INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano had a similar feeling two years ago.
He had just been named head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and when trying to form a coaching staff, his first call went to a man without a job.
Bruce Arians was a tremendous football mind and a friend of Pagano’s. The cohesion between the two men was seamless during their one season together in Indianapolis.
So when another coach who fit the description of Arians was unemployed earlier this offseason, Pagano was ready to pounce.
The Colts hired former Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski on Feb. 8 as a special assistant to Pagano.
“Chud’s going to be a great resource,” Pagano said at the Combine.
“He’ll be heavily involved with a lot of things that I do on a daily basis and be a great resource for me. He’s a brilliant guy, a really bright guy, a really smart guy, a really good football coach and he’s well versed in a lot of different areas.”
Pagnao and Chud’s history dates back to 1986 when the current Colts head coach was a graduate assistant at the University of Miami.
Chud was a tight end for the Hurricanes that year along with current Colts tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts.
Once Chud’s playing career came to an end in Miami, he joined the Hurricanes coaching staff with Pagano.
In 2004, the two were reunited in Cleveland as position coaches for the Browns.
“Chud has a longstanding relationship with our head coach that goes a long ways back to college,” Ryan Grigson said at the Combine.
“This business is about relationships. It’s about trust. He’s part of our family now. His role will continue to evolve. He’s a great football mind to bounce things off of.”
With the addition of Chud to the Colts staff, that brings the total to three coaches in Indianapolis that have been offensive coordinators in the NFL.
While Chud has spent his entire coaching career on the offensive side of the ball, Pagano reiterated that will not be the only phase in which he will help the Colts.
“I’m not going to pigeon hole Chud and say he’s an offensive coach, defensive coach, special teams," the Colts head coach said. "He’s going to be a great resource not only for our offensive staff but for our defensive staff, Ryan, myself, game day management. There’s really nothing I won’t throw at Chud in any area of our program that’s going to make us better.
“We had an opportunity to add another piece to the puzzle which makes our team better, gets us one step closer to our ultimate goal, and that’s hoisting a Lombardi and hopefully participating in Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix.”