I'm a day late with this, but SB Nation doesn't pay me enough to stop my pre-Valentine's Day plans just to write up some thoughts on new Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton's introductory press conference on Wednesday.
Damnit! I've got chocolate, flowers, and over-priced Hallmark cards to buy!
Actually, the real reason I am getting around to this today is because it took all day to put this together, and when I was done my eyes had melted. Hamilton was introduced to the media Wednesday after roughly 2.5 weeks on the job as the replacement for Bruce Arians, the man who won the 2012 NFL Coach of the Year award for his work as both OC and interim head coach with the Colts. Hamilton and Arians both have rich backgrounds as coordinators, with Arians being a longer in the tooth (60 compared to Hamilton, who is 38).
By the way, this is that odd moment where my team's OC is only two years older than I am. Jesus, someone pass the Jack Daniels.
Anyway, here are my observations and other golden nuggets of wisdom from the Hamilton presser:
- Hamilton discussed how the offense would be a "sum of its parts." He emphasized the importance of creating mismatches and instilling "paranoia in the defense."
- He hinted at multiple formations and personnel packages.
- He referenced the power running game seven times.
- He said the Colts would use more read-option plays, including read-option from the pistol formation.
- He said the Colts would run plays from the "Wildcat" formation.
- Hamilton made a point to emphasize that the Colts will not move away from pushing the ball down the field with big plays in the passing game. He talked about how he had once worked with Norv Turner, whose "digit offense" is about playaction, pushing the ball down the field.
- Hamilton talked up Donnie Avery, which suggests to me that Avery will be re-signed. He's an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
- "I'm a big fan of versatile tight ends," Hamilton said. (zing!)
- You can tell Hamilton is excited about working with Andrew Luck. He made it a point to state that the NFL is a league of the haves and the have nots. Either you have a franchise QB, or you don't. The Colts do.
Overall, I came away impressed with Hamilton as a speaker, and I am excited to see what he plans to do with the personnel in 2013. I like how he stressed that this offense wasn't going to necessarily junk everything that was done in 2012, but I also think it was telling that he stressed some pretty significant changes.
Obviously, the pistol formation-read option-Wildcat stuff is concerning. That sh*t is for quarterbacks who cannot scan defenses and make plays from the pocket. However, I am wiling to give Hamilton the benefit of the doubt. I just hope, for his sake, that Luck doesn't get his knee blown out ala Robert Griffin III did running a similar offense last year in Washington. Hamilton would need a security escort to get out of Lucas Oil Stadium if that kind of thing happened at a home game.
It's worth noting that much of Hamilton's background as an assistant coach is working within the West Coast Offense. That's what they ran at Stanford, and that's what the New York Jets ran in 2004 when Hamilton was an assistant there.
All in all, it's an exciting time, and Hamilton sounds like he going to bring some unique ideas to the table.