There aren’t many faults the Indianapolis people can put on Peyton Manning, but spoiling them with a beautiful offense is one. The 2013 Colts may have finished a respectable 10th in total points per game – 25.4 – but it didn’t feel like the poetic offense that the city was built on.
Chuck Pagano and Pep Hamilton never steered away from the words they so often preached: The Colts were a power-running football team. To no surprise, this angered people. And why wouldn’t it? Watching dynamic players being held back can be sickening. On the other hand, seeing Andrew Luck do something miraculous that ends with T.Y. Hilton celebrating in the end zone is one of the more addictive things this world has to offer. Fans want to see their favorite players dominating. They want action.
Fortunately, brighter days with a no-huddle offense and tons of touchdowns might be ahead. A few days ago, Hamilton spoke with the media and revealed some thoughts on his offense. When asked about being more up-tempo, he said:
“I think it’s starting to become a trend in the National Football League and considering our first two opponents, our defense, they need for us to give them somewhat of a look of what to expect against Denver and Philadelphia. But you’re right, we were able to change up our different tempos over the course of last season. By the end of the year, we felt like the up-tempo offense gave us a heck of an opportunity to feature our playmakers as well as kind of wear the opponent down. Ultimately when we start game planning our opponents, we’ll find ways to put our guys in a position to make plays.”
Hamilton gets it. The team may have been forced to go more up-tempo towards the end of last year due to poor situations and not by his decision, but at least he saw the silver lining. This team has players – specifically Luck – who can dominate games. You just have to let them.
The offensive coordinator went on to talk about what kind of offense he has this year:
“I think we learned a great lesson about pegging or coining a phrase that would ultimately label our offense. But no, it’s a playmaker driven offense. A score-first playmaker driven offense.”
This is such a breath of fresh air after constantly hearing how the team was going to break down the opponent by running the ball down their throat. “Playmaker” seemed to be Hamilton’s word of the day, and the Colts are stacked with them. For most of last year, the team had to rely on players that probably wouldn’t be seeing the field for a majority of the league. Now, Luck has a plethora of talent around him in Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener and others (it’s a long list).
In addition to Hamilton’s encouraging words, it was reported over a month ago that Luck would have more control at the line-of-scrimmage. Instead of Luck having just two plays to choose from, he will now go to the line with six. That’s right, three-times the amount of plays. Between Luck’s masterful skill set and the talent around him, good things will come from him calling the shots.
As Jim Irsay so humorously put it last year, this might be the first season of “Star Wars numbers” in the Luck era.