INDIANAPOLIS --- Pep Hamilton was Andrew Luck's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks at Stanford in 2011 then again OC with Luck and the Colts from 2013 until Tuesday evening.
That's when Chuck Pagano called Luck into his office and told his franchise quarterback the news that he'd have a new offensive coordinator, Rob Chudzinski, for the rest of Luck's 4th NFL season. Luck was the first player to know, before the team announced the change publicly later that night and before Pagano assembled his roster Wednesday to tell them the news following a players day off on Tuesday.
"A lot of emotions, none of them good," said Luck Wednesday evening, when asked what his reaction was to the news. "Yeah, it does feel like a gut punch, but again, we have to move on. We have. We trust Coach Pagano's plan. We trust his vision. This locker room, we're on the same page moving forward. That's what we need to do to go out and win."
Luck said he appreciated Pagano telling him first before the announcement was made Tuesday night that Hamilton was relieved of his duties.
"We're behind Chud. We're behind Chuck, and the plan that Chud is going to lay out," said Luck. "Whatever it is, we're going to buy in to the best of our abilities."
This will be Luck's third offensive coordinator in four years (Bruce Arians, Hamilton, and Chudzinski), but switching offensive coordinators halfway through the regular season won't involve drastic changes to the offense. Luck said Wednesday's 1st practice with Chudzinski as offensive coordinator involved the same words and verbiage as it was under Hamilton. To re-learn a new system at this point would not be conducive to success, especially with the Broncos top-ranked defense coming to town on a short week.
"It's obviously not ideal," said Luck. "No one feels sorry for you in this league. You find that out pretty quickly, and so it's on us as players to make sure we're all on the same page and make sure we understand the plan the coaches have laid out for us, no matter who's in charge."
But Luck admitted Chudzinski will be different in some ways than Hamilton, even with the small window of time this week to get ready.
"Chud has his own style," said Luck. "I know from today there's not going to be a wholesale change. We know this offense, in a sense. We'll see."
And ultimately, Luck said his play this season isn't Pep Hamilton's fault.
"I don't think the turnovers have anything to do with who the coordinator was," said Luck. "That falls on my shoulders and my shoulders only."
Luck said he now hopes to clean that up. He'll attempt to do so with a new voice in his helmet on game days.