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In what can only be described as a surreal NFL moment, there was Howard Mudd, former longtime offensive line coach with the Indianapolis Colts, standing next to New Orleans coach Sean Payton during a Saints training camp practice Sunday in Metairie, La.
Former Colts offensive line coach Howard Mudd (right) watches New Orleans Saints practice Sunday. - Bill Haber / Associated Press
"Seems kind of strange, doesn't it?" Mudd said late Sunday in a telephone interview from the Saints' training facility. "But it's true.''
Six months ago, Mudd and Payton were on opposite sidelines in South Florida for Super Bowl XLIV when the Saints handled the Colts 31-17.
Now, bosom buds? Well, not exactly. Temporary colleagues is more like it.
Mudd, 68, retired from coaching following the Super Bowl loss after an NFL career that spanned more than three decades. He served as the Colts' O-line coach since 1998.
Mudd and Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer were together for a coaching clinic in Cincinnati in May, at which time Kromer approached Mudd about serving as a temporary consultant with the Saints.
"He asked me to come down and spend a little time, and I said, 'OK,' " said Mudd, who first advised the Saints during the offseason, then returned for training camp. "I'll only be here a couple of days. That's it."