Shortly after it was confirmed that former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator was named head coach of the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, reports surfaced that Packers assistant Alex Van Pelt would shift from coaching running backs to coaching quarterbacks.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com, Van Pelt was originally identified by Pettine as a potential offensive coordinator candidate.
Per league rules, NFL teams can block assistant coaches under contract for interviewing for other NFL assistant jobs except for head coach, and the Packers could have conceivably done so with Van Pelt. They previously did the same back when Tom Clements was the quarterbacks coach and was being considered as offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears.
Perhaps the move to quarterbacks coach can be viewed as a way to appease Van Pelt and put him in a place that's more of his wheelhouse as a former NFL quarterback and quarterbacks coach with both the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The quarterbacks coach job became open in Green Bay when Ben McAdoo left to become offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, and Van Pelt was a natural fit.
Of course, the Packers now have an opening on their staff for a running backs coach, as well as an outside linebackers coach after Kevin Greene stepped down last week.
Whether the Packers choose to fill the openings from within the organization, such as the quality control coaches, remains to be seen. And either way, they'd still have an opening to fill somewhere on the staff.
It seems unlikely that Edgar Bennett would shift back to coaching running backs after previously making the move to wide receivers coach in 2011, although the possibility can't be ruled out.
Van Pelt will hold one of the more visible position coaching in the entire NFL by virtue of getting to work with Aaron Rodgers, the league's highest-paid player and former MVP. But he'll also have the challenge of finding a better backup plan than the Packers had in 2013 when Rodgers was injured for the better part of eight games.
Matt Flynn and Seneca Wallace become free agents in March, but Scott Tolzien remains under contract. It's possible that the Packers could look for help at the position in the NFL draft as well.
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