ANDERSON – His goatee doesn’t quite compare to the “neard” his quarterback frequently rocks.
Pep Hamilton isn’t bringing just a different look into his second training camp with the Colts.
He’s got a few extra ingredients for his chef to use in the kitchen.
This marks the fourth training camp setting Luck and Hamilton have worked in cohesion (2010-2011 at Stanford, 2013-2014 in Indy).
The pair’s first year together at the NFL level saw just about everything they could imagine thrown their way.
-Your two running backs expected to get the bulk of the carries gone by Week Three?
-Your blossoming young tight end, now in a system that accentuates TEs, gone after one quarter of Week One?
-And just for good measure, throw in the absence of a potential Hall of Fame receiver for the final half of the season?
“I thought (Luck) did a really good job of managing bad plays and limiting the negative plays for the most part throughout last year,” Hamilton said on Wednesday.
“There were times when the situation dictated that we had to be more aggressive and expose the ball more. I just got to do a better job at managing those situations myself.”
Hamilton has reinforcements to help that process in 2014.
Yes, the Colts still want to be able to establish a reliable ground attack, but don’t think for a second Hamilton is going to ignore the other offensive talent.
“When you look at the personnel we have available now, it’s going to give us an opportunity to put a lot more pressure on the defense in a lot of different ways with Reggie (Wayne), T.Y. (Hilton) and Hakeem (Nicks), having all three of our running backs available to go out there and make plays as well as our tight ends,” Hamilton said.
“I’ve always loved having tight ends at our disposal and allowing those guys to take advantage of the nonconventional matchups. So we’re excited about our personnel.”
Questions do remain though in that coveted ground attack.
Hamilton routinely refers to an NFL season as a “war of attrition” and being able to rely on offensive balance would serve a Colts team well late in the season.
Is that in the cards for 2014?
“I know for a fact we’re going to be better up front,” Hamilton states. “Guys are working hard to develop continuity up front and that’s where it all starts in the run game.
“We have three guys that have started in the National Football League that are playing running back for us. All three guys are really the total package. I wouldn’t say that Vick (Ballard), Ahmad (Bradshaw) or Trent (Richardson) have any limitations as far as what they can do.”
While the Colts rushing game must prove itself in this season, there’s no denying the success of hurry-up situations last season.
It’s an area where the Colts offensive thrived in 2013 and something that Hamilton has taken note of in preparing for 2014 with Luck.
“(Luck) had a ton of responsibility at the line of scrimmage last year and that hasn’t changed. Even back when he was in college he had a ton of responsibility at the line of scrimmage,” Hamilton says of his two-time Pro Bowl signal caller.
“There were times when we probably spent a little too much time at the line of scrimmage, so we have to do a better job of mixing and matching our tempos and being able to start games fast like we talked about.”