The LA Chargers come off a 7-9 season in which more than a few games were decided by one possession. They subsequently fired Head Coach Anthony Lynn after spending four seasons with the team and compiling a 33-31 record. Though this past season may have been frustrating, some individual efforts were put forth during the year. One of those being former XFL DC Defenders Head Coach and current Quarterbacks Coach Pep Hamilton.
After spending 9 plus years in the college ranks, followed by stops in the NFL, Hamilton made his way to the XFL in 2020. He led the Defenders to a 3-2 record and first place in the East Division. LA took notice of Hamilton’s success and hired him to be the new QB Coach heading into last season. Below I’ll examine Hamilton and his role in the NFL moving forward following his impressive coaching performance in 2020.
Outside of his above mentioned college coaching resume, Pep has also been a Quarterbacks coach in the NFL for the Jets, 49ers, Bears, and Browns. Hamilton has worked with quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck, Alex Smith, Cardale Jones, and now first-year Quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert was the 6th overall pick in this past April’s draft, and many thought it would take him some time to adjust to the style of play the NFL provides. Under the tutelage of Pep Hamilton, Herbert has quickly blossomed into a potential Rookie of the Year candidate.
Take a look at these impressive stats in Herbert’s Rookie season:
Adding to the above stats, Herbert finished his rookie season ranking first among rookies in yards and TD’s. He finished top ten in yards and TD’s among all quarterbacks in the NFL to be exact. Herbert also set the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes in a season. Furthermore, Herbert joins Patrick Mahomes as the only QB’s to throw for over 4,000 yards in their first 14 starts.
Surely Herbert’s rookie season is the doing of his own time and preparation game in and game out. Add in a veteran coach like Pep Hamilton taking Herbert under his wing, and you have the makings of a potential Pro Bowl caliber player for years to come.
As we look ahead into 2021, the LA Chargers are without a Head Coach. Could Hamilton be a leftover for whoever takes the HC gig? Or, could Hamilton look to leave the Chargers organization in search of a higher position in the NFL, such as Offensive Coordinator? As we await his fate, we cannot help but think Hamilton has etched his name into the NFL coaching ranks with an outstanding showing in the 2020 season. With seven NFL Head Coaching jobs to be filled, organizations will need to fill in staffs to prepare for the 2021 season and beyond. Teams including the Jaguars, Lions, and Eagles will surely be looking for Offensive minded coaches heading into the offseason. Furthermore, we can expect several teams to shuffle their QB situations via the draft, trades, and free agency.
As Hamilton has shown, he knows how to develop Quarterbacks at the highest level. Pep Hamilton is a name that should be on the radar of teams as they look towards the future.