Chuck Banker apparently will be the Washington Redskins' one and only special teams coach next season, though Coach Joe Gibbs vows to help Paul Lanham find a job elsewhere.

Gibbs made pro football history this season by hiring Lanham as a consultant to Banker in the season's 11th week. Former Redskins Coach George Allen always dreamed of having two special teams assistants, but could never make it come to pass, what with the extra salary it would take. Gibbs has that one solved, though, because Lanham says he isn't getting paid.

"I'm being compensated, but maybe not materially," he said yesterday at Redskin Park. "There's more than one form of compensation."

Apparently, money can't buy another job for Lanham, who was feeling slightly "worn down" a season ago with Detroit but says now, "Maybe I wasn't as worn down as Dick Vermeil {the former Eagles coach who retired}."

So Gibbs, who confirmed yesterday that Banker is coming back, has promised to assist his good friend in a job search, which could be the compensation they're speaking of. Neither will say for sure, but Gibbs said he was "lucky" to get Lanham for part of this season.

When Lanham arrived just after a Monday night loss to the Rams, the Redskins' special teams were reeling, particularly on their punt and field goal protection and kickoff coverage. Since then, there's been one blocked kick, when Ali Haji-Sheikh had an extra point hit by a defensive lineman and carom through the goal posts last week in Minnesota.

The Redskins finished with the NFL's sixth best punt coverage (opponents averaged 6.2 yards per return) and seventh best punt return (11.0 yards) and 16th best kickoff return teams (19.3 yards). But they were second to last in kickoff coverage, yielding 21.5 yards.

Still, Gibbs says special teams play is "one of the better things that's happened to us over the last four or five weeks." Whether that's Lanham's doing or Banker's, Gibbs won't say specifically.

"I think, in general, everybody's made a difference," Gibbs said.

Banker, for one, has done a wonderful job of biting his tongue. Naturally, Lanham's presence was a threat to him, like it or not, but he carried on as usual.

"I can't worry about {the future}," Banker said about next season. "All I can worry about is next weekend's playoff game. Winning, I feel, solves a lot of problems."

Lanham, too, has been reserved and quiet. His main function has been to teach. For example, Gibbs asked him to help Banker change punt protection from zone blocking to man-to-man blocking, and punter Steve Cox hasn't been harried since.

Of his relationship with Banker, Lanham said: "We haven't had any problems, really. There's two guys doing the job that one guy was doing before. So, just by the percentages, you ought to get 50 percent more work done."

Gibbs and Lanham go back to their days at the University of Arkansas, where they and their wives became good friends. From there, Lanham ended up in Washington as Allen's special teams coach from 1973 to 1977. He had people like Rusty Tillman and Pete Wysocki and Bob Brunet and Bill Malinchak and Eddie Brown, all of whom led the Redskins to special teams preeminence.

Yesterday, the Redskins formally began their kicking duel between Haji-Sheikh and Jess Atkinson (the winner gets to kick in the playoffs), but it's old hat for Lanham, who was around when the Redskins switched from Curt Knight to Mark Moseley in 1974.

"I know I tried out 1,500 kickers that year," Lanham said. "Curt had retired, so we had to go hunt one, and that's when we found Moseley."

It was Lanham who suggested that Moseley tightly wrap his kicking ankle before games.

"He'd never {taped it tightly} before," Lanham said. "After he tried it out, he thought it was great. And that's when all the people thought he had lead in his shoe. But it wasn't. It was just the fact that we'd taped his ankle locked."

So, this is what Lanham has brought the Redskins this year, a wealth of know-how and how-to. Referring to the Allen days, he said: "I remember Rusty Tillman telling a young man we'd just signed, 'Look, we've got the best special teams in the NFL, and we're not gonna let you or anybody else screw this up for us. So, if you can't carry your load, you're gonna be going down the road.' I didn't have to say a thing."

In a way, that's exactly what's been missing from the Redskins special teams this season, tradition. The veterans -- Dean Hamel, Reggie Branch, Vernon Dean, Terry Orr and Keith Griffin -- have tried, but it has taken a while, Branch says, for some younger players to take special teams seriously enough.

Lanham said: "I don't think the leadership on the Redskins' special teams is as strong -- and I'm talking within itself -- as it was in those days {with Allen}. But I believe it can be developed, and I believe guys are getting the idea."

Heading into the playoffs, there could be slight changes. Cornerback Darrell Green returned punts against Minnesota, and Gibbs said he could be used there again in the playoffs. Wide receiver Ricky Sanders had a 36-yard kickoff against the Vikings in overtime and might assume those duties. Also, Cox replaced Haji-Sheikh on kickoffs against Minnesota, and might continue.

Redskins Notes:

Wide receiver Art Monk (knee injury) continued to run on his own yesterday, prompting trainer Bubba Tyer to say: "He ran three-quarters speed. We'll just wait and see {on his status for the playoffs}, but it's an improvement. It's a good sign. He's progressing." Also, tight end Clint Didier, who missed the Minnesota game with a groin injury, expects to be ready for next weekend's playoff game.