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Talking Offensive Line With Legendary Coach Howard Mudd

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Howard Mudd has had one of the greatest football careers ever. A member of the NFL's All Decade Team in the 1960's, Mudd became an iconic offensive line coach in a career spanning almost four decades. Mudd's most recent stints in the NFL were with the Colts and the Eagles, where he worked with Jets head coach Todd Bowles.

Howard was the author of a truly excellent book that recently came out, The View From the O-Line. It is available in both hardcover and on eReaders. It gives you an education in X's and O's on the offensive line. It also talks about the sacrifice and camaraderie you see from offensive linemen. It discusses the character and sacrifice of the players up front. Howard tells his story, but the book is also full of testimonials and analysis from great offensive linemen throughout history, including current Jets center Nick Mangold.

I couldn't put the book down when I read it. It took me inside the game and taught me a bunch of things I never knew before.

It was my pleasure to welcome Howard Mudd onto our podcast as a guest. This is a very long edition of the Locked on Jets podcast. Howard covers a tremendous amount of ground talking about his feelings on Bowles, offensive line technique, the scouting Combine, and so much more. I wasn't expecting it to go on for so long, but Howard was so engaging with so much information that I wanted to continue as long as he was willing to talk.

Please give this a listen. You will learn a lot from one of the best coaches the NFL has ever seen. After you listen, buy the book. As great as Howard is here, the ground we cover only scratches the surface of what the book has to say.

Here is a brief excerpt of our chat.

John B: Another thing I found very striking about the book was how open you and the other linemen are about how you teach holding and embrace holding. Maybe it shouldn't have surprised me because anybody who watches football knows, you could call holding on every play as they say. But I was very interested because it seems like there is kind of a right way to hold and a wrong way to hold.

Howard Mudd: Sure, there is I think. And I'm going to tell you the guys who have played for me that I coached in a lot of different places...I think of Seattle, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Seattle again...I told them if you don't grab the guy's shirt, you're not going to be able to succeed as well as you would if you grab the guy's shirt. Now there's a way to do it. And we would hold like crazy. And we very rarely got called for it. I mean rarely. What happens is I think coaches allow offensive linemen to get their hands outside the cylinder of the man, like outside the shoulder pads. Well that looks like bear hugging. Or if you know, there is an insect called an earwig. It has two little pincers on the top. Well if you do that, it becomes real obvious. Then when the guy tries to escape, you see the tug and the pull of the shirt. I'd throw the flag too. Now I'm going to have my hands inside because that's good football to have your hands inside because you get to use the strength in your shoulders and elbows...things like that more efficiently.

Listen to our full discussion below.

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