The question just sat and sat: will new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski hire an offensive coordinator? Or will the fact that Stefanski is a former OC and play caller allow the club to simply leave the position vacant?
That question was answered today as Zac Jackson of The Athletic got word from a source that Stefanski has hired Alex Van Pelt.
Van Pelt, 49, was the quarterbacks coach for division foe Cincinnati Bengals for the past two seasons. A former signalcaller himself, Van Pelt is yet another keen, young offensive mind added to the coaching staff to handle an offense that on paper, should be one of the league’s best - yet underachieved tremendously last year under former skipper Freddie Kitchens.
There is experience at the OC position for Van Pelt as he held that position with the Buffalo Bills in 2009. Most of his coaching experience has mainly been as a quarterbacks coach - jobs he has held with Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Buffalo, Cincinnati and previously in NFL Europe.
Originally an eighth-round draft pick out of the University of Pittsburgh with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he eventually was tagged to the practice squad and then released. He was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs to which he was the backup QB to Joe Montana. The following season he signed with the Buffalo Bills and backed up Jim Kelly. Despite playing 11 seasons, he only started 11 games.
In 2005 as the quarterbacks coach for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe, Van Pelt was the team’s play caller. That is the only coaching job in which he called the offensive plays except that partial year with Buffalo. Stefanski has gone on record saying who will call plays this upcoming season is undetermined. Apparently, that decision is pretty clear now as Stefanski displayed good instincts calling plays for the Minnesota Vikings the past two years.
Van Pelt is married to his wife Brooke and the couple have three children.