Red Zone

Former Chiefs assistant coach Howard Mudd honored by pro football writers

Howard Mudd

Howard Mudd, who coached the Chiefs’ offensive line during 1989-92, was one of four longtime NFL assistant coaches who will comprise the inaugural class of winners of the Dr. Z award, presented by the Pro Football Writers Association.

Mudd, Ernie Zampese and the late Jim Johnson and the late Fritz Shurmur received the award for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL. The award is named for Paul Zimmerman, who covered the NFL for 29 years as Sports Illustrated’s lead pro football writer.

Mudd was part of the staff that accompanied Schottenheimer from Cleveland to Kansas City in 1989. He helped develop players such as center Tim Grunhard, guard Dave Szott and tackle John Alt into longtime starters and key contributors to the franchise’s turnaround.

The Chiefs went 8-7-1, 11-5, 10-6 and 10-6 in those four years and went 1-3 in the playoffs.

Mudd, a three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman with San Francisco 49ers, was offensive line coach at San Diego (1974-76), San Francisco (1977), Seattle (1978-82; 1993-97), Cleveland (1983-88), and Kansas City (1989-92) before moving onto Indianapolis, where he spent 12 seasons with the Colts, where his offensive line protected Peyton Manning. Mudd was part of the Colts Super Bowl XLI and XLIV staffs.

Johnson, a longtime NFL defensive line coach, served as Reid’s defensive coordinator at Philadelphia during 1999 until his death in 2009. Johnson, a member of the Eagles’ Super Bowl XXXIX staff, was noted for bringing pressure and disguising blitzes as a defensive coordinator.

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to Follow him at