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NFL Playoff Coaches: Shanahan, LaFleur & McVay & Washington Staff Ties

Long before Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur and Sean McVay all had their respective teams in these NFL playoffs, they were colleagues in Washington.

Glory days!

They are here now for the teams in these NFL playoffs. But in 2013, in a way, they were here in Washington, too.

Long before Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur all guided their respective teams to this weekend and the NFC divisional round, they were colleagues in Washington, working together on the then-Redskins staff.

Back in 2013, all three were part of the offensive staff of the WFT, led by the head coach Mike Shanahan. His son Kyle was the offensive coordinator, with LaFleur in charge of coaching the quarterbacks and McVay handling the tight ends.

Young Shanahan was 33.

Young LaFleur was 33.

Young McVay was 26.

Is that a lot of young offensive brain power in one room? Certainly. Is it also a credit to coach Mike Shanahan that he recognized and developed talent? Sure. But ...

There is also an NFL "Buddy System'' that helped this happen, sometimes for better (as in this case) and sometimes for worse (being Mike Shanahan's son or being the son of former NFL coach and GM John McVay isn't an advantage all coaching job seekers quite have.

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Nevertheless, it is notable as these these three head coaches who once worked side-by-side for the same organization now get ready to go head-to-head in the playoffs, with Green Bay and LaFleur playing Shanahan and the 49ers, and with Tampa Bay playing against McVay and the Rams.

Should this picture be somehow painful to fans of the Washington Football Team? Nah. Coaching is a cyclical thing, and a transient business. People come up and they move on. Indeed, while Shanahan and LaFleur left following the 2013 season when Mike was let go, McVay, was retained, serving as Washington’s offensive coordinator for the next three seasons before being hired by the Rams as head coach in 2017.

Mostly, what it gives WFT fans this weekend is a choice of familiar faces from which to choose for rooting purposes. LaFleur (Packers), Shanahan (49ers) or  McVay (Rams) ... pick your favorite.