- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts didn't have to search for a coach to add to their staff. All of coach Chuck Pagano’s assistants are expected to be back after offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton pulled his name out of the running for a Vanderbilt job that was going to be offered to him last month.
What Pagano did, though, was add more coaching experience to a team that’s in the position to take another step in an AFC when former Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski was named special assistant Saturday. Chudzinski’s role with the Colts is uncertain right now.
It’s as though the Colts were shopping at the Goodwill store and got a product that should be priced higher, but they managed to get it on the cheap. Chudzinski is still getting paid by the Browns, who fired him in December after a 4-12 season.
Some may look at adding Chudzinski as a way to put pressure on Hamilton, or because he has a brief history with running back Trent Richardson from their time together in Cleveland.
That is partially true.
But in the big picture of things, it’s a matter of Pagano adding somebody he’s familiar with to his staff, and based off what I've heard from others, Chudzinski is like Pagano in the fact that players enjoy playing for him. Richardson was a fan of his in Cleveland and was surprised that the Browns fired him after only one year.
Pagano and Chudzinski were together at the University of Miami from 1995-2000 and again with the Browns in 2004.
As far as Hamilton goes, hiring Chudzinski will help him, especially with Pagano being a defensive coach. What can’t be forgotten is last season was the first time that Hamilton was an offensive coordinator in the NFL. It was an adjustment for Hamilton going from college to the NFL. Chudzinski spent two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers and two seasons with the Browns.
This is a winning situation for the Colts.