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Colts new coach eager to reunite with Luck

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm •  Published: January 19, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Pep Hamilton already knows what he wants to do with the Indianapolis Colts offense.

He'll build around Andrew Luck, take advantage of all that young talent in Indy and do everything he can to keep Luck out of harm's way. He can't wait to get going.

Just minutes after the Colts made Hamilton's hiring official Saturday afternoon, the former Stanford offensive coordinator got on a conference call with local reporters and started outlining the plans he has for a team that went from 2-14 to 11-5 in less than 12 months.

"It will be a variation of it," Hamilton said when asked about bringing the West Coast offense to Indy. "Short passing game, high completion rate. But I enjoy watching our guys coming off the ball and trying to knock the opponent back. I'm a big believer in the power-running game, I believe that opens it up for your passing game. I want to be flexible schematically in that we find ways to get the ball into playmakers' hands."

This is no rebuilding project now.

In 2012, Luck set NFL rookie records for attempts and yards passing, fell just short of breaking the NFL's rookie marks for completions and TD passes, tied the league's single-season record for most winning drives in the fourth quarter (seven) and produced a league-high nine wins in one-possession games. Plus, the Colts had more combined yards rushing and receiving by rookies than any team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

They also have a Pro Bowl receiver in Reggie Wayne.

Hamilton doesn't want to break all of that up.

But those who know him best do expect changes. Under Bruce Arians, the Colts took more chances down the field than just about any team in football. Hamilton may not be as likely to do that, though he did acknowledge he wants to take "shots" down the field.

Other tinkering with the Indy's new offense may be more subtle.

"I would say, first and foremost, every time you bring in a new offense, you have a new language," tight end Coby Fleener said. "Fortunately, Andrew, I and Griff Whalen have been in that offense so we can kind of tutor guys on that. I'm not sure yet how much we'll be running from last year."

Fleener, Luck and Whalen were all Colts rookies last season after playing at Stanford, where Hamilton ran the offense each of the past two seasons. Whalen spent the season on injured reserve.

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