NFL News: Green Bay makes Alex Van Pelt its new QB coach

van pelt packersImmediately after the Mike Pettine hiring, Green Bay running backs coach Alex Van Pelt was mentioned as one of the early favorites for Cleveland’s offensive coordinator. That won’t be the case.

Quickly on Thursday afternoon, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that he heard Van Pelt was staying in Green Bay with a promotion to be their new quarterbacks coach. He’d be replacing the since-departed Ben McAdoo, the new New York Giants offensive coordinator. Further reports circulated about the move on Thursday night and Friday.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein pointed out, the Packers had the right to block interview requests for Van Pelt. In the NFL, only assistant interviews for head coaching positions are fully safe. Teams also cannot block interviews for coaches no longer under contract, such as the situation for McAdoo, who had been expected to leave this offseason.

Van Pelt, 43, is most well known as a former quarterback at Pitt and for the Buffalo Bills. He began his coaching career with four years in Buffalo and followed that with two in Tampa Bay. He just completed his second season as Green Bay’s running backs coach. He’s regarded as an up-and-coming coaching prospect, and with only one year left in his contract, could be a hot possible coordinator candidate next year.

Earlier, the Bills tabbed Jim Schwartz as Pettine’s replacement. That leaves Bills LB coach Jim O’Neill as the easy favorite to land the defensive coordinator job in Cleveland.

On the offensive side, it’s possible that Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter could remain a candidate for a lateral move to Cleveland. Van Pelt was listed as the early favorite. Another candidate could be former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, but such a move is now hinted as being unlikely.

[Related: Browns hit reset again with Mike Pettine]

Photo: Associated Press