Howard Mudd, a former NFL All-Pro and legendary offensive line coach, has died. He was 78 years old.
Earlier this month, Mudd was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in the Seattle area. According to FOX 59 in Indianapolis, Mudd suffered a fractured pelvis and spine in the crash. He was placed in intensive care in a Seattle hospital.
Per Zak Keefer, who covers the Indianapolis Colts for The Athletic, Mudd has passed away. It is devastating news within the NFL community, where Mudd was a coach continuously from 1974-2009, and again in shorter stints over the last decade. He is best known for his work with the Colts, where he was offensive line coach from 1998-09, and again as a senior analyst briefly in 2019.
“Rest in peace, Howard Mudd,” Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on Twitter after Keefer’s report. “Howard was a GREAT player during a shortened career and then became one of the game’s all-time greatest offensive line coaches. He contributed to many different teams over 47 years in our league—but he will always be a Colt. #LoveYouHoward”
Awful news to share: Howard Mudd, the longtime Colts assistant and one of the greatest offensive line coaches in NFL history, has passed away, per a member of his family. Mudd suffered a motorcycle accident two weeks ago and had been in an ICU in Seattle ever since.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 12, 2020
Howard Mudd, a college standout at Michigan State and Hillsdale College, was a ninth round pick in the 1964 NFL Draft. He went on to be a two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler for the San Francisco 49ers, before ending his career with the Chicago Bears.
After a stint coaching college ball at Cal, Mudd served on staff with the San Diego Chargers (1974-76), 49ers (1977) Seattle Seahawks (1978-82, 1993-97), Cleveland Browns (1983-88), Kansas City Chiefs (1989-92), Colts (1998-09, 2019), and Philadelphia Eagles (2011-12). Even in that last stop as an offensive line coach, with Philadelphia, he made a huge impact on some of the guys who would go on to be cornerstones of a Super Bowl championship squad.
Howard Mudd wasn’t with the #Eagles for long — 2 seasons. But he helped take Jason Peters to another level, stood on the table for Jason Kelce, and was instrumental in Evan Mathis becoming one of the best guards in the NFL. He also had influence in the Danny Watkins pick. https://t.co/Am5Utay6aT
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) August 12, 2020
Offensive line coaches, like the players themselves, often go unheralded, but the most consistent franchises in football tend to have elite coaches and teachers at the position. Mudd was certainly one of those.
Our thoughts go out to Howard Mudd’s family and loved ones, and everyone impacted by his passing.