First, a year ago, the Eagles brought in Bobby April to run the special teams. Then, a few weeks ago, Andy Reid and co. imported Jim Washburn to take over the defensive line. Now, after Juan Castillo's promotion to defensive coordinator, the Eagles have once again brought onto their staff perhaps the most respected coach in his respective specialty. Howard Mudd, long revered as one of the best offensive line coaches in the league, is the Eagles new offensive line coach.
Mudd retired following last season's Super Bowl after serving as the offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts for 12 years, the longest tenure of any assistant coach at the time. Mudd's year off in 2010 was his first in 37 years after he began his coaching career with the San Diego Chargers in 1974. During Mudd's tenure in Indianapolis, the Colts allowed a league-low 227 sacks - second place (Tennessee Titans) was 337.
"He definitely brings some flavor .. and he's a special guy, though very talented," said Colts offensive lineman Ryan Diem last year. "Very smart and has clearly got the experience to probably be the best offensive line coach this league has seen."
"He demands excellence and efficiency on the offensive line," said Colts Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday. "There is no give in him and I have a lot of respect for that."
In his illustrious career on the sidelines, Mudd has coached for, in addition to the Colts and Chargers, the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks, the Cleveland Browns, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was also a decorated player in his time, making three consecutive Pro Bowls from 1966-1968 before retiring with a knee injury in 1971.
Mudd inherits an offensive line that sports a Pro Bowl left tackle in Jason Peters and a Pro Bowl alternate left guard in Todd Herremans. At center, Mike McGlynn earned valuable experience as the starter in 2010 and longtime stalwart Jamaal Jackson is on his way back from an early-season tricep tear. At right tackle, the Eagles have Winston Justice and a valuable swing tackle in King Dunlap. Max Jean-Gilles and Nick Cole, the two players who held down the right guard position in 2010, are both scheduled to be free agents.
It will be a reunion of sorts for Mudd and Washburn, who, as profiled by NFL films, are long-time friends.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 4:15 p.m., February 2