Howard Mudd
No. 68
Position:Offensive guard
Personal information
Born:(1942-02-10)February 10, 1942
Midland, Michigan
Died:August 12, 2020(2020-08-12) (aged 78)
Seattle, Washington
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:254 lb (115 kg)
Career information
High school:Midland (Midland, Michigan)
College:Hillsdale
NFL Draft:1964 / Round: 9 / Pick: 113
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
As player
As coach
Career NFL statistics
Games played:93
Games started:56
Seasons:7
Player stats at NFL.com

Howard Edward Mudd (February 10, 1942 – August 12, 2020) was an American football offensive lineman and coach. He attended Midland High School and then Michigan State University. While at Michigan State he joined Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity.[1] Mudd played football for Hillsdale College from 1960 to 1963, where he was a starting guard and a team captain. His play at the school led to his induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame.[2] He then played seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears from 1964 to 1970. Mudd was a three-time Pro Bowler, in 1966, 1967, and 1968. He retired in 1971 due to a knee injury, and began his coaching career at the University of California the following year.

From 1998 to 2009, he was the offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts, with whom he won Super Bowl XLI. For his work as an assistant coach, Mudd earned the Pro Football Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award.[3]

Coaching career

Mudd pursued a coaching career following his retirement as an NFL player. He spent two years as an assistant coach at the University of California, before moving to the NFL, and coaching for the San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs between 1974 and 1997.

He then joined the Indianapolis Colts as an offensive line coach, where he coached from 1998 to 2009. During his 12 years in Indianapolis, the Colts allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL, with just 218 sacks in 182 games. This is especially impressive when the high number of passing plays the Colts attempted during that time period was taken into account. Peyton Manning played for the Colts for 11 of those 12 years, and credits much of his success to the protection he received from Mudd's front line.[4]

On May 6, 2009, ESPN reported that Mudd had filed his retirement papers due to a change in the NFL's pension program.[5] On May 20, 2009, Mudd returned to the team as the senior offensive line coach. Mudd planned to retire for good following the Colts' game against the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV.[6]

In May 2010, Mudd and New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer were together for a coaching clinic in Cincinnati, at which time Kromer approached Mudd about serving as a temporary consultant with the Saints. Mudd first advised the Saints during the 2010 offseason, then returned for the opening of training camp. In reference to his association with the Saints, Mudd said "He (Kromer) asked me to come down and spend a little time, and I said, 'OK'. I'll only be here a couple of days. That's it."[7]

Mudd was named the offensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles after being talked out of retirement on February 2, 2011.[8] In Mudd's first season with the Eagles, they allowed 17 fewer sacks than they had the previous season, and helped LeSean McCoy lead the NFL in total touchdowns.[9] Mudd retired at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

On February 7, 2019, the Colts hired Mudd as a senior offensive assistant,[10] however Mudd stepped down from the position on September 6, 2019.[11]

Death

Mudd died on August 12, 2020 at the age of 78, of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident two weeks prior. Colts' owner Jim Irsay tweeted: "Rest in peace, Howard Mudd. Howard was a GREAT player during a shortened career and then became one of the game's all-time greatest offensive line coaches. He contributed to many different teams over 47 years in our league---but he will always be a Colt."[12]

References

  1. ^ The Rainbow, vol. 132, no. 4, p. 26
  2. ^ "Eagles Media Guide". Archived from the original on March 27, 2013.
  3. ^ King, Peter. "Chicago Takes Charge". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  4. ^ "Longtime Colts offensive line coach to retire". ESPN.com. May 6, 2009. Retrieved Aug 13, 2020.
  5. ^ "NFL pension changes for coaches wreak havoc". ESPN.com. May 6, 2009. Retrieved Aug 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Grossi, Tony (February 4, 2010). "Title game a 'cool' finale for Colts assistant Howard Mudd: Super Bowl Insider". cleveland.com. Retrieved Aug 13, 2020.
  7. ^ Varney, James (August 5, 2010). "Legendary o-line coach Howard Mudd even more impressed with New Orleans Saints now than when they won Super Bowl XLIV". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  8. ^ McLane, Jeff (May 3, 2011). "New Eagles offensive line coach Howard Mudd has his own approach to teaching blocking". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  9. ^ "Philadelphia Eagles bring back Midland native Howard Mudd as assistant coach in 2012". mlive.com. January 2, 2012. Retrieved Aug 13, 2020.
  10. ^ "Colts Bring Back Howard Mudd To Staff; Klayton Adams Named Assistant Offensive Line Coach". colts.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  11. ^ Gantt, Darin (September 6, 2019). "Longtime assistant Howard Mudd steps down from Colts job". Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  12. ^ "Legendary Colts offensive line coach Howard Mudd dead at 78". Indianapolis Star. August 12, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.