Jue. Feb 29th, 2024

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots hired Alex Van Pelt as their offensive coordinator Thursday, the team announced.

Van Pelt, who spent the past four seasons as the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, fills a critical position on first-year coach Jerod Mayo’s staff and signifies that the team might be moving to more of a West Coast-based system.

Van Pelt didn’t call the offensive plays for the Browns, as head coach Kevin Stefanski handled those responsibilities, but the 53-year-old stepped in to do so in Cleveland’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2020 playoffs when Stefanski was sidelined because of COVID-19.

This will be Van Pelt’s 29th season in the NFL and his 20th as an assistant coach. In Cleveland, he was part of the offensive staff for a unit that scored 408 points in the 2020 season, the second most in team history. Cleveland’s running game ranked in the top 10 in three of his four seasons on staff.

A longtime quarterback for the Buffalo Bills (1994-2003), Van Pelt has spent the majority of his coaching career working with quarterbacks, with Buffalo, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Green Bay Packers, the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland.

In Green Bay, Van Pelt worked with current Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf, who enters his fifth season in New England and is emerging as a leading front-office presence following Bill Belichick’s 24-year tenure. Alongside Mayo, the 41-year-old Wolf was part of the Patriots’ interviews with assistant coaches, according to sources. Wolf, the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf, was with the Packers from 2004-2017 — crossing over with Van Pelt for six seasons.

The Patriots tied for last in the NFL last season, averaging 13.8 points per game. They have Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe returning at quarterback, and also own the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft, with which they could select one of the top collegiate signal-callers.

Sources say the Patriots have also identified former Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks assistant coach Andy Dickerson as their top target to coach the offensive line.

The Patriots also promoted defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington to defensive coordinator and hired Rams assistant special teams coach Jeremy Springer as their special teams coordinator.

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