Team sources have confirmed that Washington Redskins special teams coach Danny Smith has turned down a contract offer with the Denver Broncos and will remain with the Burgundy and Gold.
Smith's contract with Washington would have expired after the Super Bowl, but he and the team are working on an agreement that will bring him back for his eighth season in Washington. Smith had been pursued by new Broncos coach John Fox to join him in Denver and coach the special teams units there.
It was the second straight year that Fox had gone after Smith. Fox had asked the Redskins for permission to interview Smith last offseason, but the team blocked the move. Smith reportedly had no interest in leaving Washington this year, either.
Smith has been on staff in Washington since 2004 when Joe Gibbs hired him during the Hall of Fame coach's comeback. Smith remained on staff even after Gibbs retired, and coached two years under Danny Smith before being retained by Mike Shanahan last offseason.
Shanahan at the completion of his first season in Washington said that he planned on bringing back all of his assistants for this coming year.
Redskins players are glad to hear of Smith's decision to return to Washington. He is one of the most well-respected members of the coaching staff, and several players said last week that they hoped he wouldn't leave for Denver.
Special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander said this morning that he spoke with Smith, and that he is relieved that his coach won't be leaving.
"It would've been a devastating loss," said Alexander, who credits Smith for the success that he has achieved while going from an undrafted practice squad player to special teams ace and starting outside linebacker.
The Redskins this season ranked third in the league in kick returns yardage and had the 14th-best average of 23.0 yards a runback. They ranked 10th in punt returns with a 10.8-yard average. Meanwhile, the Redskins held opponents to the fifth-lowest average on kick returns (19.0 yards a return), but they were 29th against punt returns with a 12.6-yard-per-return average.