This past Friday, Albert Breer talked about what Alex Van Pelt will bring to the Patriots as their new offensive coordinator. In doing so, though, he talked about how people were floored about Van Pelt’s dismissal in Cleveland for a couple of reasons — in addition, he dropped a nugget that the move was motivated by the fact that ownership and Paul DePodesta weren’t happy with the progress of Deshaun Watson. Give it a listen below, but I also transcribed the sound bite too:
“The reason he was let go in Cleveland was because ownership and Paul DePodesta, not Kevin Stefanski, were frustrated with the progress Deshaun Watson has made. I don’t think the people who made that decision [to fire Van Pelt] really knew his value to that staff. Other people on that staff — not so much Kevin, but the people below him — were floored when they fired him for two reasons.
Number one, how do you fire the offensive coordinator after you just won 11 games with four different quarterbacks, without your fourth and fifth tackles, without Nick Chubb. He was able to build an offense that was able to sustain [success]. The other reason [people were floored] is the real key, though. He was the glue of that staff. Kevin, if you know him, is a great guy, but he’s not the most outgoing guy. His personality is very dry, he’s got a good sense of humor, but he’s not this outwardly gregarious guy. Alex was the one that held that staff together — when guys were coming out, when guys were coming in. He is a guy who was a unifying force in that building...”
I think it’s impossible to say right now what Ken Dorsey will bring to the table over Van Pelt, particularly since we don’t know who the playcaller will be. It is true that Deshaun Watson’s progress was not ideal over the past two seasons, but I don’t think Van Pelt deserves to be a scapegoat for that. Maybe ownership wanted a candidate who was willing to be all-in with molding the offense for Watson’s strengths. We’ll see if that’s Dorsey. I think it’s a bit over-rated to call Van Pelt the “glue guy” of the staff; with Stefanski always calling plays, Van Pelt always came off as an offensive assistant as opposed to a coordinator to me.