Chudzinski will serve as a special assistant to Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano, the team announced Saturday. The Browns fired Chudzinski Dec. 29 after he went 4-12 in his lone season on the job. They replaced him with former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine on Jan. 23.
Chudzinski and Pagano spent eight seasons together in the collegiate and NFL ranks. Pagano was a graduate assistant at the University of Miami while Chudzinski was a freshman tight end for the Hurricanes in 1986. The two then coached at Miami from 1995-2000 and spent the 2004 season together with the Browns. At the time, Chudzinski was the Browns’ tight ends coach and became their offensive coordinator for the final five games while Pagano guided the secondary.
“Rob and I have a long professional relationship and his resume speaks for itself,” Pagano said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and will be a tremendous help to our entire team moving forward. Needless to say, we’re excited to have Chud joining our family.”
Chudzinski, 45, had three years left on his contract with the Browns when they let him go. ESPN reported the organization owes him $10.5 million, some of which could be offset by his salary with the Colts.
In Indianapolis, Chudzinski will also reunite with running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Browns traded Richardson to the Colts in September for a first-round selection in May’s draft, which ended up being No. 26 overall. Richardson had 157 carries for just 458 yards (2.9 average) and three touchdowns in 14 games with the Colts last season.
Chudzinski and Richardson will return to Cleveland in 2014 because the Browns are slated to host the Colts next season. The date will be revealed when the schedules are released in the spring.
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