Pep Hamilton is a hot commodity. Stemming from a Bleacher Report article in November, to a very recent report from ProFootballTalk this week, Pep Hamilton has received a lot of attention from NFL franchises. The Raiders are reportedly interested in him, and some sites have linked him to the New York Jets as well. Last season, there was a chance that Pep Hamilton would bolt for Vanderbilt, who needed a head coach. This is what happens when you have a top ranked offense, your assistant coaches garner plenty of attention. Let's say Pep Hamilton were to leave, who could replace him? One thing is for sure; Luck cannot adopt and learn a new offense, so having a West Coast guy is almost a must. Here are the potential candidates if Pep Hamilton were to leave for a head-coaching job, under the basis that the candidates must have a West Coast offense background or have experience in the current Colts offense.
Rob Chudzinski - Special Assistant to the Head Coach | Indianapolis Colts
This is the perhaps the most likely choice and Chud would be the favorite to take over. Chudzinski is very experienced, as he was the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns in 2007, and the Carolina Panthers in 2011 and 2012. On top of that, he was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2013. Chudzinski spent the past season with the Colts as a special assistant to Chuck Pagano. Both spent time together in Miami (NCAA), where Chudzinski was also the offensive coordinator of the Hurricanes and Pagano was the defensive backs coach. Chudzinski has the experience and he understands the current system the Colts use. On top of that, the players know him and it would be an easy transition. This would be the most logical and sensible choice.
Mike Bloomgren - Andrew Luck Director of Offense | Stanford Cardinal
Mike Bloomgren is the "Andrew Luck Director of Offense" (Greatest. Title. Ever), otherwise known as the offensive coordinator, for Stanford. The Colts hired Pep Hamilton straight from Stanford and doing the same thing again is feasible. Bloomgren has done a nice job with the Stanford offense. He doesn't have the same talent that Hamilton had with Luck and that offensive line, but he's managed to get a lot out of that group. He's managed to get a lot out of Kevin Hogan and the team has managed to average approximately 30 points per game over the past two seasons. Bloomgren was the run game/offensive line coach when Luck was running that offense, so coming in and helping those areas would be beneficial. If Pep were to leave, the Colts could take a look at Bloomgren.
Rick Dennison - Quarterbacks Coach | Baltimore Ravens
Rick Dennison is an experienced offensive coordinator with experience in two different successful offenses. Right now, he is the quarterbacks coach of the Baltimore Ravens, and their quarterback Joe Flacco is having the best season of his career. Dennison had 3 good seasons with the Denver Broncos (2006-2008) and then with the Houston Texans from 2010 to 2013. With both teams, he had good rushing offenses and both had successful and efficient offensive lines. Dennison could help out two areas of need for the Colts offense and because of his work with Joe Flacco this season, could be a good guy for Andrew Luck to work with (and improve). If the Colts decide to look for out of house candidates, Dennison would be a good name to look at.
Aaron Kromer - Offensive Coordinator | Chicago Bears (Fired December 29 2014)
Aaron Kromer was just fired from the Bears as the offensive coordinator. Now of course, hiring fired coaches isn't always a great plan, but the Colts did hire a recently fired Greg Manusky in 2012. Kromer has experience in two systems, most recently in Chicago where he utilized a West Coast style offense. Kromer was the interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints in 2012, and also spent time as running backs and offensive line coach during his 5 year tenure in New Orleans. In Chicago, their offense had a big year in 2013, and their horrible offensive line was rejuvenated thanks in large part to Kromer. In 2014, he struggled but that entire team was a mess, so Kromer should not get all the blame. If Pep is gone Kromer should be looked at as an offensive coordinator candidate because of his experience with successful offensive lines and successful running games.
Alex Van Pelt - Quarterbacks Coach | Green Bay Packers
Van Pelt is a sleeper but he's apart of a good system. He's the quarterbacks coach of the Green Bay Packers and that's how Joe Philbin got his start in Green Bay. Van Pelt has experience in Buffalo as an offensive coordinator. In Green Bay, he spent time as a running backs coach and now as the quarterbacks coach. Van Pelt is a longshot, even if guys like Chud are passed over, but Van Pelt is a name to watch on the offensive coordinator market.
Clyde Christensen - Quarterbacks Coach | Indianapolis Colts
Christensen would be a shocker, but he has a familiarity with Jim Irsay and some players on the Colts. Christenson has experience as an offensive coordinator with the Colts and now has experience in this West Coast offense. If the Colts were to stay in house, Chud is the obvious choice, but Christensen will probably get a look. However, picking Christensen over Chud (and the other candidates in the league) would be an absolute shock.
It would obviously be nice if Pep were to stay. He's improved as the offensive coordinator and having continuity is important for a young quarterback. It will be interesting to see what happens with Pep, and what would happen if he were to leave.