It appears Tampa Bay’s search for a new quarterbacks coach is over. John Clayton of ESPN.com is reporting a source close to the situation has indicated the Bucs will hire former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt to serve as quarterback’s coach in 2010. Terms of the deal were not immediately known, but its believed to be a one-year deal.
Van Pelt, 39, has spent the past four seasons on Buffalo’s coaching staff. He spent his first two seasons (2006 – 2007) with Buffalo as an offensive quality control coach. In 2008, Van Pelt was promoted to quarterbacks coach. Van Pelt assisted in the development of second-year quarterback Trent Edwards in 2008.
Edwards’ accomplishments under the tutelage of Van Pelt, included posting a 65.5 completion percentage to rank sixth in the NFL as well as ranking second all-time for a single season in Bills history, posting a fourth quarter passer rating of 106.3 to rank third in the NFL, and recording four fourth quarter comeback wins in a season for a team record. Edwards started 14 games in 2008, going 7-7 completing 245 of 374 passes for 2,699 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Last year, Van Pelt replaced Turk Schonert who was fired as Buffalo’s offensive coordinator at the bequest of Bills owner Ralph Wilson before the season started. Buffalo’s offense ranked 30th overall and 30th in passing offense with 157.2 yards per game in 2009.
Van Pelt was an eighth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1993 NFL Draft, out of the University of Pittsburgh. Van Pelt played quarterback in the NFL for 11 seasons with Pittsburgh (1993), Kansas City (1993) and Buffalo (1994-03). He started 11 of the 31 games he played in compiling a record of 3-8 completing 262 of 477 passes for 2,985 yards, 16 touchdowns and 24 interceptions with a completion percentage of 54.9%.
With Van Pelt joining Tampa Bay’s offensive coaching staff, Greg Olson, who has served as the team’s QBs coach for the past two seasons including pulling double duty in 2009 after being promoted to offensive coordinator following the firing of Jeff Jagodzinski, isn’t expected to distance himself far from the quarterbacks room and will remain heavily involved in the development of Josh Freeman in 2010.