Updated: Jan 26, 2021
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
According to Josina Anderson, the Steelers are putting in a request to the Chargers to interview quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton for their vacant offensive coordinator position. The Steelers didn't renew offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner's contract following the 2020 season.
It was reported this past Saturday that quarterbacks coach Matt Canada is expected to be promoted to offensive coordinator, but it has not been made official yet. The Steelers also reportedly interviewed Hue Jackson for the offensive coordinator job earlier this week.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the delay by the Steelers in naming an offensive coordinator to replace Fichtner is because Mike Tomlin wants to first hire an offensive line coach to change their running game.
The Steelers interviewed Hank Fraley for the offensive line coach job today. Fraley played 11 years in the NFL as a center and was the offensive line coach for the Lions last season.
Hamilton has been known to develop quarterbacks, as he coached Andrew Luck at Standford as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, and then went on to be the offensive coordinator in Indianapolis with Luck at quarterback from 2013-2015. Hamilton joined Hue Jackson's staff in Cleveland in 2016 as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach after being fired in-season by the Colts the previous season.
From 2017-2018, Hamilton was the assistant head coach and passing game coordinator at Michigan. In February of 2019, Hamilton joined the XFL's DC Defenders to be their head coach and general manager for the 2020 XFL season. The season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the league is expected to return in 2022.
In April of 2020, Hamilton joined the Chargers to be their quarterbacks coach. He played a big role in the development of Justin Herbert, who is the odds-on favorite to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year. Herbert completed 396 of 595 passes (66.6%) for 4,336 yards and had a 31-10 touchdown-interception ratio, along with a quarterback rating of 98.3. Herbert set NFL rookie records in passing yards (4,336), touchdown passes (31) and completions (396).
With Ben Roethlisberger in the last year of his contract, Hamilton would be a good hire to develop Mason Rudolph and the newly signed Dwayne Haskins, along with being the play-caller. He has experience as an offensive coordinator in the NFL and was very successful during his time at Standford. He also did wonders with Luck and Herbert as young quarterbacks.