Former NFL All-Pro offensive lineman Chris Samuels is returning to his football roots, albeit in a location a bit north of his native Alabama: Manassas, Virginia.
As first reported by ESPN, Samuels has been named the head football coach at Osbourn High School, leaving a role in player development on Nick Saban’s staff in Alabama for the new opportunity.
Samuels had been at Alabama for two reasons, and football was only the second. He arrived in Tuscaloosa to earn his degree, something he accomplished in December. During his time on campus he also served as the coach of the scout team’s offensive line. He also spent one season as the offensive coordinator of a high school in Mobile, which helped inspire his decision to turn to high school coaching full time.
The move to Northern Virginia was a more natural one, dating to his time with the Redskins. The Samuels family continues to call Vienna, Va. home, with a second child expected to join Samuels’ son, also named Chris Samuels, soon.
“College is very demanding from a time standpoint,” Samuels told ESPN. “If I’m going to make that sacrifice, I wanted to be a position coach, but I chose to step down and I can have family time and still enjoy coaching.”
As for how Osbourn will play, Samuels said that we can expect a blend of Kyle Shanahan’s offense from his time in Washington under his father and a more traditional collegiate spread offense, which the former Outland Trophy winner studied from watching tape of Auburn’s recent teams (see, running the scout team’s offensive line has its advantages).
The goal is for Samuels to improve his coaching skills to a point where he could consider jumping back to college or the professional ranks as a position coach, but he insists that there’s no hurry to achieve that. There’s plenty of work to be done with Osbourn first, particularly with the offensive line.
“The whole line will be in for a treat,” he said. “I’ll get after them. We have a smaller line, but guys are eager to learn and hungry.”