- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PHOENIX | Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in January publicized his desire to become an NFL head coach. His former boss, Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, expected teams to consider him more than they actually did.

“I was actually surprised he didn’t come up more and have some opportunities because I think he’ll be a great one,” Kubiak said Tuesday at the AFC coaches’ breakfast here at the NFL’s annual meetings.

Kubiak has known Shanahan since the Redskins assistant was a boy. Kubiak was the Denver Broncos’ backup quarterback in 1984 when Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, joined the club as a wide receivers coach. Kyle was 4 at the time.

Kyle joined Kubiak’s staff in Houston as a wide receivers coach in 2006 and rose to offensive coordinator before leaving to join the Redskins in January 2010. Kubiak has enjoyed watching Kyle’s evolution from afar the last three seasons.

“I think it’s been tremendous, but you could see it from the start,” Kubiak said. “I think one of the most impressive things is not only has he taken his offense and what he does to a new level each and every year, but now he comes this year and adds the addition of the read option and the things that he and Mike put together this year offensively for their new, young quarterback.

“That just tells you how flexible you have to be in this league to continue to move the ball. So I’m very proud of him.”

Kubiak is convinced Shanahan, 33, will be a head coach before long. The Redskins last season ranked first in the NFL in average yards per play.

“He’s still very young; but very confident,” Kubiak said. “Reminds me of his dad a lot — very confident in what he does. A fiery guy; players respond to him. Excellent teacher in the classroom, and that’s all you can ask.”

Kubiak ascended to an NFL head coaching job via a path similar to the one Kyle is taking. He was Mike Shanahan’s offensive coordinator in Denver from 1995-2005. Although Kyle has been a coordinator for only half the time Kubiak was, Kubiak believes readiness to become a head coach is a bit of a nebulous concept.

“I don’t know if you’re ever ready,” he said. “I think you get thrown in there and you start to adjust. When you’re around somebody like his dad who has been so successful for so many years, I think he can give you a lot of advice. He’s got a good one to listen to.”

Smith will be consultant

Newly hired senior executive A.J. Smith will serve the Washington Redskins as a San Diego-based consultant, general manager Bruce Allen said Tuesday.

Allen hired Smith, his longtime friend, last month. He was the San Diego Chargers’ general manager for the last 10 seasons and won five AFC West division titles.

Smith’s role with the Redskins will center on internal evaluations. His responsibilities had not been publicized by the team.

“More just looking at us, giving us an evaluation of our players,” Allen said in an interview with The Washington Times.

Mike Shanahan has final say over roster decisions.

Allen and Smith’s friendship dates from the early 1980s when they worked together with the Chicago Blitz of the USFL. Smith tried out for the Redskins as a player in 1974 when Bruce’s father, George, was the head coach. He served as a scout for the Blitz from 1982-83. Also, Smith’s son, Kyle, is an area scout for the Redskins.

San Diego fired Smith, 64, and coach Norv Turner on New Year’s Day after the Chargers missed the playoffs for the third straight season.

The upcoming season will be Smith’s 29th in the NFL.

“He started out as a college scout, became a pro scout and did have a good run as a general manager,” Allen said. “I imagine he’s going to get another opportunity sooner than later. For the time being, if he wants to help us out evaluate players on our team, I think that’s a positive.”

No extra picks

Washington was not awarded any compensatory draft picks Monday night. That was expected because 2012 free agent receivers Pierre Garcon and Joshua Morgan were so productive in their first season with the team.

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