News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 14, 2013

Colts’ new offensive coordinator will offer variety

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — Quarterback Andrew Luck running the Pistol offense? Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton lining up in the Wildcat?

According to new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, the Indianapolis Colts will show opposing defenses a lot of different sets and schemes next season.

Hamilton’s plans for the Colts offense will differ from what former coordinator Bruce Arians did this past season. Some elements of Arians’ offense, however, are expected to remain.

“I think it’s important that we have balance in our offense. We’re not just a one-dimensional football team. We want to create conflicts for our opponents. We want to have the ability to not only push the ball downfield and hit the big play in the passing game but we’ve got to be able to run the football and hammer the nail saw,” Hamilton said Wednesday in his first face-to-face meeting with the Colts media.

“We’re going to work hard to do that, work hard to establish balance in the offense. We want to control the clock. We want to be really good on third down and really good in the red zone. We have to play great situational football. On first and second down, there’s no can’t do’s.”

The former Stanford assistant coach is looking for balance on offense.

“We’ll do a great job of mixing in some power runs, mixing in the downfield passing game, maybe even mixing in some wildcat plays, mix in some read-option, pistol-type schemes,” Hamilton said.

“Just really try and present once again a lot of conflicts for our opponents.”

That includes coming up with some surprises.

“It’s obvious just based on production that we had in the passing game this past season, that we’re a team that can push the ball downfield. That should create paranoia for our opponents. [Wide receivers] Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Donnie Avery, our tight ends, guys that can really run and get downfield and make the big play in the passing game, and of course Andrew [Luck],” he explained.

“He did a really good job of improvising, of managing broken plays and escaping the pocket and making an accurate throw on the move. That’s a talent and a gift that we can continue to use to our advantage.”

 Hamilton had interviewed for the head coaching job at Oregon when he was contacted for the offensive coordinator’s job in Indianapolis. He explained why he opted to come to the Colts.

“The opportunity to win the championship of all championships and ultimately have a chance to work for a storied franchise like the Colts franchise and work for [team owner] Mr. [Jim] Irsay and [general manager] Ryan Grigson and [head coach] Chuck Pagano, I felt like it was an amazing opportunity,” he explained.

“The NFL is all about the haves and the have nots. Either you have a franchise quarterback or you don’t. I think we all feel good about the potential of the young quarterback that we have here with this franchise.”

After recently working on the collegiate level, Hamilton has been experiencing life as an NFL assistant.

“It’s a lot different than the typical college coach’s working today. I’m not taking breaks to make recruiting calls, going to compliance meetings or going to check and seeing if guys are attending study hall which we didn’t have that issue at Stanford,” he said.

“It’s been all football, all day, sun up to sun down. I can honestly say that in the two-and-a-half, three weeks that I’ve been here at this facility, I’ve only seen sunlight maybe twice.”

Hamilton is counting on his NFL influences to help him prepare for his first year with the Colts.

“I think I’ve paid my dues. I think I’ve benefited tremendously by having the opportunity to work with the Paul Hackett and the Norv Turners and the Mike Heimerdingers of the world. I think it just really helped me to in a sense think outside the box,” he voiced.

“But the West Coast offense is traditionally a short passing game, higher percentage completion offense, a good mix of power runs and of course some play action passes. Well the Norv Turner offense, the [Don] Coryell system, is somewhat the opposite. It’s still a power running game and some play action passes but they do a good job of mixing in the shot plays, the play action shot plays, the intermediate throws. Once again, I wouldn’t pigeonhole us and say that we’re just a one-dimensional certain style of offense.”

Combine begins next week — The annual National Football Scouting Combine is set to begin set to begin next Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Workouts will be closed to the general public. The combine will wrap up Feb. 26. NFL Network will provide television coverage.