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Acclaimed QB Guru Could Make Sense for Steelers Staff

The Pittsburgh Steelers hiring Pep Hamilton could make plenty of sense for the team.



Pittsburgh Steelers OC Pep Hamilton

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator job is now filled with Arthur Smith, but that does not mean that he could not use the help. When Mike Tomlin outlined his criteria for the next offensive coordinator, that person needed previous coordinator experience, came from outside the organization, had a detailed and versatile scheme, and had a quarterback development pedigree. And while Smith checks most of those boxes, he is not a proven quarterback guru.

But it seems the team wants to add a passing game coordinator to the mix. If they do that?

One of the candidates who fits in well with Smith? 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.

He’s proven to have developed guys in that gig and could strengthen the staff. But if nothing else, Hamilton’s ties within the NFL point to the type of person Tomlin is looking for in his offensive coordinator criteria, which means he would be a strong hire for this job.

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 could see Hamilton come to Pittsburgh to help work with Smith’s motion, condensed formations, and play action-heavy attack. If there is one thing that Hamilton could help with though, it would be creating traffic in a dropback passing game, especially from shogun looks. Smith lacks that one thing and someone like Hamilton could bring the quarterback familiarity and that shotgun passing game with it as a candidate.