Sunday’s Super Bowl will be Howard Mudd’s Last Game

From St. Louis Globe-Democrat’s Super Bowl Notes

After 12 spectacular seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, and a league-high 36 consecutive seasons as an NFL offensive line coach, Howard Mudd says Super Bowl XLIV will be his final game.

“This is really it, I’m done after this game,” Mudd confirmed Tuesday.

Mudd says he and his wife, Shirley, will move to their home in Washington state. “It’s in the mountains. You can see a mountain out of every window.”

Mudd himself leaves a mountainous legacy as an NFL player and coach.

Under his guidance, the Colts offensive line allowed a league-low 227 sacks in the last 192 games, but his versatility as a mentor also helped produce numerous 1,000-yard rushers, including Dominic Rhodes, whose 1,104 yards in 2001 was the most ever by an undrafted rookie.

Mudd, who will be 68 next Wednesday (Feb. 10), graduated from Hillsdale College (Mich.) and began his NFL career as a guard for the Francisco 49ers (1964-69) and was a three-time Pro Bowl starter (1966-68) and two-time All-NFL selection (1967-68). He was traded to the Chicago Bears in 1969 and retired as a player in 1971, his career cut short by a severe knee injury. He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s.

His coaching career began at University of California in 1972. In 1973 the Bears, with Steve Bartkowski at quarterback and Chuck Muncie at running back, led the nation in total offense featuring an attack that was perfectly balanced in terms of running and passing.

In 1974 Mudd began his NFL coaching career with the San Diego Chargers. He moved to San Francisco 49ers (1977), Seattle Seahawks (1978-82; 1993-97), Cleveland (1983-88) and Kansas City (1989-92).

“I have loved all of it,” Mudd said. “I wouldn’t change a thing. I think we made a difference everywhere we went. Yes it is probably emotional to think this will be my final game. I’m handling it right now. Maybe five minutes from now I’ll walk over there and cry my eyes out. But, really, they’d be tears of joy.”

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