The New England Patriots are hiring ex-Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt to be their new offensive coordinator, a source confirmed to the Boston Herald.

Van Pelt, 53, was fired in Cleveland last month after four seasons with the team. During his tenure, the Browns’ offense ranked in the top half of league in scoring every year but one. Van Pelt has extensive experience coaching quarterbacks and previously served as an offensive coordinator with the Bills in 2009.

According to a league source, Van Pelt interviewed with the Patriots on Wednesday night and spent all day Thursday in New England. Van Pelt’s hiring was unexpected, as the Patriots were connected to 11 other candidates during their search. Among those candidates were Rams tight ends coach Nick Caley and ex-Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who reportedly traveled to New England for in-person interviews this week.

Caley, who visited for a second interview, was long considered the favorite and became the team’s first finalist in recent days, according to sources. The 41-year-old spent the first eight years of his career in New England before leaving last offseason for Los Angeles, where he may be in line for a promotion after the Rams lost passing game coordinator Zac Robinson, now Atlanta’s offensive coordinator.

On Van Pelt, a league source who previously worked him said: “Great dude. Culture changer. Good coach. West Coast (offense) mostly, but has other influences.”

Van Pelt played 11 seasons in the NFL as a backup quarterback, mostly with Buffalo. He started eight games in 2001, but Drew Bledsoe took over as the starter in 2002 after being acquired from the Patriots.

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