- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2000

The Washington Redskins are considering an NFL assistant coach Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak as their permanent head coach, league sources said yesterday.

Only prospects with NFL or college head coaching experience had been considered as potential replacements for interim coach Terry Robiskie, who took over for fired Norv Turner on Dec. 4.

A sixth-year assistant to Mike Shanahan, Kubiak cannot be contacted by the Redskins until Denver completes its postseason, which begins Sunday with an AFC wild-card playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The no-contact rule hurt Kubiak's chances for top positions in 1997 and '98, when the Broncos won two Super Bowl titles and he was limited in pursuing other jobs though he did break away in 1998 to interview for the Cleveland Browns' opening.

Kubiak declined comment yesterday in Denver.

Meanwhile, the Redskins still have not received a final word from Florida coach Steve Spurrier. The club had hoped to hear no later than yesterday from Spurrier, who was in New Orleans as the Gators prepared for the Sugar Bowl. Spurrier repeatedly has said he isn't interested but has not definitively ended speculation.

The club is expected to ask permission soon to speak to New York Jets director of football operations Bill Parcells, even though he is believed to have no interest.

Kubiak apparently joins former UCLA coach Terry Donahue and Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham on the Redskins' second tier of candidates. However, sources close to both Donahue and Willingham have indicated they have no interest in the job.

Donahue has confirmed brief contact with the Redskins and reiterated his desire to remain out of coaching and continue living on the West Coast, league sources said. Currently San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager, Donahue is in line to replace 49ers GM Bill Walsh if the latter retires as expected after the NFL Draft in April.

On Wednesday a source close to Willingham said the Cardinal coach would have no interest if contacted by the Redskins.

Kubiak, 39, is well regarded in NFL circles and a key figure in the Broncos' consistently powerful offense, though Shanahan is considered the unit's mastermind. Denver, after running the NFL's top offense in 1996 and '97, finished second this year, including second rushing and third passing.

Kubiak and Shanahan came to Denver from the 49ers, where they helped San Francisco win the Super Bowl in 1994. Redskins defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes also was defensive coordinator of those 49ers, while Shanahan was offensive coordinator and Kubiak quarterbacks coach.

The Redskins also will look at South Carolina coach Lou Holtz and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. Beamer reportedly has no interest in the NFL at present.

Notes Contrary to reports, the Redskins cannot play an exhibition game next season in Japan because the NFL is not scheduling a game there until 2003, a league official said. It remains possible they could play in Germany… .

The Redskins signed four more free agents: wide receiver Corey Allen, tackle Kareem Ellis, defensive back Eric Whitfield and safety Martavius Houston. Allen, Ellis and Whitfield were released from the team during training camp last summer, while Houston recently played for the CFL's Toronto Argonauts… .

Fullback Larry Centers was credited with an 81st catch for the season, tying him with St. Louis tailback Marshall Faulk for the most receptions by an NFC running back. Only New York Jet Richie Anderson had more (88). Centers benefited from a statistical change in Sunday's game, in which Brad Johnson flipped him the ball on one play rather than handing it off.

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