INDIANAPOLIS --- Colts Associate Head Coach Rob Chudzinski is the mystery man on Chuck Pagano's coaching staff. Pagano has praised the work done by "Coach Chud", as he's known around the building, but still the fascination has lingered as to what the role of this coach is, almost like an ace in the hole to go with Pagano's coordinators and position coaches.
"It's a little bit different role than I'm used to," Chudzinski admitted to Colts.com last week, after being the head Coach in Cleveland in 2013 and working as an offensive coordinator or assistant head coach for the Browns, Chargers, and Panthers before that. "I'm usually out front of everything, but again, whatever I can do to help in any way. Support, be a resource for, do work for, whatever it is around the building, I can do. That's what I want to do to help us win."
Associate Head Coach is his true title in Indianapolis, but perhaps "Master Consultant" would be another appropriate title for Rob Chudzinski's contributions to Chuck Pagano's staff.
"There's a lot that goes into it, and a lot of different things I do around the building," said Chudzinski with a smile, when that alternate title was suggested. "It's the type of role that if everybody doesn't know what you do, then you're probably doing a good job."
Internally though, the Colts definitely know what Chudzinski does and how good he is at it, evidenced by the fact that Indianapolis wanted and was able to retain him, after multiple teams were reportedly interested in making him their offensive coordinator. It's easy to imagine that feeling of being wanted was probably not lost on a man who was only given one year with his previous team.
"It meant a lot. It says a lot. Just being here and having the opportunity to be here, I'm excited about it," Chudzinski said. "I'm excited about this team. I'm excited about the people I get to come to work with every single day, and the coaches and players and interactions with that. I'm excited about the opportunity to succeed to win and win a Super Bowl. Ultimately, that's our goal."
Chudzinski said being a part of a Super Bowl winning team is what drives him every single day, that it's absolutely one of his individual goals in his career, after he made the jump to the NFL in 2004 from the University of Miami. He was on the Hurricanes staff with Pagano from 1995 to 2000.
But if winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal, then reaching it must include achieving countless smaller goals along the way, including right now in the offseason. That's what Chudzinski's role entails right now.
"We segment everything. So, this time of year, it's about individuals getting better at individual techniques. It's about us looking at areas that we maybe struggled at last year as a team and how we can practice and prepare and what we can adjust to really focus on those things."
But when the season came around in 2014, Chudzinski's role as Special Assistant to the Head Coach shifted, and this year as Associate Head Coach, it will shift again.
"As you get into the season, it's more about the gameplan and more about the individual teams that you are playing," Chudzinski explained. "But again, anything that I can do. I've been fortunate. I've been around some great coaches."
For Chudzinski, that now includes Chuck Pagano, just the second head coach in NFL history to win at least 11 games in his first four seasons.
"Chuck's done a great job of really drilling it down to those guys of what this time of year is for and what we need to do in order to improve as a team," said Chudzinski. "It starts with the individual...it will filter up to the team as time goes on."
So it may be a different role than what Chudzinski has been used to in the past, but for him, there's definitely one big perk to the job in Indianapolis.
"You look around and there's definitely a feeling in the locker room, in the building, of purpose," said Chudzinski. "That's what the purpose is, to win."