Under Head Coach Lovie Smith, Pep Hamilton will take the reins of the Houston Texans offense. While the staff is mostly new, several assistant coaches are already familiar with Hamilton and his style of offense.
"It's a tight-end driven offense, for sure, even starting back from the Stanford days, and he carried that into the Colts system as well," Tight Ends Coach Tim Berbenich said. "But, it's a run-first kind of operation. Pep's going to do anything he can with the skill we have here to score points. Pep's going to try and move the ball and score points, but it has very much been a tight-end driven situation. Pep is going to adapt that offense to how the personnel here and how we move forward there."
Berbenich has known Hamilton for nearly 20 years, dating back to his days of sharing an office with Hamilton. Early in their careers, Berbenich was quality control and Hamilton an offensive assistant on the New York Jets coaching staff. Berbenich says that Hamilton was a mentor to him, answering questions and getting him caught up on the offense outside of meetings in their free time.
"In the evening, Pep would start there and was teaching me football, was teaching me the offense, was giving me that stuff," Berbenich said. "He knew that I was at the age I wasn't going to ask a question in the middle of the meeting, but me and Pep got together one-on-one time. That's where we really formed our relationship and he helped me get started learning my football and how NFL football is really done."
The two would reunite a decade later again in Indianapolis when Hamilton was offensive coordinator and Berbenich was an assistant on the coaching staff. Now, Berbenich will be working with the Texans offensive coordinator for the third time in their careers.
"Yeah, obviously, Pep is a big part of coming here," Berbenich said.
Hamilton joined the Texans staff in 2021 as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Under Smith, he was promoted to OC and has ties to several of the new assistant coaches that have been hired, including Offensive Line Coach George Warhop, Quarterbacks Coach and Offensive Assistant Ted White.
"I know Pep very well," Warhop said. "We met in San Francisco in 2005, so 17 years ago and I've been a fan of his. He and I've been in contact since then. I've been a fan of his when he was at Stanford, when he was at Indianapolis, the last couple of years when he was in San Diego and now he's here and what he's done in between. So I'm excited. Pep's really smart, a bunch of energy. He's inclusive, which is outstanding for everybody on the offensive staff. And we have a tremendous offensive staff, so I'm really fired up about it."
Hamilton's previous role of passing game coordinator will be taken over by Ben McDaniels, who will also coach wide receivers. Hamilton and McDaniels are both in their second seasons with the Texans after working together in Michigan under Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.
McDaniels says the offensive changes are still in the "infancy stages," but he is excited to continue working with Hamilton and Lovie Smith.
"Pep does a great job of building and implementing his system and we'll do the best that we can to put our players' talents in the best position to help them and us score points," McDaniels said.
The Texans' new coaching staff is currently evaluating the players on the roster and will travel to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine that begins Tuesday, March 1.
Today, the Houston Texans 2022 coaching staff met with the media.