Who should Redskins, Ravens fans root for Super Bowl LIV?

January 30, 2020

Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan talks with the receivers and quarterbacks during their NFL football training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., Monday, Aug. 16, 2010.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Redskins and Ravens aren’t playing in Super Bowl LIV but the game will feature plenty of coaches and players with personal and professional ties to the D.C. area.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is perhaps the best-known qualifier for this list, given how badly his time as Redskins offensive coordinator ended. So with Shanahan understood, let’s spotlight some players and coaches for both the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs that might move you toward a rooting interest for Super Bowl Sunday.

Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller not only played for the Redskins, but he was a standout in football and track at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Maryland. The Baltimore-native will be an unrestricted free agent in March, so maybe he gets a Super Bowl ring before a return home to the Redskins or Ravens?

Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland was drafted by the Redskins in the fourth round of the 2014 draft and spent his first four NFL seasons in Burgundy and Gold before leaving in free agency. Like Fuller, Breeland will be an unrestricted free agent in March.

Chiefs center Austin Reiter was selected by the Redskins in the seventh round of the 2015 draft, and signed off the practice squad by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. Since joining the Chiefs in 2018, he’s started 20 out 27 games played, including all 16 games this season. Reiter also happens to be coached by a former Redskins offensive lineman …

Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck played his final two NFL seasons with the Redskins (1999-2000), starting all 16 games at left tackle for the 1999 NFC East champions.

Anthony Lanier II made the Redskins’ 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie in 2016 and was a feel good story for the team until he was waived/injured early in the 2018 season. After spending 2019 on the Chargers’ practice squad, the Chiefs signed him to a futures contract three weeks ago.

49ers offensive tackle Justin Skule was drafted in Round 6 of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Centreville High School graduate started eight games in his rookie season and played 51% of the team’s snaps in 15 regular season games. (Read more on him here.)

D.C.-native Teez Tabor was signed to the 49ers’ practice squad in October. The Friendship Collegiate Academy graduate and 2017 second-round pick played 22 games in two seasons with the Detroit Lions before being released in September.

49ers tight ends coach Jon Embree held that same position here in Washington in 2010 before taking the head coaching job at Colorado. Embree’s sons will coach on either end of Super Bowl LIV; Taylor is an offensive quality control coach for the 49ers and Connor is a defensive assistant for the Chiefs.

Though he didn’t play or live in the D.C. area, 49ers backup quarterback C.J. Beathard is the grandson of Redskins Hall of Fame general manager Bobby Beathard and would love to end a season of tragedy on a high note.

49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk was selected by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 2013 draft and played his first four seasons in Baltimore. Though tough to pronounce, Juszczyk (YOUs-check) has made a name for himself as a utility player, making four straight Pro Bowls.

Before he ran wild against the Ravens in December, 49ers running back Raheem Mostert played seven games for the Ravens in 2015. But when Baltimore tried to release him to the practice squad, the Cleveland Browns signed him to their 53-man roster. Regardless of rooting interests, Mostert — who is on his seventh NFL roster — is an underdog story people can rally around.

I mean, do I really need to remind you that T-Sizzle used to rule Baltimore? Chiefs defensive end Terrell Suggs had a 16-year, Hall of Fame-caliber career in Baltimore before virtually retiring to his hometown team in Arizona. The Cardinals opted to move on from the 37-year-old pass rusher sooner rather than later, giving Suggs the chance to catch on with a contender in the final month of what feels like his final season. If Baltimore can’t root for the Ravens in the Super Bowl, they might as well pull for a man who will represent them in Canton.

Chiefs offensive tackle Greg Senat was a sixth-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, but has been placed on injured reserve in each of his first two NFL seasons and has yet to play a regular season snap.

I know Chiefs head coach Andy Reid isn’t a local — and is, in fact, a former Eagles coach that tormented the Redskins for over a decade — but in 21 seasons, he’s the sixth-winningest coach in NFL history with zero championships in only one previous Super Bowl appearance. Like beloved veteran coaches Tony Dungy and Bill Cowher before him, let Andy have his long-awaited day in the sun.

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