The easiest way to get hired as a member of the NY Jets coaching staff (or roster, for that matter) is to have a connection to Aaron Rodgers or Nathaniel Hackett. That may not be the best way of conducting business, but it's the strategy the Jets have seemingly employed.
With that in mind, a former coach of Rodgers with ties to Hackett has officially hit the open market. The Cleveland Browns made the somewhat surprising decision to fire offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt on Wednesday.
Van Pelt has been with the Browns since 2020 and was forced to navigate a slew of offensive injuries this season. To his credit, the Browns ended up winning 11 games despite playing four different quarterbacks. The defense may have carried the team, but Cleveland's offense held their own.
It wasn't enough to save Van Pelt's job, however. Given his prior ties to Rodgers and Hackett, he seems like a prime candidate to join the Jets' coaching staff if the team wants to add another piece to their offensive staff.
Alex Van Pelt would make a ton of sense for the NY Jets
A former NFL quarterback, Van Pelt's first stop as an NFL coach came in Buffalo, where he crossed paths with future Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Van Pelt was the Bills' offensive quality control coach before being promoted to the role of quarterbacks coach in 2008 and later to offensive coordinator in 2009. Hackett took his place as the new offensive quality control coach.
A stint as Josh Freeman's quarterbacks coach in Tampa Bay followed before he joined the Packers' coaching staff in 2012. He would serve as Rodgers' quarterbacks coach from 2014-2017 after two years as Green Bay's running backs coach.
Van Pelt spent two years as the Cincinnati Bengals' quarterbacks coach from 2018-2019 before leaving to join Kevin Stefanski's staff in Cleveland.
Unlike some of the other Rodgers-adjacent coaches, Van Pelt actually has a respectable track record — especially compared to most of the Jets' current offensive coaching staff.
The 53-year-old assistant led Josh Freeman to his best season in the NFL in 2010, helping the former first-round pick throw for 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions en route to a 10-6 Buccaneers record.
His work with the Browns' offense over the last few years has been notable as well, even if Stefanski has been the major brains behind the operation. He's no Kyle Shanahan, but Van Pelt does have a considerably better reputation and track record than most of the other coaches on the Jets' offensive staff.