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Mark Rypien: 'I Can't Wait For This 2013'


Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien owns the distinction of being the last quarterback to lead Washington to a Super Bowl victory, following the 1991 season.

By beating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI, the Redskins capped off a decade of dominance under Joe Gibbs.

With Rypien at the helm of the NFL's No. 1 offense, Gibbs won his unprecendented third championship with a different starting quarterback, cementing a dynasty and his lasting legacy in Washington.

That was more than 20 years ago, as the NFL has changed dramatically with rule changes and free agency that made dynasty building nearly impossible.

Over the last two decades, the legacy of Mark Rypien and the 1991 squad have haunted Redskins fans as a bygone era of football supremacy in the Nation's Capital.

It was not until last season that Redskins fans, including Rypien, had hope to believe that another golden era of football was possible in Washington.

"It's very special," he told Redskins.comTV at the Mickey Steele Golf Classic. "[Redskins owner] Daniel Snyder, I've always felt so good about what Dan's trying to do. He wants to win a Super Bowl so bad and he wants to get there.

"I think he's got the pieces in place now, from an athlete standpoint."

Rypien credited the work of the Redskins front office, particularly general manager Bruce Allen and head coach Mike Shanahan, for finding the right players to represent Redskins football.

"I think Bruce Allen has been a wonderful addition...for getting the right players in the right fit and giving us another chance to win a Super Bowl," he said. "I think they're starting to head in that direction."

Rypien joined Gibbs, Joe Theismann, Clinton Portis and others noteworthy alumni at FedExField during the Redskins' seven-game surge to playoffs last season.

Despite mostly living in Seattle during his post-playing days, Rypien was disappointed to see his Redskins lose to the Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

"Last year was so close," he said with a grin. "If No. 10 (Robert Griffin III) doesn't go down, I think we have a good chance of bringing back another Lombardi Trophy."

Twenty-two years ago, Rypien was named the Super Bowl XXVI MVP after throwing 18-for-33 for 292 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Asked if there could be a better experience, Rypien replied: "Well no, but if we can do it again, that would be awesome to celebrate again and bring it back."

As a prominent Redskins alum, Rypien has a unique relationship with the Redskins fan base. He is not only a recognizable Redskins celebrity, but also counts himself among their ranks.

"Every year that we come back and celebrate the anniversary [of our last Super Bowl victory] is another year of frustration for Redskins fans," he explained. "But I think that frustration has finally turned into fruition, and they've got a pretty good football team.

"I know Coach Shanahan is a great coach and they're doing wonderful things up there and I can't wait for this year coming up."




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