Prior to the upcoming 2013 season, Burns, 40, spent majority his NFL career in Denver - the last six seasons as assistant special teams coach and 11 out of 13-years of playing. Burns spent time with the Chicago Bears (1999) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004).
Under Burns’ leadership from 2007-12, his unit accumulated 10 combined punt and kickoff return touchdowns, tied for most in the AFC and second-most in the NFL.
In that time period, the Broncos ranked fourth in the AFC and fifth in the NFL in punt return average (10.5 yards per return).
Burns gets his second opportunity to work with Redskins’ executive vice president/head coach Mike Shanahan, after the Redskins lose Danny Smith who left to assist the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As a player, Burns was a key addition of the Broncos’ special teams unit in his 11 seasons with the Broncos, 10 with Shanahan.
In those 11 seasons, Burns led or tied for the team lead in special teams tackles seven times. In addition, Burns helped the Broncos to victories in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII.
“Keith was an excellent special teams player and a strong influence in the locker room for two Super Bowl championship teams,” said Shanahan. “I know our players will enjoy playing for him.
Last season, several special teamers set Broncos franchise records under Burns’ tutelage, as kicker Matt Prater set the single-season team record for scoring by a kicker (133 points) and punter Britton Colquitt broke the team record for net punting average for the second consecutive season (40.2 in 2011, 42.1 in 2012). Return specialist Trindon Holliday led the NFL with a 32.5-yard kick return average and ranking fifth in the league with a 10.8-yard punt return average.
Burns, who graduated from high school in Alexandria, VA, will look to get the Redskins’ one-two-three-punch special team standouts rolling next season in punter Sav Rocca, kicker Kai Forbath and cornerback/return specialist Richard Crawford, who all played significant roles for the team in 2012.