Hamilton committed to getting Texans offense on track

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13069751ac) Houston Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, center, talks with quarterbacks Davis Mills (10) and Jeff Driskel (6) during an NFL football training camp practice, in Houston Texans Camp Football, Houston, United States – 05 Aug 2022

Hamilton committed to getting Texans offense on track

The Texans offensive coordinator wants improvement in all aspects of the offense.

Houston Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton had his weekly press conference Thursday and expressed confidence that he and his unit can correct their mistakes and be more productive.

He said they must improve in situational spots:

“I think overall; we’re going to play better situational football moving forward. That’s going to be the difference in us closing out games and winning games. Ultimately, we feel like that’s key. The key for Davis, key for everybody on the offensive unit, is to understand how important it is that we convert third-and-1.”

Hamilton expressed there is no single way to improve on 3rd and short:

“We’ll do whatever we need to do to be better on third-down-and-short. We come up with different ways from week to week that we feel like based on film study, we can get a yard, and we’ll do a better job.”

Hamilton does not believe Davis Mills is hitting some sort of “sophomore wall”:

“Technically, he’s not really a sophomore. He’s still learning on the job. You can’t teach experience. We recognize that there’s a reason that he’s our starting quarterback, and that goes for every position on the offense. We feel like he can do the job. We’ll all get better at being more consistent at doing our jobs.”

Hamilton admits there is a point where learning has to become experience, but right now they are still learning:

“The answer to your question is, of course, yes. You can’t teach experience. I’ll continue to say that. At the same time, I think the more he (Davis Mills) plays, the more all of our young guys play; they’ll have a reference point for how to handle different situations even better the next time that they have to function in that space. He’s working at it just like all our guys, and we’ve got to find a way to go out and beat the Chargers.”

Mills’ decision-making on RPOs has been a topic all week since head coach Lovie Smith stated they needed to make better decisions in those situations earlier in the week. The Texans offensive coordinator assessed Mills’ progressions:

“We thought he went through his progressions fairly well. As you mentioned, we felt like our guys up front were really good in pass protection on Sunday. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure that Davis (Mills) was hit more than two or three times in that game. With any quarterback, you tend to function a little better in a space where you’re confident that you’re not getting touched. Nevertheless, he’s got progression reads. He went through his progressions. We were able to get to the second, third progressions at times. Still, we have to be even more opportunistic and make more plays in critical situations. That’s what we’re looking to do.”

The coach acknowledged there’s been a disconnect between Mills and top WR Brandin Cooks:

“We’ve had a few missed opportunities. Nevertheless, there’s still an important part of what we do, and that’s finding ways to feature our playmakers. We’ll do a better job of connecting.”

Hamilton addressed why Cooks has spent less time in the slot this season as a function of the team having only played three games:

“We still have a lot of football ahead of us. In time, we’ll continue to move guys around and put them in the best positions that we feel like we can attack the opponent.”

Coach Hamilton discussed what his message has been to RB Dameon Pierce after he fumbled twice last week:

“Of course, we have to protect the football. Ball security is job security. We don’t anticipate that it will be a problem moving forward; just double-arm wrap the ball in traffic. We always tell our guys, it’s the guys that you don’t see that come from behind and knock the ball out. It’s important to him to run hard, protect the football, so we’ll make those adjustments.”

How do you handle the balance between running hard and protecting the ball? Hamilton explained:

“We don’t want anything to get in the way of him being an instinctual runner moving forward. It’s just something fundamentally that he’ll be aware of. Scars are reminders. If there’s one thing that he did once we got on the practice field yesterday for the first time since that game on Sunday, he was very conscious of ball positioning, double-arm wrapping the ball in traffic, just securing the football. At the same time, we don’t want that to slow him down. We want him to be able to run hard, run smart, but protect the football at the same time.”

Hamilton feels the team is on the right track for improving the run game:

“Just keep chipping away. We’ll keep chipping away. We played some really good defensive fronts, and we have another good defensive front coming in on Sunday. We have to continue to have good fundamentals, techniques and come up with ways to run the football effectively.”

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