During a nine-year career from 1969 to 1977, Podolak became the Chiefs' second all-time leading rusher with 4,451 yards and 34 touchdowns on 1,158 carries. He was also known for his work on special teams as a pass receiver and return man, catching 288 passes for 2,456 yards and 6 touchdowns while averaging 8.6 yards per punt and 20.5 yards per kickoff return. His 8,178 career combined yards are the second-most in the team's history. Podolak led the Chiefs in rushing four times, in receiving three times, and in punt returns three times.
On December 25, 1971, in a playoff loss to the Miami Dolphins (still the longest game in NFL history), he had a playoff-record 350 total yards: 85 rushing, 110 receiving, and 155 on returns. Podolak, who wore jersey number 14, was inducted into the Chiefs' Hall of Fame in 1989.
After retirement Podolak turned to broadcasting. He worked as a color commentator for NFL telecasts on NBC in 1978. In 1982, he began working as a commentator for Iowa Hawkeyes football games on WHO radio in Des Moines and a statewide network. He worked with play-by-play announcer Jim Zabel until 1996 and then with Gary Dolphin.