Pep Hamilton spoke to the Indianapolis Colts offense as a unit for the first time Tuesday, and he told his players not to latch on to the label that is floating around for what’s to come.
“He said, ‘People are saying we’re running the West Coast offense,” backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said on The Midday 180 in Nashville Tuesday afternoon, a show of which I am a part. “He said, ‘We’re running the No Coast Offense. I don’t care what people have done in the past, we’re going to do whatever it takes.’
“So, ironically, you can feel the footprint of Peyton Manning and that offense still in this playbook, stuff that they’ve done. Stuff that was good with Reggie Wayne. Stuff that was just good for the guys here, that’s worked with Clyde Christensen, the quarterbacks coach. Then there is a good element of the stuff that Bruce Arians had success with last year that worked with Andrew (Luck). Then there is the stuff that Pep did at Stanford with Jim Harbaugh and kind of what the 49ers are doing.
“For me, someone who’s played in kind of the West Coast verbage a good part of my career, the plays, I am swimming learning this playbook right now. It’s not just cookie cutter West Coast like people would say at all. They are putting a lot on every player.”
Hasselbeck said they’ve already looked at about a dozen personnel groupings.
"I don’t think I could put it in a box even if I knew enough about it right now," Hasselbeck said. "It’s really going to be diverse."
One of the big questions for the Colts this season will be about how the offense carries over some of what worked so well under Arians, now the Arizona Cardinals' head coach.
While Arians really pushed the ball downfield, Hamilton’s philosophy has traditionally included West Coast elements, with a run game setting up play-action and more short, high-percentage throws for the quarterback.
No matter how married Hamilton is to the philosophies he brought to Indianapolis with him, any good coordinator coming into a new situation is wise to hold over some of the best parts of what preceded him.
It sounds like Hamilton will be thinking that way and that’s good news for Luck and the Colts.
Find the whole Hasselbeck interview here.