New Packers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt: The easy, expected move
Yesterday CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora first tweeted the news that Alex Van Pelt will move over from coaching running backs to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks in 2014. (We know that’ll be Rodgers and Scott Tolzien for certain; Matt Flynn is one of the Packers’ many unrestricted free agents.) Van Pelt had reportedly been considered for other positions, including offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns and their new(est) regime, but as the Green Bay Press-Gazette later noted on Thursday, with a year left on his contract, the Packers could have blocked Van Pelt from any interview short of a head coaching gig.
So here we are. Van Pelt’s experience mostly lies in working with quarterbacks (he was also a NFL quarterback), and a familiar face will remain in the locker room to strategize with Rodgers and develop the backups, whomever they will be. Rodgers spoke this offseason about wanting a quarterbacks coach he can prepare with, dissect coverages and schemes with, more than anything else. Van Pelt simply fits.
This was going to be an offseason of questions. They’ve been sinking lower and closer on the horizon since last offseason, and now we’re just about on top of them. Players that have played big roles or were once expected to play big roles in what the Packers do moving forward will probably not be here next season. Green Bay needs a running backs coach, expectedly, and an outside linebackers coach after Kevin Greene stepped away for the right reasons, albeit unexpectedly. There is too much time before the NFL Combine and Draft for us to sink ourselves into that endless reservoir of guessing just yet, but with that brings more uncertainty and spaces needing attention and players to potentially fill the gaps.
It’s all out there, and will be out there. Free agency doesn’t start until March. As Packers fans, we’re in one of the quietest and loudest-in-the-emptiest-way periods of the NFL offseason, waiting for the Super Bowl and dreading the waiting that comes after. It’s mostly waiting, in whatever iteration you want to have it, though, until there’s something new to talk about.
So Van Pelt stays with the team – he probably would’ve had to but indicated he wanted to anyway – but here’s a straightforward and sensible move nonetheless. These may not be as easy to find once the “meat” of the offseason gets underway – the “meat” of the offseason being your dollar-bill-thick hamburger tasting like printer paper and grayed, day-old charcoal compared to the regular season’s tastier, substantive offering. It’s not going to get a lot of conversations flowing over the airwaves, and it doesn’t lend itself to much analysis at all, really. But for now we should probably enjoy the familiarity and ease. Change is coming in Green Bay; this little one will likely be forgotten once heavier dominoes start falling and taking stuff down with them like a small child learning to walk around your living room.
Moving Van Pelt to quarterbacks coach is a good, expected, and easy-to-understand move. There really isn’t much more to it.