- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Washington Redskins on Wednesday officially named Mike Shanahan as the team’s new head coach.

“I’m anxious to get back,” said Shanahan, who during his 14 years with the Denver Broncos led the team to Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998 before being fired in 2008.

The announcement from Redskins Park, the team’s Northern Virginia headquarters, ends months of speculation about whether Shanahan, 57, would replace Jim Zorn, fired Monday after going 12-20 in two seasons.

Shanahan signed a five-year deal that will pay roughly $7 million annually.

He declined to say exactly when team owner Daniel Snyder contacted him, saying only they met 10 years ago and have continued to talked regularly.

Shanahan also will be the Redskins’ vice president of football operations, which gives him the final say in player-personnel issues.

Shanahan downplayed the idea that he will have total control, saying he will work with newly-hired general manager Bruce Allen, son of legendary Redskins coach George Allen.

“We will work together,” he said. “I would never use that power because we will work as a team.”

Allen said they regularly talked football in the last off-season when they were unemployed.

Shanahan vowed he will demand discipline from players and coaches. He has appointed his son, Kyle, as the team’s offensive coordinator, but said he needs more time to make additional personnel decisions.

Among his first decisions will be the future of outspoken Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis, who played well for Shanahan in Denver and for the Redskins, until injuries this year kept him sidelined.

Shanahan said he first needs to watch films of the 28-year-old Portis but cautioned that older runners must work out hard in the off-season.

“I love his toughness,” he said.

Shanahan, who was the Los Angeles Raiders head coach from 1988 to 1999, shied away form using the term “rebuilding year” but acknowledged that a 4-12 season is typically followed by significant changes.

“Any time you win four games, people are going to talk about rebuilding,” he said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take but I guarantee to get it done.”

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