clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buffalo Bills considering a QB coach hire; Alex Van Pelt a candidate

Nathaniel Hackett worked under Alex Van Pelt in Buffalo for two years, in 2008 and 2009. A report indicates that the Bills would like to reunite the duo once more - but they may have trouble making it happen.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

It's looking like the Buffalo Bills may be in the market for a quarterbacks coach, a position that offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett held last season and a point of frustration for many fans upset about Buffalo's offensive direction. They reportedly have a candidate in mind already, as well.

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Green Bay Packers running backs coach Alex Van Pelt - who is currently a candidate to replace Ben McAdoo (now the New York Giants' offensive coordinator) as the Packers' quarterbacks coach - is a target of Bills head coach Doug Marrone and Hackett for the same role in Buffalo.

"A source said the Bills were interested in hiring Van Pelt as quarterbacks coach," McGinn wrote, "but with a year remaining on his contract in Green Bay, it's unlikely (Mike McCarthy) would let him go."

Even if you don't remember that Van Pelt spent nine seasons as a backup quarterback for the Bills from 1995-2003, you may remember his four-year run as an offensive assistant on Dick Jauron's coaching staff. He started as a quality control coach in 2006 and 2007, then coached the team's quarterbacks in 2008 before a last-minute promotion to offensive coordinator following the firing of Turk Schonert just before the 2009 season began.

In those last two seasons on Buffalo's coaching staff, Van Pelt worked with Hackett, who had been hired to fill Van Pelt's old quality control role after his promotion to quarterbacks coach. That two-year period is purportedly when Van Pelt taught Hackett about the "K-Gun" offense that he learned in his playing days; Hackett brought many of those up-tempo concepts to Buffalo in the offense that he and Marrone developed at Syracuse.

It's interesting enough that the Bills would target Van Pelt, given his familiarity with not only Hackett, but the offense that the Bills run - even if, as McGinn points out, it might not be particularly likely that the Bills end up landing Van Pelt for the quarterbacks coach job. It's perhaps more interesting - and heartening for fans that believe Hackett was in over his head in 2013 - that the Bills are considering bringing in a quarterbacks coach at all.