Ex-Browns HC Rob Chudzinski headed to Indy
The Indianapolis Colts have added Chudzinski to their coaching staff with the title of special assistant to head coach Chuck Pagano. Chudzinski is familiar with Pagano, as the two have previously worked together for a total of eight seasons at college and NFL level. They first got to know each other in 1986, when Pagano served as a graduate assistant at University of Miami and Chudzinski was a tight end for the Hurricanes. Later on, Chudzinski and Pagano spent six seasons together on the Hurricanes’ coaching staff from1995-2000, and were reunited in Cleveland for the Browns’ 2004 season.
"Rob and I have a long professional relationship and his resume speaks for itself," Pagano said in a statement. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and will be a tremendous help to our entire team moving forward.”
“Needless to say, we're excited to have 'Chud' joining our family."
Chudzinski was let go by the Browns in December, after the team finished at the bottom of the AFC North on a 4-14 record during his first season as an NFL head coach. However, the Browns still sent wide receiver Josh Gordon to the Pro Bowl after he led the league with 1,646 receiving yards last season. Browns tight end Jordan Cameron also had a big season, with a career-high 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013.
In his news release, Pagano did not elaborate on what type of role Chudzinski will have in Indy, but based on his background it’s a safe bet that that the Colts will be counting on Chunzinski to help on the offense as well.
Chudzinski also served as offensive coordinator to the Browns (2007-08). During his first seasons as offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers (2011-2012), the club finished with team records for total yards (6,237) and first downs (345). That season, Chudzinski also helped Panthers’ former No.1 overall pick Cam Newton become the first N FL rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards. During his career with the Carolina Panthers (first as a tight ends coach from 2005–2006 and then as Assistant head coach from 2009-2010) Chudzinski also coach tight end Antonio Gates to a pair of 1,000-yard receiving seasons and back-to-back Pro Bowls.
In Indianapolis, Chudzinski will also be reunited with running back Trent Richardson after the Browns traded him to the Colts this past season. A former third-round pick by the Browns, Richardson played only two games under Chudzinski in 2013, before CEO Joe Banner sent him to the Colts for a first-round draft choice in 2014. Richardson finished the 2013 season with the Colts averaged only 2.9 yards per carry.