burns to serve as the team's new special teams coach. Burns will replace the departed Danny Smith, who coached special teams with Washington since 2004.
Burns spent the past six seasons as the No. 2 special teams coach in Denver, where he played and coached under current Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan. The 40-year-old is a 1990 graduate of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va.
“Keith was an excellent special teams player and a strong influence in the locker room for two Super Bowl championship teams,” Shanahan said in a statement. “I know our players will enjoy playing for him.”
Burns will replace long-time special teams coach Smith, who left the Redskins earlier this month to become special teams coordinator in his native Pittsburgh.
In 2012, the AFC West champion Broncos boasted the NFL’s second-ranked punt coverage team and the seventh-ranked kick coverage unit. Returner Trindon Holliday ranked first in kickoff return average, while also taking back a kick and a punt for touchdowns. In the conference championship loss to the Ravens, Holliday also returned a kick and a punt for touchdowns – both playoff records.
During Burns’ tenure in Denver, the Broncos returned six punts and four kickoffs for touchdowns. The Redskins did not have a return go the distance last season.
Burns' hire was first reported by footballscoop.com, a website dedicated to coaching job information.