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Acclaimed QB Guru Could Make Sense for Steelers OC Job



Pittsburgh Steelers OC Pep Hamilton

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator job is open, and those interviews will start rolling in soon. But Mike Tomlin outlined his criteria for the next offensive coordinator. That person needs previous coordinator experience, comes from outside the organization, has a detailed and versatile scheme, and has a quarterback development pedigree. That does narrow down the field a significant amount.

One of the candidates who checks all of those boxes? Former Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

Hamilton last worked as the Texans offensive coordinator in 2022. Before his stint in Houston, Hamilton helped Justin Herbert win the 2020 Rookie of the Year award as the Chargers quarterbacks coach. In addition, from 2013 to 2015, Hamilton served as the Colts offensive coordinator and was a vital reason that Andrew Luck threw for a league-high 40 passing touchdowns in 2014. Before Pittsburgh hired Matt Canada, Hamilton interviewed for the offensive coordinator vacancy which gives him the link to the job this offseason.

With how they want to salvage Kenny Pickett’s development, Hamilton makes sense for the Steelers to consider. Hamilton’s scheme is not too crazy, but it works for quarterbacks. He even got productive play out of a rookie version of Davis Mills to slightly buff up the pedigree at the quarterback position.

Hamilton was the head coach of the DC Defenders of the XFL in 2020, the assistant head coach and passing game coordinator for Michigan in 2017-18 and was assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He has also been an NFL assistant with the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. All around the league where he has gone, better quarterback play follows with Hamilton around.

Now, maybe that is the better argument to make Hamilton quarterback’s coach if he accepts that gig. A proven person who has developed guys in that gig could strengthen the staff. But if nothing else, Hamilton’s ties within the NFL point tot the type of person Tomlin is looking for in his next offensive coordinator.

Hamilton’s offense is termed the ‘No Coast Offense.’ There is a lot that he mixes in, including a heavy emphasis on gap concepts in the run game and rhythm passing. Timing is an invaluable part of Hamilton’s scheme, and the shot plays often come with early-down efficiency. Also, Hamilton wants to get his receivers in space to maximize their yards after the catch. It’s a conglomeration of many different ideas and influences that Hamilton has picked up throughout his career.

It would be a step back from some of the motion that Pittsburgh embraced under Matt Canada and began to love after he was gone. Pickett would benefit from an offensive coordinator who utilizes motion and play action heavily. Hamilton does not fit that vibe well enough, but his background makes him a good bet for the job, or at least to land an interview.