The Cincinnati Bengals are reportedly losing their quarterback coach to a division rival, the Cleveland Browns.
The move comes after the Browns organization recently hired the Vikings former offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach. Stefanski is clearly getting to work quickly, poaching one of the best coaches the Bengals employ.
Van Pelt has been with the Bengals for two years. Prior to his stint in Cincinnati, he spent 2012 through 2017 with the Green Bay Packers and is known for his tremendous work with Aaron Rodgers.
The 14-year veteran will be stepping into the role of offensive coordinator for the second time in his career.
The experienced quarterback’s coach was expected to be an excellent resource for the presumptive next franchise signal-caller, Joe Burrow. Now, Zac Taylor and company will have to find a replacement quickly in order to continue scouting the LSU product.
According to @pauldehnerjr, the team is expected to promote assistant quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher to fill the void, although nothing has been confirmed yet.
The hiring of Van Pelt marks the second occasion the Browns have brought in a coach with connections to the Bengals this off-season. Cincinnati was rumored to be interested in Bill Callahan, primarily due to the fact that his son, Brian, serves as the Bengals offensive coordinator. However, Cleveland hired the highly respected coach earlier this January.
These moves will only add fuel to the fire in the battle of Ohio. The all-time record between the franchises currently sits at 51-42 in favor of the Bengals, with the season series being split 1-1 in 2019. Fans of both franchises can certainly expect the rivalry to heat up moving forward.