Name: Pep Hamilton
Current Job: Stanford University Offensive Coordinator 2011-present
Head Coaching Experience: None
Other Offensive Coordinator Experience: Howard University 1999-2001
NFL Coaching Experience: New York Jets Offensive Quality Control Coach 2003; New York Jets Quarterbacks Coach 2004; New York Jets Wide Receivers Coach 2005; San Francisco 49ers Quarterbacks Coach 2006; Chicago Bears Quarterbacks Coach 2007-2009
Rex Ryan Ties: He worked under Mike Nolan for one year with the 49ers. Ryan worked under Nolan with Baltimore and succeeded him as defensive coordinator.
Hamilton is a guy who interests me quite a bit. Alex Smith and Kyle Orton showed their first signs of life with him as their position coach, but I am most interested in his work at Stanford. Stanford has built one of the model programs in college football, and their offense has gotten a ton of praise as a result. Hamilton coached under Jim Harbaugh as wide receivers coach in 2010 and received his promotion in 2011.
Stanford is a team built around the power run game. It's easy to misinterpret what that means. That does not imply a neglect for the passing game. It is more about what the offense is built on. Stanford likes to use jumbo sets and smash the ball down the opponent's throat. Their ability to do so creates opportunities for big plays in the passing game. The other team has to drop their safeties into the box, creating favorable matchups on the outside. The linebackers take their first step in, opening the middle of the field on play action.
There are essentially two ways you can create big passing plays. The first is the way Stanford does. The second is to stick your quarterback into the shotgun constantly with spread sets. The second only works if you have a quarterback good enough to make quick reads and throw pinpoint passes into tight windows. Only around a quarter of NFL teams have anybody who can do that. The rest need to lean on the run game to make life easier on their quarterback. The Jets are certainly in that number.
I like Hamilton because given what the Jets have now, his offense will be an easier transition than a West Coast system built around precise passes and backs who can catch. The Jets can have a pinpoint focus on building the offensive line into a dominant unit and run some kind of effective variety of Hamilton's offense.
The question is why Hamilton would take this job. He seems like an up and comer. He is probably going to have other opportunities in the future, and having another excellent year at Stanford is going to be better for his career than making a jump to an unstable situation where there is a total lack of talent and a horrendous quarterback situation. If the Jets can figure out a way to sell him on this job, I would be thrilled because he seems like an excellent fit.