The New England Patriots have found their new offensive coordinator.
Alex Van Pelt will replace Bill O'Brien as the Patriots' OC, the team announced Thursday evening. The move comes as a surprise as Van Pelt was not initially reported as one of the many who interviewed for the vacant position.
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MassLive.com's Mark Daniels reports Van Pelt interviewed with the Patriots on Thursday and was hired hours later.
Van Pelt, a former NFL quarterback, has spent the last four seasons as the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator. The 53-year-old's NFL coaching experience dates back to 2006 when he served as the Buffalo Bills' offensive quality control coach. He also served as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in Buffalo (2008-09), a QB coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-11), a running backs coach (2012-13) and QB coach (2014-17) for the Green Bay Packers, and a QB coach with the Cincinnati Bengals (2018-19) before joining Cleveland.
During his time in Green Bay, Van Pelt worked with now-Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf.
Van Pelt has his work cut out for him as he begins his Patriots tenure. New England's offense was a disaster throughout the 2023 campaign, resulting in a 4-13 record and the team's third missed playoff berth in four years. Third-year quarterback Mac Jones didn't last the full season as he was benched due to poor performance. Bailey Zappe didn't fare much better as Jones' replacement.
Who's in charge of the offense matters little if the Patriots don't improve their talent on that side of the ball this offseason. They'll look to make significant changes when NFL free agency opens on March 13, followed by the NFL Draft on April 25. New England owns the third overall pick in the draft.