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INDIANAPOLISThe arrival of Howard Mudd this offseason means that Nelson has some new homework.


Mudd sees the atypical athletic attributes that Nelson has, but he also sees room for growth in the All-Pro.


“He’s learning this year to be an athlete before contact,” Mudd said of Nelson earlier this offseason. “That’s what we’re charging him with. Think about yourself as an athlete first. All that strength and power and aggressiveness, that stuff, which is great, will come if you’re in the right position and you’ve got the man leveraged, your hands are in the right place and you start moving your feet.


“It’s over for them because you’ve got so much talent.”


Back in the spring, Nelson mentioned the fine-tuning in technique that he was keying on going into Year Two.


“I think everyone can get better at their technique just every day with the consistency of it, like all the fine details of offensive line play,” Nelson said in April. “For me, it would be getting my hands inside, keeping my elbows in (in) the run game and the pass game. Really trusting and believing in my technique.”


That emphasis came from the arrival of Mudd, and new offensive line coach Chris Strausser.


“They really harp on the fundamentals and do a great job teaching,” Nelson said of the new line leaders. “They are very detail oriented with what they’re teaching. I feel like I have already seen results in myself and my teammates too. 


“So it has been awesome being coached by them and they’re doing a great job.”


While Mudd is widely regarded as a Hall Fame caliber assistant coach, a guy as young as Nelson has no recollection of the coach’s playing career.


Mudd’s offensive line resume as a player earned him a spot on the NFL’s All-Decades team for the 1960s.


Frank Reich thinks that the all-encompassing level of respect for Mudd as a player, and as a coach, will only have Nelson even more attentive.


“I haven’t talked to Quenton about this, but here’s my general take,” Frank Reich says, “Quenton, because of the kind of player he is and the kind of year that he had, you just look at Howard and he can have the highest level of respect and understanding of everything that Howard has accomplished, as a player. I think Quenton really respects what Howard has done as a player. My guess is Quenton knows a little bit about what Howard did as a player, all-decades (team). That’s a big deal to a player like Quenton. And then everything he’s done as a coach.


“I just think he can be that secondary experienced voice that Quenton can talk to every now and then and help him get better.”