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Last updated: Sun. Jan. 20, 2013 - 10:31 pm EDT

Colts coordinator glad to be back with Luck

Pep Hamilton will install some higher-percentage passes

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Andrew Luck's completion percentage may have taken an automatic upturn this week with the hiring of Pep Hamilton as Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator.

Hamilton said during a conference call Saturday that it's too soon to say how much of the offense he'll overhaul, but he does intend to institute the West Coast style. That style, which Luck ran under Hamilton at Stanford University, has a few more high-percentage passes than the offense of former coordinator Bruce Arians.

“It'll be a variation of the West Coast,” Hamilton said. “The West Coast principles. The short, efficient passing game, a high-completion rate, but I enjoy watching our guys come off the the ball, the guys up front, and try and knock the opponent back.”

Sounds like Colts running back Vick Ballard will like Hamilton's style, too.

“I'm a big believer in the power-running game, running gap schemes and I think ultimately that opens up your passing game,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton also stressed his plans to “get Reggie Wayne the ball. I want to be flexible schematically and make sure we find ways to get the ball into our dynamic playmakers' hands.”

Hamilton was formally announced as the Colts new coordinator on Saturday. Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano were both effusive in their praise.

The 38-year-old Hamilton has experience in the NFL with the Jets, 49ers and Bears before three years in Stanford. He was the team's offensive coordinator the past two seasons. Luck played for him in 2010 and 2011.

“I am thrilled to have Pep as our new offensive coordinator,” Pagano said. “He's had success everywhere he's been and his familiarity with guys like Andrew and Coby (Fleener) will make him a great fit for our team. I can't wait to start working with him as we get ready for next year.”

Hamilton said he has talked with Luck throughout the week, and looks forward to reuniting with him.

Luck's knowledge of Hamilton's style of offense should make the transition smoother than the average change of coordinators. Hamilton's terminology and play-calling style will be something Luck will be comfortable utilizing. As quarterback, he'll be able to help the rest of the team make the transition, too.

Luck mentioned how grateful he was for Arians guidance during his rookie season. Arians left the Colts this week to take the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals.

“I'm thrilled to be able to reunite with Coach Pep here in Indianapolis,” Luck said in a statement. “He was a tremendous mentor of mine at Stanford and he is going to have our offense playing at a high, energetic level.”

Hamilton called the Colts a class organization and said he is excited about working with Luck again.

“I think he'll be a tremendous asset in helping me to make the transition to the Colts,” Hamilton said. “Obviously he's had a couple years of experience in (the offense) and it makes a huge difference when the quarterback is, for the most part, well-versed in the offense. Coby Fleener and some of the guys that may have played in the West Coast offense and with other organizations, they'll recognize some of the terminology and we should be able to hit the ground running.”

rhayes@news-sentinel.com


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