Family matter: Shanahan leaves to join Redskins

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After a rapid climb through the coaching ranks in four seasons with the Texans, the youngest coordinator in the NFL has found a new home.

Kyle Shanahan, who coached the league's most prolific passing offense in 2009, is leaving his post as Texans offensive coordinator to take the same position with the Washington Redskins. His father, Mike Shanahan, was introduced as the Redskins' new head coach on Wednesday afternoon.

"When I got into coaching, I made it a point not to work with my dad," Kyle said. "It's something I wanted to stay away from for at least a while until I at least had some success on my own.

"The way it went down for him in Denver with him getting fired and everything (in 2008), it made me realize I can't be too picky with it. I'm going to only have so many opportunities to coach with him before he's done.

"Once he got fired in Denver, I told him whenever he decides to come back that I'd go with him. Before I'm done and before he's done, I at least want that opportunity to work with him, and I feel it's now or never."

While cleaning out his office at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday with the help of his two-year-old daughter, Stella, Kyle said that he was excited but had mixed emotions about the move.

"It's really tough for me to leave here, a lot of players a lot of coaches that I really love," he said. "I love the city, and it's going to be tough to leave Texas. But it's something that I think's the right thing to do for my family and something I'm looking forward to."

The Texans had the league's fourth-best offense and set franchise records for points and yards in a season in 2009. Shanahan coached the league's leading passer in Matt Schaub and league's leading receiver in Andre Johnson.

{QUOTE}"That's kind of what makes it hard for me to leave," he said. "I really don't have a choice in the timing of it."

Shanahan -- who just turned 30 and looks even younger -- had an easy time relating to players like Schaub, 28, during his tenure in Houston. Players didn't mind his youth because of his razor-sharp football acumen.

That was the case even before Kyle completed four seasons with Kubiak, an accomplished offensive coordinator with the Broncos from 1995-2005 under Mike Shanahan.

"Kub has been huge in my development," Kyle said. "He's been in systems that have been balanced, he's had to win games throwing the ball, he's had to win games running the ball. He's done it every way. To come here and to be with a guy with that kind of experience, it's been huge."

Kubiak hired Kyle to coach the team's wide receivers in 2006. At the time, Shanahan was 26 years old. He had spent two seasons as a quality control coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after one season as a graduate assistant at UCLA.

Shanahan helped Johnson to a Pro Bowl season in 2006. He was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2007. That season, Schaub and Sage Rosenfels combined to set a slew of Texans passing records. Kubiak named Shanahan the Texans' offensive coordinator in 2008, and the two worked hand-in-hand in creating the team's game plan and calling plays over the last two seasons.

Knowing that Kyle's departure was imminent when he spoke to the media on Monday, Kubiak joked that he'd like to be a fly on the wall when the two Shanahans butt heads in coaches' meetings.

"It's definitely going to be a work in progress," Kyle said. "Kub laughs about it because my dad and I are very similar; we've both got very similar personalities and we definitely will probably be challenging each other a lot with stuff.

"The good thing about that is we both will learn. We don't mind battling each other and arguing things out, but by the end of it one of us has usually learned something. He likes to think that's usually me, but I try to convince him it's not always that case.

"It's going to be fun. My wife's a little worried about it, and so is my mom, but we'll get through it. There'll be some growing pains, but I think we'll end up enjoying it."

Those growing pains won't begin for at least another week. Kyle's wife, Mandy, is due with the couple's second child – a baby boy – in the next few days.

"On the one hand, my dad's in D.C. screaming at me on the phone to get me out there, and on the other hand, my wife's here pregnant," Kyle said. "She's due any day, so she's definitely making sure that I'm not leaving, so I'm kind of getting pulled in different directions. They both understand, but neither of them is really patient with the other.

"I'm just waiting. Hopefully, this baby will come (soon) and I'll be here long enough. Then, I'll probably have to get out there and go to work."

Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at *twitter.com/NickScurfield or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at imatexan.com/profiles/Nick_Scurf/.*

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