According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Indianapolis Colts have denied the St. Louis Rams permission to interview their special assistant to Chuck Pagano in Rob Chudzinski for the Rams offensive coordinator vacancy.
Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski reacts on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Rams recently requested to interview the Colts’ Rob Chudzinski, as well as the Green Bay Packers’ quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt for their open offensive coordinator position, but were denied in both instances. It looks as though Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher will have to go back to the drawing board.
For Chudzinski, it was the 3rd offensive coordinator request he’s received in the past two weeks, as the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, and Chicago Bears have all formally requested the Indianapolis Colts permission for an offensive coordinator interview. However, at this time, it’s unclear whether the 49ers and Bears were also denied permission.
The Colts denial of the Rams does strongly indicate though that the front office is serious about keeping the former Cleveland Browns’ head coach around and doesn’t want to lose him from their coaching staff. While it’s uncertain what direct impact Chudzinski had on this year’s Colts team, he’s been highly regarded in league circles as maximizing the production of his tight ends in the receiving game:
"“Among his strengths, Chudzinksi is known for being somewhat of a tight end guru. Having played collegiately as a tight end while at the University of Miami and later serving as a tight ends coach, he’s well versed in the nuances of the position. Several NFL tight ends have enjoyed some of their best years under Chudzinksi’s tutelage, including Antonio Gates, Kellen Winslow Jr., Greg Olsen, and Jordan Cameron.”"
The proof was in the Colts’ tight end production this season, as both Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener had 8 touchdowns each, the 1st tight end duo in NFL history to accomplish such a feat (per the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer):
The former also had 29 receptions for 395 receiving yards, while the latter added 51 receptions for 774 receiving yards. As such, Chudzinski’s track record for coaching tight ends speaks for itself, as some of his proteges have had some of their best years under his coaching and guidance: