At the NFL Combine on Friday, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson talked to the media, and both guys talked about and were asked questions about former Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski and running back Trent Richardson. Here's what they had to say:
Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano
(Part of Opening Statement): "Another acquisition, another guy we’ve brought on board was Rob Chudzinski, former head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Rod and I had a long standing professional and personal relationship. Goes all the way back to 1986. I was a graduate assistant. It was my third year in coaching at the University of Miami as a grad assistant for Jimmy Johnson on that staff. Rob was a freshman tight end. It just so happened Alfred Roberts, our tight ends coach, was a tight end on that same team. He’s a much different guy today than he was then.
I’ve know Chud for a long, long time. It’s a great opportunity. It’s a great hire for us. Chud’s going to be a great resource. His title is special assistant to the head coach. He’ll be heavily involved with a lot of things that I do on a daily basis and be a great resource for me. He’s going to be a great resource for our entire coaching staff, not only our offensive staff, our defensive staff, special teams, game-day management. He’s a brilliant guy. A really bright guy. A really smart guy. A really good football coach and he’s well versed in a lot of different areas.
Kind of end all of the speculation of 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, gets us one step closer to our ultimate goal, and that’s hoisting a Lombardi and hopefully participating in Super Bowl 49 in Phoenix."
Chud’s background is on offense, but his plate’s going to be full all over the place? "We won’t pigeonhole him and say he’s this, that or the other. 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."
(Evaluate Trent Richardson after the trade): "The sky’s the limit, having a full offseason with us. We all know obviously he underwent a minor procedure a couple of weeks ago to clean up a shoulder that he got. Again we think the sky’s the limit for Trent. This will be a very important offseason for him and for everybody on our roster and every facet of our football program. I look for great things from Trent. Trent looks for great things from himself. Moving forward, there’s high expectations there, not only from us but he has for himself."
Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson
(On Rob Chudzinski): "He is the special assistant to the head coach and that’s his title. I’ll say this, first and foremost Chud has a long standing relationship with our head coach that goes a long ways back to college when Chuck was a graduate assistant, Chud was a player. That relationship is about trust. He’s part of our family now. He’s a resource. First and foremost, I’ll say Chud is a resource. 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 pick up."
(On dynamic of having Pep Hamilton and Rob Chudzinski) "You always know that those questions are going to come. But we 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 who was a head coach and he’s basically a free-agent pickup for us at a reduced rate. It’s just good football sense to have a guy like that and to add him. I feel like in every area, we’re trying to get better. Scouting, coaching. So it was a situation where I feel like we’re stronger as a staff to just have him around. He can fill in a lot of cracks for us."
(On thoughts about Trent Richardson): "Overall feeling is he’s a tough, good talented football player that has a broad skillset that’s still learning what we do. We’re still optimistic about his future."
(If you had to redo, would you make the same trade for Trent Richardson?) "Yes."
(On Trent Richardson): "Trent expects what we expect, and that’s greatness. He’s always been at the top of the rung every time he’s played. He knows this is the NFL and it’s a bottom-line business. We’re all on the same page. We all have expectations for Trent and he has expectations for himself. And they’re for him to be great. he has expectations of himself to be great. I think he’s in a great place and we’re in a great place with him. We’re looking forward to having a great offseason with him and all our young players because we have the bar set high, and that’s to the 90th man on the roster.
I think there’s room for improvement like I can say for anyone. But there are areas in Trent’s game where he did show up and help us in key situations. There’s obviously the big magnifying glass on him every week. But we see positives. We watch the tape and we evaluate and look under every nook and cranny and how a guy is progressing. We feel he’s going in the right direction. He had the shoulder (surgery) and he’s going to be fine."