Alex Van Pelt

Patriots QB Drake Maye To Enter Camp As Backup?

Since selecting North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye with the No. 3 overall pick of this year’s draft, the Patriots have made it clear that they will take their time before giving Maye the keys to the offense. Part of that decision is due to the acquisition of veteran backup Jacoby Brissett, who, in an eight-year roundtrip that has included stops in Indianapolis, Miami, Cleveland, and Washington, has 48 starts to his name. Another factor is simply that it’s difficult to start in the NFL as a rookie, especially with a new offensive system being installed.

Along with two new frontrunners at quarterback, the Patriots have brought in former Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt to call plays for the first time in his career. After about 12 years as a position coach (mostly mentoring quarterbacks), Van Pelt got his first coordinator job in 2020 under head coach Kevin Stefanski in Cleveland. With Stefanski calling plays, Van Pelt was unable to gain that play-calling experience, calling the offense only once in a Wild Card win over the Steelers, a game which Stefanski missed.

In his first season actually getting to run an NFL offense, Van Pelt has committed to bringing the West Coast offense to New England, per Ben Volin of The Boston Globe. As a coach in the NFL, Van Pelt has had a multitude of experience working for West Coast disciples like Mike McCarthy, Zac Taylor, and Stefanski. Joined by offensive assistant Ben McAdoo (another student of McCarthy) and quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney, who studied under Kyle Shanahan, New England is now the home of multiple offensive coaches with heaps of experience coaching West Coast offenses.

Implementing a new system is going to be a difficult undertaking for the entire offense, let alone Maye. Van Pelt claimed his goal was to make it through the entire offensive playbook in spring practices, per Volin, and to his credit, the new play caller claims that they were able to get through it twice.

Even with two run-throughs in the spring, though, Maye still has a long way to go. In addition to learning a completely new playbook, the rookie will need to make the regular adjustments required of a rookie making the jump to NFL starter. Maye will need to become accustomed to the operations of running an offense, including calling plays in the huddle and communicating audibles. He’ll also need to improve his footwork and work at reading NFL defenses, a much taller task than doing so at the collegiate level.

Because of all the work still required of Maye before he’s ready to lead an NFL offense, the return of Brissett to New England is significant. Two years ago, Brissett served as a stand-in starter while the Browns waited from Deshaun Watson to return from suspension. He also started two nearly full seasons for the Colts after an injury to and surprise retirement from Andrew Luck in two different seasons. His time with five different teams also gives him a litany of experience learning new offenses, as well. Not to mention that his 11 starts for Cleveland came under Van Pelt and Stefanski, making him already well-versed in a similar playbook.

Though the combination of the work to be done by Maye and the experience of Brissett seems to keep Maye out of the starting job for now, Maye has already impressed early. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Maye has seemingly surpassed Bailey Zappe on the depth chart and should come into training camp as QB2. There’s still work to be done as the Patriots wisely take their time ensuring Maye is ready for the NFL, but with the work to be done, the team seems satisfied with where they’re at for now.

No Timetable For Patriots QB Drake Maye To Enter Starting Lineup

The Patriots are hoping they found their QB of the future in third-overall pick Drake Maye. However, after signing veteran Jacoby Brissett as a seat-warmer, the organization isn’t in any rush to throw their rookie quarterback into the fire. While speaking with reporters, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said there’s no specific timetable to elevate Drake into the QB1 role.

“I think you have to take that as it comes,” Van Pelt said (via ESPN’s Mike Reiss). “There is no timetable. Jacoby, again, is our starter and he’s playing excellent football for us in the spring. And Drake is coming on. So until that changes, we’re going to stick with what we got.

“We always talk about earning your reps around here. So as he continues to grow and have successful practices and start stacking those, then we can think about moving him up the depth chart. It’s a process. It’s a marathon. We’re going to take our time and do it the right way.”

As the OC noted, there are still some skills that Maye has to develop before he can enter the starting lineup. While the rookie has quickly adapted to the team’s footwork requirements, he’s still a work in progress when it comes to “calling plays from the huddle.” While there is certainly enthusiasm for Maye’s inevitable ascension into the starting lineup, Van Pelt opines that this developmental time will only help the player’s long-term outlook.

“I think of it as a marathon over a sprint,” Van Pelt said. “You just don’t go out and run a marathon. You have to train properly for a marathon. It’s the same with a quarterback,” he said, when asked the key tenets of developing a rookie at the position.

“There’s a process. We follow that process. We trust that process. You can’t just stick a guy out there and expect him to be successful without the proper training. We’re making moves in the right direction.”

The coaching staff will naturally have a major say in Maye’s development, with Van Pelt and new head coach Jerod Mayo having significant influence over the decision. The OC revealed that the recently promoted Eliot Wolf, who is serving as New England’s executive vice president of player personnel, will also be involved with the decision.

Jonathan Kraft Heavily Involved In Patriots’ Draft Plans; Michael Penix Jr. On Radar

Patriots preparations for their previous 24 drafts featured no questions as to who ran the show. As the franchise pushed its Super Bowl count to 10 and championship number to six, it relied on Bill Belichick to make the call. While some memorable misses took place, the legendary HC certainly fared well in this role as the team regularly built stout defenses around Tom Brady.

This year, the Pats enter the draft with an unusual setup. Eliot Wolf is in place as the de facto GM, but the team is planning to conduct interviews after the draft. It would be quite odd — given the decision the team faces at No. 3 overall — if ownership would consider giving someone else final say post-draft after letting Wolf potentially choose a long-term QB option. Days away from the draft, a quarterback pick is indeed the expectation for the suddenly rebuilding squad.

As the Patriots consider a potential trajectory-altering pick at 3, another key voice has emerged alongside Wolf. Patriots president Jonathan Kraft is “heavily involved” in the team’s pre-draft decision-making process, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. The son of owner Robert Kraft, Jonathan has been with the organization since his father acquired it in the 1990s. While Russini adds Wolf is running the show, the younger Kraft’s involvement obviously generates questions.

Owners regularly intervene in draft decisions, though a clearly defined hierarchy — one that features football-ops personnel leading the way — is certainly the best path for an organization to take regarding high-stakes decisions. Jonathan Kraft playing a major role would mark a significant change for the Patriots, who obviously relied on Belichick for decades. Wolf’s opportunity coming with heavy ownership intervention would be an interesting start to his GM run — if that should indeed commence — with the Patriots would be interesting, as this is the second-generation personnel man’s first opportunity to lead a front office.

As for which way the Patriots are going at No. 3, signs point to them keeping the pick and drafting a quarterback. Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy have fans in the building, per’s Albert Breer, continuing a theme for a team that will probably see both the North Carolina and Michigan prospects on the board when it goes on the clock. The Pats brought a large contingent to Maye’s pro day. In addition to Wolf and Jerod Mayo, Breer adds OC Alex Van Pelt, senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo, QBs coach T.C. McCartney and front office staffers Alonzo Highsmith, Matt Groh, Pat Stewart and Camren Williams also have input in this pivotal draft decision.

New England has also made it known it would be willing to trade the pick, but as of late last week, no offers strong enough are believed to have emerged. That said, Michael Penix Jr. fans reside in the organization. Penix is not expected to be a top-three pick, pointing to the Washington-developed southpaw being in play if the Pats pull the trigger on trading down. In fact, Breer adds the Patriots’ late Penix visit came about because they could be interested in nabbing him following a trade-down maneuver.

Some NFL personnel believe the Patriots will, in fact, trade down,’s Tony Pauline adds. If the Patriots move back, it adds a significant wrinkle to this year’s top five. But if the Vikings or Broncos — both closely connected to moving up for a passer — make a strong enough offer the Pats agree to slide out of the top 10, Pauline adds a belief around the NFL exists indicating the Pats would then select Penix in the middle of Round 1. Our Ely Allen detailed the former Indiana and Washington starter’s prospect profile recently.

The Vikings hold No. 11 overall; the Broncos sit at No. 12. Those spots could be notable, as the Raiders — who are believed to be interested in Penix — sit at No. 13. The Patriots taking this route would bring controversy, given their chances of bringing Maye or McCarthy to Foxborough at 3. But they would add at least a 2025 first-round pick (and almost definitely more) if they moved the pick to Minnesota or Denver. The Giants are also believed to be interested in moving up, with Maye-New York buzz increasing over the past several days. The Pats would not collect as much if they dropped from 3 to 6, however.

Jonathan Kraft is believed to have advised against his father moving on from Belichick after the 2022 season, but the team powered forward with that separation — amid a feud between the accomplished HC and Robert Kraft — after a 4-13 season. Whichever way the Patriots go in this year’s first round, it certainly seems like the younger Kraft will have a notable say in the matter.

Patriots Interested In QB Jacoby Brissett

With the Patriots facing an uncertain future at quarterback, the team may turn to a familiar face. According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, the Patriots have “real” interest in veteran QB Jacoby Brissett.

Brissett entered the NFL as a third-round pick by the Patriots back in 2016. Thanks to a suspension for Tom Brady and an injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, Brissett ended up getting into three games for New England, keeping the ship afloat with a 1-1 record as a starter. That encouraging performance ended up making Brissett a trade candidate, and he was dealt to the Colts before his sophomore season to fill in for Andrew Luck.

The now-veteran QB’s connections to the Patriots go beyond his first stint with the organization. Brissett also worked with current Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt when the two were in Cleveland together. Per Volin, the former Browns OC “loved” Brissett, and the quarterback had one of the most productive seasons of his career while starting 11 games for Cleveland in 2022.

With Mac Jones likely out of the picture and the Patriots armed with the third-overall pick, it’s been hinted that the organization will look to address the quarterback position via the draft. In fact, there were whispers that the Patriots were considering drafting one of the top prospects at No. 3 and pairing him with a bridge QB who could start for a year.

Brissett would certainly fit that bill. The 31-year-old has widely been considered one of the top backup QBs in the NFL, mostly thanks to his performance while filling in for injured QB1s. After going 4-11 during his first stint in Indy, Brissett has gone 13-18 as a starter, including a 2019 campaign where he went 7-8.

Brissett didn’t have an opportunity to start in Washington in 2023, but he tossed 12 touchdowns in 11 starts with the Browns in 2022 (he added another two scores on the ground). The Patriots surely wouldn’t be expecting to compete for a playoff spot with Brissett under center, but they could rest easy knowing the offense is in good hands while their top prospect develops behind the scenes.

Assessing NFL’s OC Landscape

This offseason showed the turnover that can take place at the offensive coordinator position. As a result of several decisions in January and February, the NFL no longer has an OC who has been in his current role for more than two seasons. Various firings and defections now have the 2022 batch of hires stationed as the longest-tenured OCs.

One of the longest-tenured coordinators in NFL history, Pete Carmichael is no longer with the Saints. The team moved on after 15 seasons, a stay that featured part-time play-calling duties. The Browns canned their four-year non-play-calling OC, Alex Van Pelt, while three-year play-callers Arthur Smith and Shane Waldron are relocating this winter. Brian Callahan‘s five-year gig as the Bengals’ non-play-calling OC booked him a top job.

The recent lean toward offense-oriented HCs took a bit of a hit of a hit this offseason, with five of the eight jobs going to defense-oriented leaders. Callahan, Dave Canales and Jim Harbaugh were the only offense-geared candidates hired during this cycle. But half the NFL will go into this season with a new OC. Following the Seahawks’ decision to hire ex-Washington (and, briefly, Alabama) staffer Ryan Grubb, here is how the NFL’s OC landscape looks:

2022 OC hires

  • Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions*
  • Mike Kafka, New York Giants*
  • Wes Phillips, Minnesota Vikings
  • Frank Smith, Miami Dolphins
  • Adam Stenavich, Green Bay Packers
  • Press Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars*

Although this sextet now comprises the senior wing of offensive coordinators, this still marks each’s first gig as an NFL OC. Three of the six received HC interest this offseason.

Johnson’s status back in Detroit has been one of the offseason’s top storylines and a development the Commanders have not taken especially well. The two-year Lions OC was viewed as the frontrunner for the Washington job for weeks this offseason, and when team brass did not receive word about Johnson’s intent to stay in Detroit (thus, waiting until at least 2025 to make his long-expected HC move) until a Commanders contingent was en route to Detroit for a second interview, a back-and-forth about what exactly broke down took place. Johnson should be expected to remain a high-end HC candidate next year, but Dan Campbell will still have his services for 2024.

Kafka interviewed for the Seahawks’ HC job, and the Giants then blocked him from meeting with the NFC West team about its OC position. Rumblings about Kafka and Brian Daboll no longer being on great terms surfaced this year, with the latter yanking away play-calling duties — given to Kafka ahead of the 2022 season — at points in 2023. Taylor may also be on the hot seat with his team. Doug Pederson gave Taylor the call sheet last season, and Trevor Lawrence did not make the leap many expected. After a collapse left the Jaguars out of the playoffs, the team had begun to look into its offensive situation.

2023 OC hires

  • Jim Bob Cooter, Indianapolis Colts
  • Nathaniel Hackett, New York Jets*
  • Mike LaFleur, Los Angeles Rams
  • Joe Lombardi, Denver Broncos
  • Todd Monken, Baltimore Ravens*
  • Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Drew Petzing, Arizona Cardinals*
  • Brian Schottenheimer, Dallas Cowboys
  • Bobby Slowik, Houston Texans*

Only nine of the 15 OCs hired in 2023 are still with their teams. One (Canales) moved up the ladder, while others were shown the door following that organization canning its head coach. The Eagles were the only team who hired an offensive coordinator last year to fire that staffer (Brian Johnson) after one season. Nick Sirianni fired both his coordinators following a wildly disappointing conclusion.

Hackett may also be drifting into deep water, given what transpired last year in New York. Rumblings of Robert Saleh — who is on the hottest seat among HCs — stripping some of his offensive play-caller’s responsibilities surfaced recently. This marks Hackett’s fourth chance to call plays in the NFL; the second-generation staffer did so for the Bills, Jaguars and Broncos prior to coming to New York. After the 2022 Broncos ranked last in scoring, the ’23 Jets ranked 31st in total offense. Hackett’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers has largely kept him in place, but 2024 may represent a last chance for the embattled coach.

Of this crop, Monken and Slowik were the only ones to receive HC interest. Neither emerged as a frontrunner for a position, though Slowik met with the Commanders twice. The Texans then gave their first-time play-caller a raise to stick around for C.J. Stroud‘s second season. Stroud’s remarkable progress figures to keep Slowik on the HC radar. Monken, who is in his third try as an NFL OC (after gigs in Tampa and Cleveland), just helped Lamar Jackson to his second MVP award. The former national championship-winning OC did not stick the landing — as Jackson struggled against the Chiefs — but he fared well on the whole last season.

Schottenheimer is on his fourth go-round as an OC, while Lombardi is on team No. 3. The latter’s job figures to be more secure, being tied to Sean Payton, compared to what is transpiring in Dallas. With the Cowboys having Mike McCarthy as the rare lame-duck HC, his coordinators probably should not get too comfortable.

2024 OC hires

  • Joe Brady, Buffalo Bills*
  • Liam Coen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
  • Ken Dorsey, Cleveland Browns
  • Luke Getsy, Las Vegas Raiders*
  • Ryan Grubb, Seattle Seahawks*
  • Nick Holz, Tennessee Titans
  • Kliff Kingsbury, Washington Commanders*
  • Klint Kubiak, New Orleans Saints*
  • Brad Idzik, Carolina Panthers
  • Kellen Moore, Philadelphia Eagles*
  • Dan Pitcher, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Zac Robinson, Atlanta Falcons*
  • Greg Roman, Los Angeles Chargers*
  • Arthur Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers*
  • Alex Van Pelt, New England Patriots*
  • Shane Waldron, Chicago Bears*

The 49ers do not employ a traditional OC; 16 of the 31 teams that do recently made a change. Most of the teams to add OCs this year, however, did so without employing play-calling coaches. This naturally raises the stakes for this year’s batch of hires.

Retreads became rather popular. Dorsey, Getsy, Moore, Van Pelt and Waldron were all OCs elsewhere (Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle) last season. Smith will shift from calling the Falcons’ plays to running the show for the Steelers. Dorsey, Getsy and Van Pelt were fired; Moore and Waldron moved on after the Chargers and Seahawks respectively changed HCs. Moore and Smith will be calling plays for a third team; for Moore, this is three OC jobs in three years.

Coen, Kingsbury and Roman are back after a year away. Kingsbury became a popular name on the OC carousel, having coached Caleb Williams last season. This will be his second crack at an NFL play-calling gig, having been the Cardinals’ conductor throughout his HC tenure. This will be Coen’s first shot at calling plays in the pros; he was Sean McVay‘s non-play-calling assistant in 2022. Likely to become the Chargers’ play-caller, Roman will have a rare fourth chance to call plays in the NFL. He held that responsibility under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco; following Harbaugh’s explosive 2015 49ers split, Roman moved to Buffalo and Baltimore to work under non-offense-oriented leaders.

Grubb, Holz, Idzik, Pitcher and Robinson represent this year’s first-timer contingent. Grubb has, however, called plays at the college level. Robinson is the latest McVay staffer to move into a play-calling post; he was a Rams assistant for five years. A host of teams had Robinson on their OC radar, but Raheem Morris brought his former L.A. coworker to Atlanta. Pitcher appeared in a few searches as well, but the Bengals made the expected move — after extending him last year — to give him Callahan’s old job.

* = denotes play-calling coordinator

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

After a crowded carousel previously stopped, the 49ers opened their defensive coordinator position. Here is how the NFC champions’ search looks:

Updated 3-2-24 (10:00am CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

  • Gerald Alexander, safeties coach (Raiders): Interviewed 3/1
  • Daniel Bullocks, defensive backs coach (49ers): Interviewed 2/28
  • David Merritt, defensive backs coach (Chiefs): To interview
  • Nick Sorensen, defensive passing game specialist (49ers): Promoted
  • Brandon Staley, former head coach (Chargers): Interviewed

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Alex Van Pelt Lands Patriots’ OC Job

5:20pm: The Patriots have officially announced the hiring. The organization also revealed that they’ve hired Jeremy Springer as their new special teams coordinator.

Springer spent the past two seasons as the Rams assistant special teams coach, and he had previous ST coordinator gigs at Marshall and Arizona. Springer had a pair of interviews for the Patriots job, with the coach having a dinner with Patriots brass last week.

4:20pm: A thorough Patriots search to replace Bill O’Brien took place, and it will end with a recently dismissed coordinator seeing a responsibility increase. Alex Van Pelt will be the Pats’ choice as offensive coordinator,’s Tom Pelissero tweets.

Fired after four seasons as the Browns’ non-play-calling OC, Van Pelt will move into position to call plays for the Patriots. He will become New England’s fourth OC in four seasons. After Josh McDaniels reclaimed the Pats’ play-calling reins for a 10-year period, his Las Vegas exit destabilized this situation. Van Pelt had interviewed for the Buccaneers and Raiders’ jobs, but he will end up with the AFC East club.

The team, which employed O’Brien and Matt Patricia as its primary play-callers over the past two seasons, will look to Van Pelt to offer more consistency. The Pats have now filled their OC and DC posts. With Jerod Mayo bringing a defensive background into his first chance as a head coach, the Van Pelt hire is naturally more important than the recent DeMarcus Covington promotion. After working as a Kevin Stefanski game-planning aide for four years, Van Pelt will pick up play-calling duties in Foxborough.

This hire comes at a rather important juncture for the franchise. The Patriots hold the No. 3 overall pick. Although this was long regarded as a draft that would begin with Caleb Williams and Drake Maye before a potential drop-off at quarterback, Heisman winner Jayden Daniels has made inroads toward being an early draftee. Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest ESPN mock draft has Daniels going off the board to Washington at No. 2, with Maye falling to New England at 3. Whichever passer the Pats end up with, it would be their top draft investment at the position since choosing Drew Bledsoe first overall in 1993.

Chosen seven rounds after Bledsoe in that 1993 draft, Van Pelt played quarterback in the NFL for 11 years. The 53-year-old assistant has primarily coached QBs during his time on the sidelines. Van Pelt was in place as Aaron Rodgers‘ position coach from 2014-17, which overlapped with the second of the ex-Packer great’s four MVP awards. This is now his third crack as an offensive coordinator. The longtime Bills backup QB received an early chance to call plays in Buffalo, back in 2009 under Dick Jauron. A Bills coaching change sent Van Pelt back to the position coach circuit, but the Browns moved him back to the coordinator tier in 2020.

The Browns made the decision to fire Van Pelt, running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney. These ousters proved curious due to the play at certain positions. Cleveland received a boost from its Joe Flacco signing, with the recent Jets backup showing much better form than he displayed in New York. While Flacco could not lead the Browns past the Texans in the wild-card round, Stefanski and Van Pelt helped the aging QB morph from emergency late-season signing to Comeback Player of the Year finalist.

Van Pelt interviewed well in Tampa, per’s Jeremy Fowler, potentially giving him options. The Bucs and Raiders will continue their respective searches. The Patriots are attempting to bounce back from a rough two-season stretch on offense. Mac Jones‘ value tanked in that span, going from Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2021 to a player demoted to the third-string spot by the end of his third seasons.

The Pats ranked 31st in points and 30th in total yardage under O’Brien, who left to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator. The team will turn to Van Pelt (and likely a rookie QB) in an effort to change its fortunes on offense. This will be Van Pelt’s 19th season as an NFL assistant.

With Van Pelt now in the fold, the Patriots can start filling out the rest of their coaching staff. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports that the team is eyeing Andy Dickerson as their offensive line coach. Following a nine-year stint as the Rams assistant OL coach, Dickerson spent four years on the Seahawks staff, serving as the offensive run game coordinator and (later) the offensive line coach.

Buccaneers To Interview Alex Van Pelt For OC Position

The Buccaneers’ search for a new offensive coordinator will include a meeting with a familiar face for quarterback Baker Mayfield. Alex Van Pelt is set to interview with Tampa Bay today, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

[RELATED: Raiders Conduct OC Interview With Van Pelt]

Van Pelt worked alongside Mayfield during their time together with the Browns. The former’s time after Deshaun Watson was acquired was not sufficient for him to remain in place, however, and he was fired after the Browns’ season came to an end. A return to the Buccaneers’ coaching staff could now be in play.

From 2010-11, Van Pelt served as Tampa Bay’s quarterbacks coach. That tenure came after his stint as OC of the Bills, and preceded his time with the Packers and Bengals before he took on his next coordinator opportunity with the Browns. During Van Pelt’s first season in Cleveland, Mayfield posted a career-high passer rating of 95.9 while helping guide the team to an 11-5 record. A strong run game played a major part in that success, but Mayfield’s performances took a turn for the worse after that season.

The former No. 1 pick bounced around to the Panthers and Rams after the end to his Browns tenure, but he impressed during his debut Buccaneers campaign. Mayfield may have played his way into a new deal with Tampa Bay, but an extended tenure with the team would not come with Dave Canales at the helm. The latter parlayed his one-year OC run into the head coaching job with the Panthers.

The Buccaneers put up middling numbers in several categories this season, but the team’s struggles on the ground continued. Tampa Bay finished last in the league in rushing, and the team’s new OC will be tasked with guiding a turnaround in that department. A reunion with Van Pelt (who did not call plays during his overlapping time alongside head coach Kevin Stefanski in Cleveland) in Tampa Bay could help produce a better balance on offense while giving Mayfield a familiar face on the sidelines.

Here is an updated look at the Buccaneers’ ongoing search:

Raiders To Interview Luke Getsy, Alex Van Pelt For OC Job; Kliff Kingsbury On Radar

4:04pm: Kliff Kingsbury is also believed to be on the radar for this position,’s Albert Breer notes. No interview request has emerged, but with the Raiders hiring Tom Telesco as GM, the team can move toward addressing its coordinator spots. Kingsbury joined Robinson in interviewing for the Bears’ job that went to Waldron.

Kingsbury, 44, spent this past season as USC’s quarterbacks coach. This marked a return to the college ranks for Kingsbury, whom the Cardinals fired months after authorizing an extension. Kingsbury led the Cards to the playoffs in 2021, with that offense ranking 11th. The team plummeted to 21st offensively in 2022, a season that concluded with Kyler Murray down with an ACL tear and DeAndre Hopkins missing eight games. Kingsbury called plays throughout his Arizona tenure, giving him more experience in that area than anyone else in this Raiders mix.

1:06pm: With the Raiders making it official with Antonio Pierce, they are going to work on their offensive coordinator position. Two names recently dismissed by other teams are being considered for the job.

The team is planning to interview Luke Getsy and Alex Van Pelt for the vacancy, according to’s Tom Pelissero. The Bears and Browns, respectively, fired these staffers earlier this month. Getsy and Van Pelt join up-and-coming assistants Dan Pitcher (Bengals) and Zac Robinson (Rams) as candidates for the Raiders’ play-calling job.

While Getsy was with the Bears for the past two seasons, the Browns axed Van Pelt following four in Cleveland. This would still be a move up the ladder for Van Pelt, who operated as a non-play-calling OC under Kevin Stefanski. Despite the Browns staying afloat on offense amid potential season-wrecking injuries — to Deshaun Watson, Nick Chubb and their top three tackles — the organization is attempting to adjust its offensive philosophy around Watson’s skillset. As a result, Van Pelt joined running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney in being canned.

Van Pelt, 53, spent six seasons with the Packers, the final four as Aaron Rodgers‘ position coach, and stopped through Cincinnati as QBs coach from 2018-19. Back in 2009, the former NFL QB received an initial try as an OC, being in that role with the Bills. The job did not last past that season, sending Van Pelt back to position coach roles. The Browns advanced to the playoffs twice during the Stefanski-Van Pelt years, and this season’s ticket could well bring Stefanski another Coach of the Year honor. But some of his offensive lieutenants are out anyway.

The Bears are retooling as well, having hired Shane Waldron to lead their offense. Waldron may well have the chance to coach Caleb Williams in Chicago, though the team could still keep Justin Fields and trade its No. 1 pick for a second straight year. Getsy geared his offense around Fields’ rushing talents; the Bears ranked first and second, respectively, in rushing offense with Getsy calling plays over the past two seasons.

Fields also showed progression as a passer this season, but the Bears did not deploy a consistent aerial attack under Getsy, who joined Van Pelt with the Packers from 2014-17. Getsy, 39, also coached Rodgers from 2019-21. Between them, Van Pelt and Getsy were in place as the position coach for three of Rodgers’ four MVP awards. These mark the first OC interviews for either Getsy or Van Pelt since their respective firings.

Browns To Fire OC Alex Van Pelt, Two Others

10:18am: Van Pelt is indeed out. The four-year Browns OC confirmed to’s Jake Trotter he is no longer in place as Stefanski’s top lieutenant on offense. With Stefanski not going anywhere, the Browns will soon begin a search to fill their non-play-calling OC post. The Browns and Van Pelt explored a reassignment of duties, Trotter adds, but ultimately decided to separate.

8:22am: Kevin Stefanski may well collect his second Coach of the Year award in four seasons, but the Browns are coming off a one-sided wild-card loss. Days after the Texans’ Round 1 rout, the Browns are making changes on their offensive staff.

Cleveland is firing running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports. More significantly, Alex Van Pelt may well be on his way out as well. The four-year Cleveland OC has informed some with the team he has also been fired, according to Anderson.

While Mitchell and McCartney are out, both’s Mary Kay Cabot and’s Ian Rapoport indicate Van Pelt is being evaluated. The Browns are seeking fresh ideas on offense, per Cabot, who notes a Van Pelt dismissal is on the table. Van Pelt’s contract includes the 2024 season, Rapoport adds.

Operating as a non-play-calling OC throughout the Stefanski era in Cleveland, Van Pelt has been an NFL staffer since 2006. Aaron Rodgers‘ former QBs coach in Green Bay, Van Pelt is in his second go-round as a coordinator. While Van Pelt served as the Bills’ OC in 2009, it took him 11 years to land another coordinator opportunity. The 53-year-old assistant being moved off the Browns’ staff would certainly be notable, given the form the team’s offense showed amid injuries to its centerpiece players.

The Browns lost Nick Chubb and Jack Conklin for the season in September and were without Deshaun Watson and Jedrick Wills around midseason. Fill-in tackle starter Dawand Jones also sustained a season-ending malady. The Browns nevertheless made a surprising voyage to the AFC playoffs, finishing 11-6 behind a stunning Joe Flacco effort. Flacco could not carry his momentum into the playoffs, throwing back-to-back pick-sixes in a 45-14 loss to the Texans. But the Browns were able to withstand significant injuries to qualify for their second playoff berth under Stefanski, who may well still beat out DeMeco Ryans for Coach of the Year honors as a result.

Mitchell and McCartney have been with the Browns since 2020 as well. A former NFL running back, Mitchell — save for a three-year stint as a college HC — has coached RBs in the league since 1999. The 64-year-old assistant did not have any history with Stefanski prior to his 2020 arrival. Chubb has continued his ascent under Mitchell, becoming one of the best backs in franchise history. The team made do without its Pro Bowl back this season, using Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt to intermittent success.

McCartney, 34, has been Cleveland’s tight ends coach since 2022, moving up from the offensive assistant level. The former Broncos QBs coach helped foster David Njoku‘s long-awaited breakout year. The former first-round pick smashed his career-high numbers in receptions (82) and receiving yards (881) this season, which also included a career-best six touchdowns. Regardless of the outcome with Van Pelt, the Browns will have some vacancies to fill on their offensive staff.