Editor's Note: Turns out the video embedded in the Colts.com report we cited was from February 2013, not recently. Our write-up is here. -Brad
During the NFL owners meeting back in March, AZCentral.com's Kent Somers posted this humorous (and revealing) tweet:
Chuck Pagano on if Andrew Luck ran read-option: "..phone would probably ring on the sideline...telling me what time my flight was leaving."— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) March 19, 2013
That "phone" Pagano is referring to is the one going to owner Jim Irsay's office. Irsay has made it known that he is not a fan of subjecting star quarterbacks to the unnecessary hits that come with running a read-option offensive attack at the NFL level.
However, part of the reason Pagano had to answer a question in March about Indianapolis possibly running read-option is because his new offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton, told the media at his introductory presser in February that he will incorporate more read-option plays for Andrew Luck into the Colts playbook in 2013.
Now, for schmucks like me, I took Pagano's humorous response to Somers as the definitive "no" to Hamilton's read-option suggestions. In February, Hamilton said he wanted to run read-option. In March, Pagano effectively told everyone in the media, No, that's not happening.
In fact, Pagano went further and also said that NFL defenses would catch-up to the pistol, read-option this year, comparing it the passing fad that was the "Wildcat." Even the man Hamilton replaced - former Colts O.C. Bruce Arians, now in Arizona - isn't a fan of read-option either. Basically, Pagano used the owners meeting to squash any notion that Indianapolis would use read-option in 2013. Andrew Luck was sacked 40-plus times last season. Keeping his jersey clean is priority No. 1 for Irsay, Pagano, and pretty much everyone else in the Colts organization. Why even consider the possibility of exposing him to additional hits by running read-option?
But, hey, it was OK that Hamilton was touting read-option in his February presser. He'd only been in the job a few days. Maybe he hadn't "gotten the memo" from Irsay that read-option is essentially a four-letter word in the Colts organization. Clearly by now, Hamilton has taken the hint from his bosses that read-option is off the table, right?
Wrong. Hamilton is still talking about using pistol, read-option in 2013.
Here he is talking to Colts.com's Jeffery Gorman this past weekend, during the team's rookie minicamp, about Andrew Luck and how much his talent provides limitless potential for the offense:
"There's nothing we can't do. We can incorporate some pistol concepts, which is kind of a trend, an 'en vogue' thing in the league right now. Everybody's talking about the QB option, the QB read game, the QB pistol, the pistol components that we can run. But, we'll be smart. We'll be judicious in how much we expose Andrew to taking additional hits."
Now, what's interesting about Hamilton's quote is that he just brings the read-option up without any prompt from Gorman. It's not like Hamilton was asked, "Hey, are you going to incorporate pistol formation, read-option into your offense?" This is Hamilton, once again, saying he intends to implement something that Pagano has publicly stated that the Colts will not incorporate within their new offensive system.
Head coach and offensive coordinator: Not on the same page. At least, not publicly.
Yeah, I know it's May. It's been four months since we've seen a Colts football game, and maybe I'm going a little stir-crazy. Maybe the trouble-making blogger in me is just seeing something that really isn't there. I don't know.
Or, maybe Pep Hamilton should shaddup about implementing the pistol, read-option considering both his bosses have publicly stated they aren't fans of it and have no intention of allowing it.