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NFL Coaches and Execs Share Positive Reviews of Patriots Hires

NFL coaches and general managers offered their thoughts on three of the Patriots personnel and coaching hires from the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.

Patriots Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt.
Patriots Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt.

Indianapolis - The first two days of the NFL Scouting Combine feature a parade of NFL coaches and executives taking to the podiums in Indy and commenting on everything from their team's hopes for the offseason to an evaluation of members of their staffs that have moved on to other teams. With the Patriots making over both their front office and coaching staff this spring, there was plenty to glean from the rest of the NFL regarding the coaches and execs New England has added.

Eliot Wolf took the podium representing the Patriots on Tuesday, while others from around the league were singing his praise and excited to see the long-time veteran exec have the opportunity to do so.

"I used to babysit him!," joked Seahawks general manager John Schneider, who first crossed paths with Wolf in the 90s with the Packers. "He was always around us; he was always in the draft room with us. He was always sitting in our offices, always taking as much information as he possibly could, always had very strong opinions."

On Tuesday, Wolf told this was his 30th NFL combine, dating back to the early-90's when he was just 10 years old. Schneider said Wolf always showed an interest and aptitude for scouting and team construction and confirmed his unique ability to recall what he had seen with a near photographic memory.

"Much like his father, he could rip off stats, jersey numbers, all that stuff, so I was very impressed with that," said Schneider. "He's asked me for advice over the years and everything. Unfortunately, having moved away from the Packers now for 15 years or whatever, we haven't stayed in as close of contact as I would have liked. He's probably happy about that, but just highly intelligent, obviously being around his father, seeing his father's interaction with Coach Holmgren at a young age, Coach Sherman, all those coaches who were on that staff, it was like an all-star staff: Andy Reid, Jon Gruden, Marty Mornhinweg, you've seen the staff."

Former Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio crossed paths with Wolf for just a year in New England but saw some impressive potential that Caserio thought would be a big help to new head coach Jerod Mayo.

"Yeah, I have a lot of respect for Eliot," said Caserio from the podium on Wednesday. "Very astute, very aware, good understanding of basically the league... Eliot is very respected. He obviously has a great pedigree, in terms of his dad and he has learned a lot of football, so Eliot understands football. So he's got a great demeanor, a great personality, great perspective, very self aware and he has a good demeanor and I think he'll be able to work in concert with the scouting staff. And then I think he'll be a great asset to Jerod as well as he kind of works his way through."

Wolf wasn't the only new Patriots staffer to be discussed, as New England's heavy influx of coaches from the Cleveland Browns made for easy fodder as Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski spoke with the media.

Stefanski threw plenty of love at new Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, as the duo spent the last four seasons in Cleveland working together.

"You're not going to find a better person than him in this profession," said Stefanski. "AVP is a great friend of mine. I'm excited for him and that opportunity. [He's a] former player, has played in a bunch of different systems. He's coached in different systems, he's collaborative. So I think the Patriots got a great one.

"That view from that quarterback position when you're playing is pretty unique and I think he sees it through the eyes of those players and I think he instructs the system through the eyes of those guys, which is so important."

Also joining the Patriots offensive staff from Cleveland is new offensive line coach Scott Peters, who served under top OL coach Bill Callahan. Like Van Pelt, Peters is a former player and one who Stefanski said will have no hesitation to jump into drills to show his players how it's done.

"Scott did a great job with [the line], we were talking about coach Callahan earlier, Scott's played in this league," said Stefanski. "He's a technician through and through. I think he's somebody that works really hard. I think the players are going to understand, especially in their individual drills, to watch Scott work, watch him instructing some of those techniques. He's really doing a great job."

With coaches and general managers wrapping things up on Wednesday, the Combine's full focus shifts to the players on Thursdays, with the defensive backs wrapping up the defensive player interviews and the tight ends kicking off the offensive side of the ball.

DISCLAIMER: The views and thoughts expressed in this article are those of the writer and don't necessarily reflect those of the organization. Read Full Disclaimer

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