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Broncos bring in ex-LB Phifer as assistant

The Denver Broncos hired Roman Phifer as assistant linebackers coach Monday.

Phifer, a 15-year NFL veteran and three-time Super Bowl champion, is starting his first coaching assignment since retiring from the NFL in 2005. He will assist Don Martindale in coaching the Broncos' linebackers.

Phifer, 40, was a second-round draft pick (31st overall) by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1991 NFL Draft. He played eight seasons for the Rams, leading the team in tackles during the 1993, 1995 and 1996 campaigns, and he was named a Pro Bowl alternate in 1995. He played for the New York Jets from 1999 to 2000 and totaled 95 tackles, 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

Phifer is best known for his contributions as a linebacker on three Super Bowl-winning teams with the New England Patriots, for whom he played from 2001 to 2004. In his four seasons with the Patriots, Phifer recorded 384 tackles -- second only to linebacker Tedy Bruschi -- and helped New England win Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX. Phifer retired from football after an injury-shortened stint with the New York Giants in 2005.

Phifer played 212 games in his NFL career and recorded 1,296 tackles (923 solo), 29 sacks and 11 interceptions.

The Broncos also announced Monday that they have retained Keith Burns as a special teams assitant, completing new head coach Josh McDaniels' staff for the 2009 season. Burns, a 13-year NFL veteran who spent 11 seasons of his career with Denver, worked with the Broncos' special teams the past two seasons.

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