The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Sports

January 21, 2013

George Bremer: Colts made right call on O

Pep Hamilton wasn’t just the best choice the Indianapolis Colts could make in a tough situation, he might prove to be the best offensive coordinator hire made this offseason.

The former Stanford coordinator comes highly recommended as one of football’s brightest young offensive minds.

When he coached quarterback Andrew Luck in 2011, the Cardinal set school records for points and total yards. But even after Luck left to lead the Colts to a surprising playoff berth this fall, Hamilton kept the offense humming along.

He did so despite changing starting quarterbacks midseason and tutoring freshman Kevin Hogan on the nuances of the college game. The experiment worked well enough that the Cardinal handed Oregon its only loss, won the Pac-12 title and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

Hamilton’s offense likely will be a rather drastic change from the system Bruce Arians ran in Indy this year.

Arians, who left to take the reins as head coach for the Arizona Cardinals, strongly believes in the vertical passing game. The Colts led the league this season in average target downfield, with Luck’s throws routinely traveling more than 12 yards pass the line of scrimmage.

Arians deserves all the credit he receives for his 9-3 stint as Indianapolis’ interim head coach, and his tutoring of Luck was invaluable.

But just because Hamilton will bring in a new approach, there’s no reason for fans to panic.

Hamilton has a strong base in the “West Coast” offense. During a conference call with media on Saturday, he promised to bring more short, efficient passes into the gameplan.

That means Luck’s completion percentage and quarterback rating — the two numbers most likely to cost him the Offensive Rookie of the Year award — are almost certain to improve. Turnover totals also are likely to drop in Hamilton’s scheme.

But the big question is what impact will it have on the Colts’ chances of winning?

That’s a tougher call.

QB rating generally measures a passer’s efficiency, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

A quarterback who completes a lot of short passes and doesn’t turn the ball over but never gets his team in the end zone will have a higher rating than a QB with a low completion percentage, a turnover or two and one touchdown pass.

Luck overcame a low rating last year in part by being abnormally efficient in third-and-long situations.

He was inconsistent in the red zone but improved in that area as the season wore on.

No matter what system Luck runs, third-down efficiency and red-zone production will remain keys, and Hamilton is smart enough to tailor his scheme to the personnel on hand.

There’s no reason believe he won’t continue to use T.Y. Hilton as a deep threat, and Reggie Wayne could thrive in a possession-receiver type of role.

And this is the scheme that Luck and tight end Coby Fleener starred in at Stanford.

All in all, adding Pep was a nice step for the Colts.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Rick Bramwell: Improving weather should aid morels When I looked at my wilted daffodils Tuesday morning, I knew this would be a setback for morels. The long-range forecast through April 29 calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. This is good news for the blacks and grays.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0416 - tennis file - 14 Many girls tennis teams return top talent With spring sports getting off to a good start thanks to some spring-like weather last week, local girls tennis teams are taking to the court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wild week will get later start The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.

    April 14, 2014

  • Familiar trio leads boys track teams Much like in years past, Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton Heights have assembled the largest number of track athletes of the area’s 11 high schools. And, while the remaining teams may struggle to compete from a team standpoint, they will send capable athletes to the line to challenge in individual events.

    April 14, 2014

  • New roles, same goals for Arabians

    Perhaps the most remarkable fact about the first 13 years of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament is that no team has repeated as champion.

    April 14, 2014

  • Track stars prepare for numbers game

    Track is a numbers game, not just with times and distances, but with roster sizes as well. Smaller schools often abandon the philosophy of competing for team titles when running against larger schools with nearly double the number of athletes. Instea

    April 14, 2014

  • SPT - HB0413 - Horseshoe Classic - 163 Arabians finish third in Horseshoe Classic It wasn't the place they wanted to be playing for, but the Pendleton Heights Arabians won their final game of the day to finish third in the Horseshoe Classic here Saturday.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • PH wins Yorktown invite Pendleton Heights and Alexandria opened the 2014 golf season as part of the 15-team field at the Yorktown Invitational. Despite the abundance of blue skies and sunshine, the weather may have been more of a challenge than the 18 holes at The Players Club.

    April 12, 2014

  • New faces dominate Tribe's roster At some point in the very near future — likely Monday — Anderson baseball coach Terry Turner will sit down with his players and explain the significance of the week ahead. He'll tell them who Nick Muller was and why he worked so very hard 14 years ago to help create a tournament that carries the former Indian's name.

    April 12, 2014