Expanding their search to include some former head coaches, the Panthers are not expected to meet with one of their preferred candidates. Texans quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton is expected to pass on an interview with the Matt Rhule-led team, Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 tweets.
The former Colts OC might have another option. Despite the Texans axing David Culley and OC Tim Kelly, Hamilton remains on the radar to rise to the offensive coordinator role under the next Houston head coach, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets.
This would certainly be an interesting move, as head coaches frequently bring in their own OCs. It is not known if the Texans would insist their next coach keep Hamilton on staff, but Wilson adds that the veteran NFL assistant looms as a “strong” in-house replacement option. Hamilton has no history with the Patriots, making 2021 his first season under GM Nick Caserio.
It would make sense to keep a familiar voice on staff for Davis Mills, who showed considerable progress once named the team’s full-time starter in December. Although the Texans’ offense ranked 30th this season — featuring evolving skill-position personnel and Laremy Tunsil missing most of the year — Mills rebounded after a difficult start, steering the team to an upset win over the Chargers and finishing the season with a three-touchdown, no-interception game in a narrow loss to the Titans.
The Texans are looking for an offensive coordinator for the first time in three years. They promoted from within previously, elevating Kelly to the role in 2019. Kelly, however, had an extensive history under then-HC Bill O’Brien. Hamilton, 47, has been with five teams — the Browns, Michigan, the XFL’s D.C. Defenders, the Chargers and Texans — since his three-year Colts OC run ended after the 2015 season. Hamilton mentored Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert in 2020. The Panthers have interviewed seven candidates, including former HCs Jay Gruden and Ben McAdoo, for their OC position.
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