It's Official: Saunders to Skins

Al Saunders has agreed to join the Redskins' coaching staff and, from all appearances, the former KC offensive coordinator will be first among equals on the Skins' staff.

It's official,: Al Saunders is joining the Redskins as an offensive coordinator.

Chiefs coach Herm Edwards confirmed this evening that Saunders told him he was leaving to accept a job with Washington. Saunders had been considered a candidate for five vacant head coaching positions and was thought to be the front-runner for the Oakland job.

He also had told reporters that he'd been promised the job in Kansas City two years ago, whenever Dick Vermeil retired.

Instead, that went to Edwards. Now Saunders joins old friend Joe Gibbs, with whom he coached in 1970-71 at USC. Both are disciples of Don Coryell's system, which means the Redskins should not have a dramatic new look on offense.

The Chiefs were considered a creative offense, one which made terrific use of their personnel. Much the same could be said about the Redskins' defense.

Saunders reportedly has a three-year, $6 million contract. Clearly, the Redskins' brass has learned that another way to compete in the era of free agency is by luring, and keeping, talented coaches. They signed Gregg Williams to a lucrative extension a couple weeks ago.

The Redskins will officially announce the move probably on Monday. They're still finalizing the contract. Also, the team will announce that all coaches will be retained with the same title, which means Don Breaux will still be considered the offensive coordinator. However, Saunders' salary suggests a greater role.


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