by Chuck Carroll

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The Washington Redskins are turning to a former area high school football star to take over as special teams coordinator.

Keith Burns replaces Danny Smith, who recently left to join the Pittsburgh Steelers in the same capacity following nine seasons in Washington.

Burns, 40, has strong ties to the D.C. area, having starred at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria. As a sophomore, he helped lead the Titans to a state championship in 1987 where he scored the team’s only touchdown in the win.

After winning Super Bowl XXXII with Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos, then Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donly awarded him with the Key to the City.

In 13 seasons in the league, Burns earned two Super Bowl rings and a reputation as a stud on special teams. He played in 197 games, notching 231 tackles on special teams during that stretch. As a linebacker, he recorded 77 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 interception and a forced fumble.

“Keith was an excellent special teams player and a strong influence in the locker room for two Super Bowl championship teams,” Shanahan said in comments distributed by the team. “I know our players will enjoy playing for him.”

Burns transitioned into coaching immediately after retiring as a player. Since 2007 he has served as an assistant on Denver’s special teams coaching staff.

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