According to souces "with knowledge of the situation," Pep Hamilton has agreed to become the Indianapolis Colts' next offensive coordinator. Hamilton had been rumored to be interviewing for the University of Oregon head coaching position Friday as well, but is now expected to sign a contract with Indianapolis on Saturday.
Hamilton is currently the "Andrew Luck Director of Offense" at Stanford University, known as offensive coordinator to most fans. The position was renamed after Luck's senior season in 2011 when an anonymous donor requested a formal name change of the title. Speaking of Luck, the Colts' rookie quarterback is excited to reunite with his former coach, and while I had no qualms about Luck picking up a new playbook, the transition will be much easier with Hamilton than it would have been with another guy.
It really was the best hire the Colts could have made at this point, with most of the proven coordinator talent already taking jobs this offseason. Hamilton has NFL experience, interning with the Chiefs, Redskins, and Ravens in the early 2000s. Hamilton went on to coach as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach for the Jets, Bears and 49ers before landing at Stanford in 2010. He's young, only 38, smart, and has links with two starters on offense.
The only thing missing with Hamilton is experience calling plays. David Shaw called most of the plays in Stanford, and Hamilton never called plays in the NFL. That being said, if the offensive design is good, and Luck develops as he should, there may be little use for a playcaller.
Most people seem to expect Hamilton to bring in an offense similar to the one Stanford ran with Luck in 2012, a West Coast passing offense with a heavy emphasis on the power run game. I'm not so sure.
The Stanford offense fit the players they had. Stanford didn't have a ton of weapons through the air, but had a big, tough offensive line that allowed them to pound the ball. The Colts don't have that luxury right now, and it would take quite a lot for them to get to that point. What they do have is young, fast receivers and capable tight ends, with a quarterback who is willing to sling the ball. I would think, and hope, that just because Hamilton inherited the players and scheme (from David Shaw) that he did at Stanford, that doesn't mean he'll try to force the same thing at Indy.
NOTE: Arizona, with new head coach Bruce Arians, is reportedly interested in Colts' offensive line coach Harold Goodwin to become AZ's new offensive coordinator. The Colts very well cood be looking for a new offensive line coach in the near future.
I really like this hire. Hope he brings in some more short passes to mix into the offensive scheme. Felt last year we were always looking to chuck it downfield, and with our O line, that lead to a lot of pressure and hits.
I wonder if this means Clyde Christiansen is out. I can't imagine the guy would want to stick around after getting demoted, then having to fill in for Arians, and then still getting passed over for the OC job (that he had two years ago). Side note, how much do you think that guy hates Curtis Painter?
While i freely admit... what the hell do I know about coaches, this is what concerns me:
Is this guy really the best available hire or is it just being done to keep Luck "comfortable". Besides a head coaching position, I can't imagine a better job in the league than being Andrew Luck's offensive coordinator.
If the Colts truly feel that Hamilton is the best guy for the job, fine. But he better be the cream of the crop, because that is what Luck deserves. He is too good to be made to feel comfortable, he needs to be challenged and coached to be even better.
And the Colts could no question get that coach. I just hope that they did.
@DougEngland To be fair, Arians was the last HC to be hired, and hence, the last to leave an OC position (from either being fired or switching teams). What I like about this hire is that Pep will more than likely give Luck the freedom to control the game from the line of scrimmage. He knows that Luck called his own plays at Stanford and I doubt he'd hold Luck back from his full potential as a QB. Pep doesn't seem to have the kind of ego that would force Luck to run all of the plays that he calls without giving him the flexibility and authority to change the play.
Nate posted a great article on Bleacher Report with more details, along with a few video clips (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1490966-colts-move-forward-on-offense-with-brilliant-hire-of-pep-hamilton). Here's the video of Pep talking about the Stanford offense and working with the QBs:
He seems to be a very quiet, confident type, and also very smart. Definitely a Colt type of man and coach.
I said in the article about Arians leaving that I hoped Grigson had someone off the radar that would be a good hire. He did. This seems to be a great hire. The guy is already comfortable with Luck. He seems a no nonsense coach. As Kyle said, the Colts at this point don't have the personel to run Stanford's offense. However, it seem clear that he will be bringing a west coast style offense that will fit all of the skill personnel well. Also, he'll likely spend several years here with Luck before he would move on. The longer Grigson is here, the more he looks like an incredible hire.
I can't imagine what anyone could have seen watching the Colts' offensive line play this season and said to themselves, "let's promote the guy that coached that." Of course Arians knows the dude a lot better than I do, so what do I know really? That's right, nothing.
Also, I too like the hire of Pep Hamilton. I think the Colts are doing this the smart way and understanding that this franchise will rise or fall with Andrew Luck. Making him as comfortable and effective as possible is our best chance to win and sustain success like we've become accustomed to. I actually would love to see us implement some form the of the West Coast Offense, a system that Luck (and presumably Fleener) is an expert, has excelled in before, and is a proven NFL offensive system (see Green Bay).
Me too. Don't forget the Colt's nemisis also runs a lot of west coast concepts. Before we can run anthing resembling want Stanford had the Colts will need a much better OL.
As you say this, really underlines Luck's importance to the team. Hopefully DougEngland's fears aren't correct and the Colts didn't go for comfort over skill.
Colts need to hire Tim Drevno. He is at sf 49ers now. He coached the O line the entire time Andrew Luck was at Stanford. His o- line always becomes the best.
Sorry to see Arians go, I wish him luc... well, I wish him success. That being said, this should mean that Fleener gets more involved in the offense, Whalen gets a chance to make the team, and protection for Luck is a priority.
Grigson wasn't kidding when he said he had a plan in place in case Arians left. Great pickup and I'm excited to see how the offense improves from here. I would hope he gives as much control to Luck as possible.