If I had listed potential pitfalls for the Colts in 2009, I would not have thought to include the NFL pension plans for assistant coaches as one of them.
Unfortunately, it is threatening to throw a major monkey wrench into the season.
Not only is Howard Mudd considering retirement, but the Star (at a boy, guys! I knew you had it in you!) is reporting that Tom Moore might not be back now either.
I don’t want to repeat good work already posted by others, but it’s plain to everyone that losing Moore and Mudd all at once would be a blow to a team that’s been trumpeting its coach continuity for the past several months. Mudd hasn’t always had a lot of high draft picks to work with on the offensive line, but he is beloved by his players and was noticeably absent part of last year, which perhaps not coincidentally was the worst year the Colts’ line has had in many seasons.
The loss of Moore this late in the game puts added stress on Jim Caldwell to find a replacement. Some could argue that the Colts might actually benefit from fresh minds, but personally I prefer to stick with what works. It is naive for any fan to assume that not only can the Colts just lose Dungy without missing a beat, but also absorb the loss of two of their top offensive coaches this late into the game. Pete Metzelaars would likely be the replacement for Mudd, but no one has any idea who would be the Colts O-Coordinator. Bringing in new coaches AFTER the draft and AFTER the rookie mini-camp is not only far from ideal timing, but potentially devastating to the development of the offense.
Again, this is not a situation caused by the Colts or their ownership and management. This is a league-wide issue that is threatening to end the careers of two of the mot respected and longest tenured coaches in the game. The only two words I can think of to describe this are:
Sad and Disgusting.