INDIANAPOLIS-- Colts coach Chuck Pagano was more than happy to add former Browns coach Rob Chudzinski after the Browns fired him after one season.
“We’ve had a long-standing personal and professional relationship,” Pagano said. “It goes all the way back to 1986. I was a graduate assistant. It was my third year of coaching at the University of Miami. I was a grad assist for Jimmy Johnson on that staff. Rob was a freshman tight end. It just so happened Alfredo Roberts, our tight ends coach, was a tight end on that same team. He’s a much different guy today than he was then.
“Anyway, I’ve known Chud for a long, long time. It’s a great opportunity, a great hire for us. Chud is going to be a great resource,” he continued. “His special title is special assistant to the head coach. He’ll be heavily involved with a lot of the things I do on a daily basis. He’ll be a great resource for me. He’ll be a great resource for our entire coaching staff,not only our offensive staff, defensive staff, special teams, game day management.
“He’s a brilliant guy, a really bright guy, a very smart guy and a really good football coach,” Pagano said. “He’s well-versed in a lot of different areas. Kind of end speculation on what he’s going to be doing, why is he here. We had an opportunity to add another piece to the puzzle which makes our team better and gets us one step closer to our ultimate goal, and that’s hoisting the Lombardi and participating in Super Bowl 49 in Phoenix.”
Colts Say they like T-Rich Trade: Colts GM Ryan Grigson was asked if he would make the trade to bring RB Trent Richardson to the Colts and give up a first round draft choice in this year’s draft.
He had a one-word answer.
Grigson did admit Richardson has room to improve.
“I think there’s room for improvement, like I could say for anyone,” he said. “There are areas in Trent’s game where he really did show up and help us in key situations.”
Coach Chuck Pagano was positive about Richardson.
“The sky’s the limit for Trent, having a full off-season with us,” he said. “This will be an important off-season for him…We are looking for great things from Trent and Trent looks for great things from himself. Moving forward there are high expectations there.”
Whisenhunt on Browns Rumors: Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt was rumored to have had an argument with former Browns CEO Joe Banner during the coaching search and was asked on the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine what happened.
“Well, I’m honored to be considered to work with the Browns,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for Mr. Haslam and that organization. I’ve played
against them, competed against them a number of years. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity. I can’t speak to anything other than
I’m honored to be considered there and I wish them the best.”
It was reported that Banner told Whisenhunt that he didn’t like the coaching staff he said he was putting together when Whisenhunt asked why the Browns didn’t hire him a year earlier (when they hired Rob Chudzinski).
“He didn’t specifically talk about that with me.”
Whisenhunt decided to take the high road.
“I can’t comment on that because there’s a lot of things that go on as far as, you know, it’s just one of the things that you just don’t want to,
there’s just nothing really to say about it,” he said. “I ended up in Tennessee. I’m happy to be here and excited about my opportunity.”
Steelers Like Trade: On draft day last year, the Browns sent their fourth-round draft pick to the Steelers for a third-round pick in this year’s draft.
Steelers personnel director Kevin Colbert was asked about the trade and thoughts on DB Shamarko Thomas, who they selected with the pick.
“Again, back to the first question, when you’re 8-8 nothing was right,” he said. “We have to go back and look at everything we did. We’ve done that and we’ll continue to do that.
“But at that point we felt that trading our third-round pick this year for a fourth-round pick last year to get a player, Shamarko Thomas, a safety that we
felt was worthy of a third-round pick, we’d do it again today,” he said. “But the result is the 8-8 [season], and we’ll see if Shamarko can help change that. If he does, it was a good deal. If he doesn’t, it wasn’t.”