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Kaufman, Linebacker On Super Bowl Teams, Passes Away

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Mel Kaufman, a linebacker on three Redskins Super Bowl teams in the 1980s, died at the age of 50 in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

"Mel was a tremendous football player, as well as a fine talent evaluator," Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder said. "His work on the field as a player and as a coach, and as well as his commitment to so many charities, were testament to how much he loved the game and the fans who cheered for him. Our prayers go out to his family during this sad time."

Since spring 2008, Kaufman served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Kaufman was a starter for the Redskins from 1981-88 and helped the team capture Super Bowl titles in 1982 and 1987. He was also a member of the 1983 Redskins team that made it to the Super Bowl but lost.

Kaufman made the Redskins roster in 1981 as an undrafted free agent. He was scouted by then-Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard.

"He was a great kid, learned quickly and, for his size, had an explosive nature about him," Beathard said in an article published on Cal Poly's web site on Monday. "When he hit somebody, he really hit him hard, unlike a 215-pound guy. He was very cerebral, didn't make very many mistakes and brought a lot of life to the team."

He played in 91 career games, with 78 starts, and recorded 18.5 sacks and seven interceptions, one of which he returned 70 yards for a touchdown in 1983.

Kaufman stayed on with the Redskins and worked in the personnel department from 1989-98. He also participated with several charities in the Washington, D.C., region.

He was inducted into the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.

The cause of Kaufman's death is not known at this time.

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