Former Washington Redskins tackle Chris Samuels has accepted an assistant coaching position with his alma mater, the University of Alabama, where he will work with the offensive line while completing his degree.

Samuels, here in Mobile, Ala. to watch Senior Bowl practices coached by the Washington Redskins staff and attended by Alabama coach Nick Saban, said he is excited to take another step forward in his coaching career. He said he wants to apply lessons learned from Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan while gleaning from Saban’s knowledge.

Drafted third overall by Washington in 2000, Samuels played nine season for the Redskins – reaching the Pro Bowl six times – before a spinal condition forced him to retire in March of 2010.

Samuels spent the 2010 season as a coaching intern with Shanahan and Redskins offensive line coach Chris Foerster. During the 2011 season, he was offensive coordinator for Blount High School in Prichard, Ala., and helped guide the Leopards to a 10-2 campaign.

Saban recently approached Samuels with the offer to join his staff, and Samuels jumped at the opportunity.

“They’ll pay for me to finish my degree, and I’ll be able to learn from some great coaches over there at Alabama. …It’s just been a blessing for me,” Samuels said. “It’s a huge opportunity for me. I learned a great deal about football from all those years of playing and being around a lot of great coaches. But a lot of players don’t realize it’s a lot different playing football and coaching football.

“I learned a lot from the Redskins and the Shanahans,” Samuels added. “They taught me a lot about how to shift different personnel groupings in, setting up plays, different concepts in the passing game...I thought it would be easy to do all that, but it’s not....Now to go up to Alabama, they’re very successful coaches, and coach Saban is one of the hot coaches around. It’s definitely going to be a blessing for me.”