Shanahan mourns loss of former roommate Heimerdinger

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is grieving following the loss of Mike Heimerdinger, his longtime friend and former assistant.

Heimerdinger was an assistant on the back-to-back championship teams the Denver Broncos had in 1997-98 and the relationship between the two men goes far beyond that. They were roommates together at Eastern Illinois. More recently, Heimerdinger was an offensive coordinator for Shanahan in Denver.

“We lost a very special person and my best friend in Mike Heimerdinger,” Shanahan said in a statement released by the Redskins. “I know the man upstairs needed a superstar so he took him earlier than we all wanted. His love for his family was unprecedented and I will forever miss him.”

Heimerdinger, 58, died of cancer this morning after battling the disease for a year. He was well-liked in NFL circles and was always available and polite with media.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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