Colts quarterback Andrew Luck did the dutiful thing this week, placing all the blame on himself for his team’s offensive slump to start the season.
But as far-reaching as the Colts’ problems are, there’s plenty of blame to go around, and another member of the organization stepped up for his share yesterday.
According to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton volunteered for some responsibility for the problems as well.
“We have not done our job,” Hamilton said. “I have not put our guys in position to be successful and to put our guys in position to produce.”
That’s an understatement, as the Colts are last in the league in scoring (10.5 per game) despite an impressive array of skill-position talent to go with one of the game’s best young quarterbacks in Luck.
But along with the documented personnel problems up front, the Colts are tied for the league lead with seven holding penalties, creating bad down-and-distance combinations which not even their sometimes-effective no-huddle looks can overcome.
“I have to do a better job of, first off, doing whatever I can to keep us out of the extreme passing situations,” Hamilton said. “We’ve had more first-and-20s, second-and-20s, a lot of long-yardage situations. Those situations are tough on any offensive unit, not just the offensive line. I have to find ways to make sure we’re more efficient and more productive on first and second down. . . .
“We’ve gone no-huddle early and often throughout our first two games. But when you have a positive play and then it’s followed up by a self-inflicted negative, you’re going to have some long-yardage situations. It slows down the offense and makes it more of a challenge to get first downs.”
It’s noble for Hamilton to offer to be accountable for things like holding penalties, but the reality is the Colts could use better players in front of Luck instead of just around the edges. That’s a problem that gets solved in March and April and May during free agency and the draft, making the answers hard to come by as September turns to October.