Monday, January 21, 2013
Colts' changes with Hamilton
By Tim Kavanagh
In an intriguing twist of fate over the past week, Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck lost the architect of his offense from his phenomenal rookie campaign -- Bruce Arians, who took the HC job in Arizona -- but gained the man who had guided him at the tail end of his career at Stanford -- Pep Hamilton, who left his job as the "Andrew Luck director of offense" with the Cardinal to take on the OC post under Chuck Pagano. So what changes should we expect out of Indy's offense as a result of that substitution?
Hamilton explained his offensive strategy on Saturday, per Peter King of Sports Illustrated: "It'll be a variation of the West Coast -- the West Coast principles, the short, efficient passing game, a high completion rate, but I enjoy watching our guys come off the ball, the guys up front and try to knock the opponent back. I'm a big believer in the power running game, running gap schemes and I think ultimately that opens up your passing game, play-action passes ... and get free access outside on the perimeter and find ways to get Reggie Wayne the ball. I want to be flexible schematically and make sure that we find ways to get the ball into our dynamic playmakers' hands."
This could, potentially, reduce the amount of deep-ball chances that Luck takes in 2013, which could result in a higher completion percentage and fewer interceptions. King notes, for example, that Luck was a 71 percent passer at Stanford in 2011, a figure that dropped to 54.1 percent with Indy in 2012. In addition, there could be a lot more work for TEs Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, as Hamilton's offense has greatly involved the TEs as receivers in recent seasons (in 2012, two of the top three receivers by yardage were TEs).