Rob Chudzinski, believed to be the top target to run the 49ers’ offense in 2015, isn’t going anywhere.
The Colts today announced they had promoted Chudzinski to the title of associate head coach, a move that likely came with a substantial boost in salary. Chudzinski had the nebulous title of special assistant to head coach Chuck Pagano with Indianapolis in 2014. His contract expired on Monday.
Chudzinski’s internal promotion comes three days after another candidate for the 49ers’ offensive coordinator position, Lane Kiffin, decided to remain at Alabama. National reports had Kiffin as “a frontrunner” for the job.
Both he and Chudzinski are represented by Jimmy Sexton. Sexton also represents Adam Gase, who appeared to be the frontrunner for the 49ers’ head-coaching job but who ended up as Chicago’s offensive coordinator.
This is the second time Chudzinski has declined a chance to run the 49ers’ offense. He was an early candidate in 2009 when Mike Singletary was the head coach. Singletary had trouble finding viable candidates and ultimately settled for Jimmy Raye, who was fired a few games into the 2010 season. Both the 49ers and Rams -- the only two teams with openings at offensive coordinator -- were interested in Chudzinski.
Chudzinski, 46, coached under offensive minds like Norv Turner and Cam Cameron, men whose philosophy of tough running and down-field passing appear to match what the 49ers want to accomplish in 2015. He also is a former tight end who has a history of getting production from the position. Indeed, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis went to Instagram Monday to pitch for Chudzinski.
The Colts had blocked all interview requests for Chudzinski with general manager Ryan Grigson saying it was his “job to make sure that good people stay in this building and don’t just walk right now.”
The 49ers have conducted their search in the dark and have yet to announce any hires. It’s unknown who their next targets are, although they have spoken extensively with Mike Shanahan and have hired his former offensive line coach, Chris Foerster. Geep Chryst, who spent the last four years as the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach, is another option.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.