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Father-Son Bond Grows Stronger For Shanahans


For Kyle Shanahan, there was never any doubt.

He knew that when his father returned to coaching, he would join him.

Even if that meant leaving a good situation.

True to his word, Kyle Shanahan agreed to become offensive coordinator of the Redskins on the same day -- Jan. 6, 2010 -- that Mike Shanahan signed on to become head coach of the Redskins.

This is what he wanted.

This is what they both wanted.

It makes for a special Father's Day on Sunday.

"I've thought about it my whole life," Kyle Shanahan said.

"To have this opportunity is something that I was really looking forward to," Mike Shanahan said.

Kyle, 30, grew up watching his father coach the Denver Broncos to 146 wins in 14 years, including a pair of Super Bowl championships in 1997-98. He has spent countless hours with him at training camp and on the sidelines of NFL games.

Still, Kyle's decision to join his father in Washington didn't come easy.

As offensive coordinator in Houston the last two years, Kyle guided the Texans to the NFL's top-ranked passing offense. He coached quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson, who both earned Pro Bowl nods in 2009.

"I was starting to really enjoy Houston," Kyle said. "They have some really good players out there, and we were having some success offensively. It was hard for me to leave, but when he was let go from Denver [after the 2008 season], I made a decision then that when he comes back, I would work with him.

"I'm only going to have so much time to work with my dad. Even though it might not be perfect for me, regardless of the situation, I'm going to go with him."

Mike and Kyle Shanahan, father and son, just completed their first offseason together as coaches.


They have installed their offense, rooted in West Coast principles, and required players to learn the entire playbook all at once instead of giving it to them a little at a time.

It shouldn't be surprising that they are on the same page when it comes to coaching.

"It has been fun," Mike said. "When you deal with your son, especially on a football side--we have been able to communicate for a lot of years since he has been out of high school. And then he has been able to get opportunities in the National Football League. So we're talking constantly."

Their bond grows closer as they work side by side.

Said Mike: "I think any time you're around your kids more and more, the relationship does grow, even though we have been very tight for a long time because we have done a lot of things together.

"I get a chance to see his enthusiasm, his passion, how much time he puts in, and obviously how much he knows about the game. When somebody takes off and goes off in their own direction, and then you do get together, it is fun to see how mature they have become, how knowledgeable they have become.

"You like to see their relationships and their interactions with players and the coaching staff. It has been fun to watch."

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