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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Washington Redskins' new special teams coach flew more than 1,000 combat missions as a helicopter pilot during the Iraq War.

Ben Kotwica is using some of his military background to help organize and inspire the Redskins special teams units, which were the worst in the league last year.

At his first meeting with the team in the spring, Kotwica invited players to join his "special forces." Robert Griffin III said he was so inspired he was ready to join the kickoff team.

But Kotwica says the parallels between war and football are "exacerbated." He's averse to words like "battle" and "war" to describe a game.

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