How Texans OC Pep Hamilton can still be a quality coaching candidate in 2023 hiring cycle

Houston Texans coach Lovie Smith is banking the offense on Pep Hamilton.

The former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach sought another opportunity to work with Hamilton after he left Chicago as their quarterbacks coach from 2007-09 to work under Jim Harbaugh and Stanford in 2010. With Smith being promoted to coach on Feb. 7, and Hamilton the resident quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, Smith elevated Hamilton to offensive coordinator.

Part of the reason is to also develop more Black coaching candidates in the NFL.

“You look at our league,” Smith told reporters at his introductory presser on Feb. 8. “Of course, the majority of our league is with Black athletes. You can find qualified Black candidates, candidates that worked themselves up. Once you look at our staff once it’s all done, completed, you’ll see there’s not just talk going into that. We have a lot of young, Black coaches that are going to do great things, of course, Pep Hamilton being one of them.”

According to Peter King from NBC Sports, Black assistants deserve consideration, especially given the hiring cycle over the past couple years has included candidates getting jobs simply for working with Sean McVay.

I think the story is good and smart because it takes away the passion and strong opinions on this issue and boils it down to hard facts. I believe it will be a good contribution to the coaching carousel this winter. I’m not saying it’s wrong for owners to continually look for “the next Sean McVay,” because McVay has spawned success in other coaches like Matt LaFleur and Zac Taylor and perhaps Kevin O’Connell. But owners can’t think just because a guy rubbed shoulders with a boy wonder like McVay that he’s going to be a great NFL coach.

King makes the case that if the Texans offense is even mediocre in 2022, given that it was horrendous in 2021, it will technically be a marked improvement and one that should warrant Hamilton for consideration as a coach in another NFL city.

The shame of the hiring process, or at least part of the shame is that if, say, Houston offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton builds a top-15 offense piloted by the 67th pick in the 2021 draft, Davis Mills, that should probably count as an outstanding coaching job, and should catapult him into the running for head-coaching jobs. Why? Because Hamilton took over the 30th-ranked team in scoring coming off an 8-25 stretch over the past two years. He’s coming from further back in the back than wherever the latest McVay-touched assistants would be coming from.

There is some improvement to the Texans’ offense. For the first time this season, Houston got over the 300-yard mark for total offense in the 23-20 loss at the Chicago Bears. The Texans’ bigger problem is their 0-2-1 record, which will loom large over Hamilton’s chances if it worsens.


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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire