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Thread: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

  1. #1
    Member indyblue47's Avatar
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    Default Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4143964

    Coach to retire after pension change
    ESPN.com

    The only assistant coaching tandem that Peyton Manning has ever known in the NFL is on the verge of a break-up because of a recent change in the league's pension program for non-playing personnel.



    Offensive line coach Howard Mudd has informed the Colts he is planning to retire immediately because of the pension-plan changes, according to team and league sources.

    "It's a dilemma we're trying to work through," said Bill Polian, the team's president and general manager. "I don't think Howard has turned in his [retirement] papers yet but it's a difficult situation and a very personal choice for Howard."



    Mudd has served as the Colts line coach for 12 years with Tom Moore as offensive coordinator under two head coaches, Jim Mora and Tony Dungy, who retired in January. Manning has been the quarterback for 11 of those 12 years, having been drafted a year after they arrived in Indianapolis, and has credited the Moore/Mudd pairing as vital to both the team's success and his own elite status.



    The Colts have allowed the fewest sacks during Mudd's 12 seasons, with just 218 sacks allowed in 182 games, including just 14 in 585 pass attempts in 2008.



    Mudd could not be reached for comment, but sources indicated it is almost a certainty that he is stepping down and that assistant line coach Pete Metzelaars will assume his duties.



    During the league's meetings in March, owners passed a resolution to revise its pension program for non-players.



    Mudd, 67, believes he has to take his entire lump-sum pension payment now because if he does not exercise that right at 65 under the revised plan, he will be allowed only to accept annuity payments upon retirement that will be reduced to 50 percent value for his immediate survivors if he dies, according to sources.



    Mudd has already maximized his pension because he has surpassed the formula that requires a coach's age and league tenure to equal 75. He has been an NFL assistant for 36 consecutive seasons.



    Many assistant coaches are upset with the recent pension revisions and have complained the new program not only reduces their retirement income but also lacks clarity.



    There are other long-tenured coaches older than 65 in the NFL who face the same dilemma, including the 70-year-old Moore, who was also unavailable for comment.



    A league source said there were several factors that motivated owners to change the pension program, including a loophole that enabled a tenured assistant coach who hit the 75 formula to retire and take a lump sum only to return to a team as a high-paid consultant.



    Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst.

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    I'd have doubts about next season if they are without Dungy, Mudd and Moore.

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    Member jeffg-body's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    It's a sad day for the Colts when a penny pinching decision drives a great coach like Mudd into retirement because he wants the best for his family.

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4147407

    Colts coaches among those retiring

    Confusion and mistrust over changes in the league's pension program is wreaking havoc with some NFL teams' coaching staffs, including the pending retirement of Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore and offensive line coach Howard Mudd, according to Larry Kennan, executive director of the NFL Coaches Association.

    Kennan confirmed that Mudd has "already filed his retirement papers" and added that he believes Moore is "just about there."

    "What a travesty it would be that two of the most successful coaches in the history of this league feel compelled to retire because of the owners' greed and the state of confusion by recent changes in the pension plan," said Kennan. "And let me tell you something: They don't want to bail on the Colts but they just may feel like they have no other choice."

    Mudd has coached 35 consecutive seasons in the NFL and Moore has been an assistant for 32 years. Both are considered among the finest assistant coaches in league history and their 12-year Indianapolis union as offensive coordinator and line coach has been considered a major factor to the success of the Colts and quarterback Peyton Manning.

    NFL owners passed a resolution at the league meetings that allowed the 32 teams to opt out of a uniformed pension plan, which has been a generous incentive for coaches to remain at the pro level. Many teams have yet to decide on their specific plans for non-playing employees but Kennan painted a picture of betrayal.

    "Howard was already researching the strategy of when to take a lump sum payment when the owners pulled this fast one," said Kennan. "Let me tell you something: The owners did this at the league meetings and they never informed me of anything. They didn't notify the [coaches] within their own organizations, with the exception of two classy organizations -- the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens -- that there were changes coming. No advance warning and no information after the fact.

    "So you take a guy like Howard Mudd, who is pretty diligent about everything, and he was already concerned about losing some money because the market index was going to change in July. Then you throw this at someone like that -- and he finds out that several teams have not fully funded their pension plans at an 80 percent level, the mark they need to hit for any employee to take a full lump sum payment. ...Well, Howard Mudd's not waiting around to see what happens with all these signals. And he's a guy that a lot of other coaches respect -- especially Tom Moore -- so they could follow his lead."

    Kennan said he was only authorized to speak for Mudd and not Moore, who was unavailable for comment.

    Colts president and GM Bill Polian released a statement through the team Wednesday, saying, "We have the highest personal affection and professional regard for Howard and it would be inappropriate for us to speculate at this time about any decisions he might eventually reach."

    If the Colts lost Moore and Mudd, it is believed current assistants Clyde Christensen (assistant head coach, receivers) and Pete Metzelaars (assistant offensive line coach), would become prime candidates to replace them.

    League owners have privately said the dramatic changes in the economic market was more than doubling the amount of contributions -- one owner suggested the league-wide contribution projected a hike from $40 million to $90 million -- that teams were required to make under the former uniformed plan. Consequently, owners passed the resolution in March that empowered teams to independently established their own pension plans.

    Mudd would like to remain as a "consultant" with the Colts but that is also one of the loopholes that owners wanted to close, sources said, citing the example of another renown line coach, Alex Gibbs, who met the league formula for cashing out fully on his pension, only to be hired back as a $800,000 to $1 million consultant.

    The coaches do have an associatio n but have failed to organize as a union, despite advice from Kennan and former NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw, who died suddenly last year, to form a union. Kennan said that the new NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith is determined to "protect the coaches" going forward.

    Kennan, as the leader of the Coaches Association, works out of the NFLPA offices. Upshaw enabled the coaches to use NFLPA counsel in various grievance hearings.

    But Smith, as the newly-elected NFLPA leader, has overwhelming and urgent issues with the current collective bargaining agreement that will expire after the 2010 season. Older coaches may be under the gun to make career decisions than can impact teams, like the Colts while younger coaches may look at their own alternatives down the road.

    "Over the course of time, I think you'll see the NFL lose some quality coaches, especially quality young coaches, because of this pension issue," Kennan said. "Look at how well colleges are paying coaches now; one of the factors that weighed in NFL favor for these coaches was the league pension plan. Now? That could change."

    One owner countered that teams that want to remain attractive to coaches will have to seriously consider the impact of a diminished pension plan when competing for their services. Some teams will value coaches more than others, this owner conceded.

    Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN.

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    The changes are coming fast and furious. Could this be the start of the next Indy sports transition, with the Pacers and IU basketball on the way up, and the Colts on the way down?

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    The changes are coming fast and furious. Could this be the start of the next Indy sports transition, with the Pacers and IU basketball on the way up, and the Colts on the way down?
    No.


    That said, ****.

    Thankfully, Metzelaars has been around for 6 years. I'm not worried about Moore leaving. Clyde and Peyton can handle it. I'm more worried about the o-line. Hopefully Pete's been trained well.

    And of course, it's possible that Moore/Mudd could be brought as consultants.
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    When Cremmel and Weis left NE everyone was expecting them to fall off the map. But that was not true. If Bellicheat were to leave, do you expect the same outcome?

    Next year is going to be a transition year.

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    Offensive line coaches in the NFL are mostly replaceable. Howard deserves much love and respect for what he has acheived as coach. He's a great coach ,but that doesn't install fear into me at all.

    I still blame him for the pop dual scheme disaster during the 2005 playoff loss to the Steelers. That and Nick Harper for faliing to outrun Big Ben.

    Besides, teams have really figured us out, and we need the change. Even Moore has become an inspiring gimmick. I mean that with an incredible amount of respect. We could use a little mixing up while our stars are still young. Manning mostly.

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    Member Moses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    The NFL made a big mistake by allowing teams to get off of the formerly required pension plan for assistant coaches..a big overreaction to the current economic state.

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    Well Moore is gone now...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    I'm less worried about Moore than Mudd, honestly.
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    Quote Originally Posted by Suaveness View Post
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    I'm less worried about Moore than Mudd, honestly.
    I'm worried about losing Dungy, Moore and Mudd...

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    My god, we've lost:

    Our head coach, o line coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, special teams coach, and HOF wide receiver.

    I'm not necessarily upset about a couple of those, but it's unbelievable to have that much change in one off season. Thank god we didn't lose Saturday.

    I'm with Suaveness, the Mudd one probably concerns me the most. But I'm excited about getting new blood in here and am looking forward to the next era of Colt football. We'll have a healthy, training camp prepared Manning this season and as long as we have him behind center I will be confident in our chances. I feel 12-13 wins this year.

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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    Its going to be a new Colts team this year folks....wow
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    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    Mudd gone hurts the Offensive Line has several young players and could have used his knowledge. The fact is these two men were forced to retire from coaching by the NFL and that stinks.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    Here's an update:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4193713

    The Colts apparently will benefit from the influence of longtime assistants Tom Moore and Howard Mudd this season, after all. However, this time they will fill roles as consultants, rather than coaches.

    Colts owner Jim Irsay said at the NFL's spring owner meetings Wednesday that he planned to bring Moore and Mudd back in consultant roles.

    "We don't have any signed agreements, but I do believe all parties feel Tom and Howard would play significant roles for us moving forward and they would be consultants,'' Irsay said in a telephone interview with the Indianapolis Star. "They not only would be a major part of what we're trying to do in '09, but they'd continue to mentor and tutor some of the other coaches.''

    Moore, who had been the team's offensive coordinator, and Mudd, who was the team's offensive line coach, retired last week to avoid losing pension benefits under the NFL's revised plan.

    It is unclear when the two former coaches could return to the Colts.

    The team would like the two coaches to return as paid consultants by Aug. 1. However, Larry Kennan, executive director of the NFL Coaches Association, said that Moore and Mudd would have to sit out six months from the time they file retirement papers. That would mean the earliest they could be back would be November.

    It is possible however, that Moore and Mudd could return before November in an unpaid consultants role until they are able to be added to the team's payroll. However, the Colts believe that the two former assistants can return as paid consultants by Aug. 1, the Star reported.

    "The goal's going to be to get these guys back in training camp and get them ready for the year and have them play a serious role," Irsay told the newspaper.

    The Colts turned the play-calling duties over to Clyde Christensen, the assistant head coach, and promoted Pete Metzelaars to offensive line coach.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Coach Howard Mudd to retire after pension change

    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

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