Grigson on Chudzinski: Pep's our OC

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
3:50
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano cleared the air on the hiring of former Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski while meeting with the media during the scouting combine here Friday.

The Colts named Chudzinski a special assistant to Pagano on Feb. 8.

Was hiring Chudzinski, who has an extensive offensive background, a sign that the Colts lack confidence in current offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton?

Are the Colts slowly nudging Hamilton out? Will Chudzinski take over for Hamilton?

None of that is happening, according to Grigson.

"Pep's our offensive coordinator, period," Grigson said. "You know those questions are going to come. We talked to Pep. Chuck talked to Pep. It comes from a comfort standpoint where Chuck has known Chud and what he's made of forever. Here's a guy that has head coaching on his resume."

So what exactly will Chudzinski's role be with the Colts?

"First and foremost, I'll say Chud is a resource," Grigson said. "His role will continue to evolve. He's a great football mind to bounce things off of. He's going to do evaluations. He's going to help in all three phases; special teams, defense, offense, player evaluation, game day, all those types of things to help our head coach and help our team and help us get better. I think it's a great pickup."

Chudzinski, who has 20 years of coaching experience, spent two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, who set team records for total yards (6,237) and first downs (345) in 2011. He helped Carolina quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton become the first rookie to throw for 4,000 yards.

The second-best thing about getting Chudzinski -- besides his added experience -- is that the Colts are getting him at a cheap price because Cleveland is still paying him after firing him in December.

Chudzinski and Pagano have plenty of history together. The two were part of the University of Miami's coaching staff from 1995-2000 and again with the Browns in 2004.

"We won't pigeonhole him and say he's this, that or the other," Pagano said. "Really bright guy. Good football coach. Got a great background. Well-versed, like I said, in a ton of areas. Again, he's going to be a great resource for everybody in the building."

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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