Chris Samuels has retired after 10 seasons with the Redskins and the headline out of his press conference is that he isn’t really leaving Redskins Park.

“I’ve always wanted to coach,” he said. “Even when I was in high school, I knew once my playing days were other with, I wanted to coach.”

He’ll be on the Redskins’ staff as a part of the Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship and his internship will run through mini-camps, OTAs and training camp. Redskins’ new receivers coach Keenan McCardell went through the program last year with the Giants, and Samuels said he’s spoken to with McCardell about the benefits of the fellowship.

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Samuels says he’ll begin his career working with offensive linemen,”and learn as much as I can. Try to work my way up. Where I land, I don’t know.

“Even if I could learn from coaches this offseason and take it to a high school around this area, I’ll be happy with that. I just want to coach the guys.”

While he’s been around a lot of coaches he respects, Samuels says he’ll find his own style. He doesn’t expect to curse quite as frequently as former offensive line coach Joe Bugel.

“That’s not going to be my philosophy,” Samuels said. “I love Buges, but I’m not going to do it that way. But every now and then I probably will get fired up and have to get after somebody.”

The press conference began, as these things do, with praise from owner Daniel Snyder, who called Samuels “a true gentleman, a class act.” Samuels replied: “Thank you, Mr. Snyder. Not only have you been a great boss, you’ve been a great friend.”

Samuels, who says he had 12 surgeries during his career, walks away at 32. “Don’t feel sorry for me. … I want to coach. That’s my next move.” He said he’d known for a while that he was going to be forced to retire because of the neck injury, complicated by spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine), he suffered Oct. 11. “It’s going to be hard to walk away from the game that I love,” he said, “but it’s the best decision for me and my family.” He learned of the stenosis when he was playing in high school and knew it would limit his career.

He described the numbness and paralysis he’d experience at times on the field and said he was lucky and blessed to have 10 years with the Redskins. “I had a lot of confidence that the good Lord would take care of me.”

Several family members, friends, agent Jimmy Sexton, Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen and Coach Mike Shanahan were in attendance, along with several Redskins players, including linemates Randy Thomas, Derrick Dockery, Mike Williams, Will Montgomery, Stephon Heyer and Chad Rinehart.

Among other topics Samuels addressed, when he wasn’t kidding Heyer (“I’ve loved picking on you through the years.”) …

His most memorable game: “Beating Dallas in Dallas when Santana Moss caught those passes. I hate Dallas, by the way.”

On appreciating the game and every moment in it: “Look at my situation. One play could be your last play.”

Advice to his teammates: “Go win a championship. That’s probably the only thing I regret. Do the proper things it’s gonna take.”


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