Hamilton would be best Colts can do

The question has hovered since it became clear Bruce Arians would be a candidate for head-coaching openings. Whom could the Indianapolis Colts get to replace Arians as offensive coordinator and help Andrew Luck maintain his growth curve?

With Arians in place as the new coach of the Arizona Cardinals, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen provides the initial answer to the question with a report this morning that the Colts are chasing Pep Hamilton, Stanford’s offensive coordinator.

Hamilton’s current post is endowed and technically titled the “Andrew Luck director of offense.” Could he be lured to direct the offense in Indianapolis?

It would be a hard offer to resist. Jump back to the NFL and work with a guy you know who is likely to be one of the league top quarterbacks for the next 12 or 15 years.

No matter how much Hamilton may love the campus life, the weather in Palo Alto and anything else about Stanford, professionally it’s a promotion. It would probably come with a significant raise too.

Hamilton has seven seasons of NFL experience, most recently as quarterbacks coach with the Chicago Bears. He recently interviewed with the New York Jets. (Here is his Stanford bio.)

The automatic comfort level Luck would have with Hamilton would be giant. If they don’t get him, there would be much more of an adjustment period.

I love the idea. If they land Hamilton, they will have done as well as possible replacing Arians.

The Colts released these statements on Arians’ departure:

General manager Ryan Grigson:

“We congratulate Bruce on this great opportunity with the Arizona Cardinals. The exceptional job he did this past season in keeping this team focused, combined with his long record of accomplishment, made him a very attractive candidate for a head-coaching position, and we congratulate the Cardinals on their good judgment in selecting him. BA did a remarkable job last season, filling in for his friend and head coach in a time of need. Without BA’s selflessness, leadership, football acumen and competitive spirit, we couldn’t have had the season we did. We surely will miss BA’s presence as a coach and a friend, but we’re delighted for him and we wish Bruce, Chris and their entire family nothing but the best as they embark on their new journey.”

Coach Chuck Pagano:

“We are excited for Bruce, Chris and his entire family. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I know he will do a great job. Arizona hired a great coach but a better man. What he did in my absence was truly remarkable. I am forever in debt to Bruce. He is and always will be a great friend, and I wish him nothing but the best as he begins this new chapter in his life.”