San Francisco 49ers

I heart Chud: 49ers’ Vernon Davis has a favorite for offensive coordinator

Rob Chudzinski’s work with tight ends had captured the attention of the 49ers’ Vernon Davis
Rob Chudzinski’s work with tight ends had captured the attention of the 49ers’ Vernon Davis AP

All Vernon Davis wants for Christmas, the 49ers tight end wrote on his Instagram account today, is to meet Colts assistant coach Rob Chudzinski.

It's not difficult to understand why. Davis just went through the worst season of his career. He scored two touchdowns in Week 1. After that? Crickets.

He finished the year with 245 receiving yards. That was worse than his rookie season (265 yards) when he missed 6 ½ games with a broken leg and worse than his 2008 season (358 yards) during which Mike Martz made him into a de factor third offensive tackle.

Enter Chudzinski, 46, who is a former tight ends coach whose teams typically get excellent production from their tight ends. To wit:

2005

Chargers TE coach

Antonio Gates: 89 catches, 1,101 yards, 10 TDs

2006

Chargers TE coach

Gates: 71 catches, 924 yards, nine TDs

2007

Browns offensive coordinator

Kellen Winslow: 82 catches, 1,106 yards, 5 Tds

2008

Browns offensive coordinator

Winslow: 43 catches, 428 yards, 3 TDs (10 games).

2009

Chargers TE coach

Gates: 79 catches, 1,157 yards , 8 TDs

2010

Chargers coach

Gates: 50 catches, 782 yards, 10 TDs (10 games)

2011

Panthers offensive coordinator

Greg Olsen: 45 catches, 540 yards, 5 TDs

Jeremy Shockey: 37, 455 yards, 4 TDs

2012

Panthers offensive coordinator

Olsen: 69 catches, 843 yards, 5TDs

2013

Brown head coach

Jordan Cameron: 80 catches, 917 yards, 7 TDs

2014

Colts special assistant

Coby Fleener: 51 catches, 774 yards, 8 TDs

Dwayne Allen: 29 catches, 395 yards, 8 TDs

Davis' best season from a statistical standpoint came in 2009 when he caught 78 passes for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns. Though Davis' salary far outstripped his production in 2014, the 49ers appear resigned to hold onto him in 2015, and he likely would be intriguing for someone like Chudzinski, whom the 49ers want to run their offense. The Colts have blocked all interview requests to this point, but Chudzinski’s contract reportedly expires today.

Chudzinski also has drawn interest from the Rams, and the Colts would like to retain him as well. Indianapolis, however, already has an offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton, and there likely would have to be some reshuffling in Indianapolis to get Chudzinski to stay. The Rams, meanwhile, will have a second interview with Nathaniel Hackett for their offensive coordinator spot.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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