If Howard Mudd wasn't such an excellent offensive line coach for the Colts, I think he could have a good career in the movie business. Remember that dumb Fantastic Four film that came out a few years ago with Jessica Alba? Remember how it stunk to high heaven. If they ever remake the film again (and actually make it good this time), I think Mudd has an excellent chance of nailing the part of Ben Grimm, aka The Thing.
I think the resemblance is striking.
As a football fan, you have to love Mudd. He is a no nonsense guy that drills his linemen in technique, technique, technique. The guys he coaches love him. They love his tough love, his praise, and they very much want to make him proud. Mudd takes 5th and 6th round draftees, rookie cast-offs, and discarded free agents and turns them into high quality offensive linemen.
Take Jeff Saturday.
Jeff Saturday was an undrafted rookie in 1999 just hoping to make the practice squad. By 2000, he was the starting center. Last year, he went to his first Pro Bowl, and he's considered one of the best centers in the AFC. Players that thrived in Indy have gone on to do next to NOTHING with other franchises: Rick DeMulling, Steve Sciullo, Steve McKinney, Tupe Peko, and Adam Meadows have all struggled to play at the same level they played at in Indy. The reason?
Now, even The Thing has a few flaws in his armor. The performance by the o-line in the playoff game against Pittsburgh was dreadful. Every dork pundit and idiot talking head bashed Manning for stating the obvious: the pass protection in that game sucked ass. Morons like Terry Bradshaw questioned Manning's leadership and said he threw his o-linemen under the bus. A funny statement from a guy who is routinely booed in the city that he won 4 Super bowls for.
The funny thing is, the o-linemen themselves have never thought Manning hung them out to dry. They played horrible in that game. They know it. They admitted it. They agreed with Manning. Even their position coach agreed.
"We busted plays. We got confused," Mudd said. "We sort of, kind of knew what we were doing, then we didn't. It was just horrible."
Mudd has stated he wants to resolve the issue. It should be interested to see how he does it. I am not a fan of Jake Scott and Ryan Lilja at the guards. They were consistently bad in that Pittsburgh game. Yet, they are still considered the starters. Mudd has his work cut out for him. As a Colts fan though, you have to love Mudd's attitude:
Take your best shot, replied Mudd. And that includes the Steelers, should they meet again this postseason.
"I'm very respectful of the Pittsburgh Steelers," Mudd said. "They won. They are the champions and I respect them. But the Pittsburgh Steelers did not beat the Colts. The Colts beat the Colts.
"Let's go play again. Right now."
Images: Colts.com and Marvel Comics.