The Indianapolis Colts tonight announced that they have fired offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton after two and a half seasons in Indianapolis. Assistant head coach Rob Chudzinski will take over as offensive coordinator.
"Through the first eight weeks of the season, we have felt our offense hasn't performed at the consistent level that we need," head coach Chuck Pagano said in a statement issued by the team. "Because of this we've decided to go in a different direction and relieve Pep Hamilton of his duties as offensive coordinator. As head coach of this team, it's my responsibility to make sure I'm doing everything we can to put us in the best position to succeed. We thank Pep for his service to the team and wish him all the best."
Hamilton was hired by the Colts following the 2012 season after Bruce Arians left to become the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Hamilton worked with quarterback Andrew Luck at Stanford, so it seemed like a logical and natural fit for the Colts. In 2014, the Colts had one of the best offenses in the NFL as Luck led the league in touchdown passes and broke the single-season franchise record for passing yards.
This season, however, has been a disaster for a Colts offense that was supposed to again be one of the league's best and for a quarterback who was supposed to be an MVP candidate. Luck has not played well, and that probably has as much to do with this firing as anything, as the Colts needed to get a new coach in there working with Luck. Furthermore, many had issues with Hamilton's playcalling and have thought that it has hindered the team, so getting a new playcaller wasn't a bad idea either.
While I don't think this move means that head coach Chuck Pagano is safe from getting fired mid-season by any means, I do think this was the move that could see the most payoff from happening during the season. Hamilton wasn't getting it done, the offense was struggling, and Luck wasn't developing but rather regressing.
Rob Chudzinski will take over for Hamilton, and he has been the special assistant to head coach Chuck Pagano for the last two seasons. He has previously had success as an NFL offensive coordinator with both the Cleveland Browns (2007-2008) and the Carolina Panthers (2011-2012), and he spent one year as the head coach of the Browns in 2013.