Alex Van Pelt will be the “lead guy” in working with Drake Maye

It’s weird to see a Patriots rookie quarterback with an actual quarterback number.

These days, plenty of things in New England will be weird in comparison to the mostly strategic weirdness that marked the tenure of Bill Belichick.

Belichick ran everything. New coach Jerod Mayo will be delegating one key aspect of the job to his offensive coordinator, Alex Van Pelt. He’ll have the task of working with the franchise’s most significant draft pick since Drew Bledsoe in 1993.

“You know, across the league, most offensive coordinators, they interact with the quarterback, the starting quarterback for the most part,” Mayo told reporters during this weekend’s rookie minicamp. “We do have a group of coaches that have quarterback backgrounds, but I would say overall it would be [Van Pelt] as far as that lead guy. . . . There has to be balance there, you don’t want Drake hearing too many voices. Once again, that’s why I’m saying that [Van Pelt] will be the lead guy as far as that communication with Drake.”

Mayo said he’s basing that approach on his own experiences.

“You hear all these voices, but you have to have a small circle that you really talk to and trust,” Mayo said. “I think [Van Pelt] is in that circle. I know [Van Pelt] is in that circle with Drake and the rest of the quarterbacks.”

It’s a big assignment for Van Pelt, who is a member of a surprisingly robust club of offensive coordinators who crash-landed in other cities with the same job. Fired by the Browns, where the head coach is an offensive specialist, Van Pelt is now running the offense on a team with a defensive head coach.


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