Colts Move Forward on Offense with Brilliant Hire of Pep Hamilton
Ryan Grigson lost no time at all replacing departed offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. According to Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated, the Indianapolis Colts moved swiftly to hire Pep Hamilton from Stanford to be their next coordinator.
Hamilton will reunite with Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener. He was the Stanford offensive coordinator for the past two seasons.
With the franchise in a bit of a perilous situation, Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano acted quickly to fill the position. According to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, Hamilton was interviewing for the head coaching job at Oregon as well on Friday.
Hamilton brings a fantastic mix of brains, creativity and experience to the Colts. Despite being just 38 years old, he has an extensive NFL résumé. He spent three years with the New York Jets as both a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach before coaching quarterbacks in both San Francisco and Chicago.
He's been with the Cardinal for three years, two as offensive coordinator, taking over for David Shaw when he was promoted to head coach after Jim Harbaugh left for the NFL.
There's no question that Hamilton has spent time with some of the best coaches in football. He's worked for Norv Turner (as an OC) in San Francisco, Lovie Smith in Chicago and Harbaugh at Stanford.
After taking over for Shaw in 2011, he helped Luck to a fantastic senior year in which he completed 71.3 percent of his passes for 3,517 yards, with 37 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Luck finished second in Heisman balloting and was picked first overall by the Colts in the draft.
The test for Grigson and company was to find a quality coach who wouldn't set back the development of Luck. Often coordinator changes can be traumatic for a young offense.
Hamilton solves that problem due to Luck's longstanding familiarity with his schemes. Hamilton's base offense was West Coast-oriented with power run concepts, but that won't necessarily limit him in the NFL. While the other young Colts will have to adjust to a new system, Luck and Fleener will be more than ready to go come September.
Instead of taking a step back with the departure of Arians, the Colts can feel confident that they are moving forward offensively with a system that works and that won't hamper the development of their franchise quarterback.
Whoever became the next coordinator for the Colts was sure to be an instant genius. Luck's special skills and unique football mind were going to turn some assistant coach into a star. Hamilton has been handed a fast track to an NFL head coaching job. If he can have success with Luck, he'll be a hot commodity after just a couple of seasons.
While this is a major opportunity for Hamilton, and a hire Luck will surely be on board with, the real winner is Grigson. He continues to make smart hires that accentuate the skill players he's selected.
Arians should end up being Coach of the Year, but the Colts have replaced him with a coach of the future.
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