The Patriots’ decision to hire Alex Van Pelt caught many by surprise when it was announced Thursday, given the fact that his interview was never even reported prior to his addition to the staff.

Things are coming into focus as more information is revealed, though.

Van Pelt was hired almost immediately after his interview, so he must have really knocked Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo’s socks off. It sure seems like New England’s options were dwindling, but there’s obviously a level of confidence that he can lead its quest to find offensive competence.

What decisions will he be allowed to make? How will his recent stops shape the Patriots’ offense? What concerns should fans have? Is he the right man for the job?

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Let’s try to answer those questions.

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What decisions will he be allowed to make?

It didn’t take long for us to find the answer to this question, as it was quickly reported that Van Pelt would have a “heavy hand” in the Patriots’ search for a QB. New England, knowing it’s about to enter a fourth consecutive season with a new offensive system, will allow the 53-year-old to give his input when ultimately deciding who the next franchise guy is.

“(Van Pelt) has his beliefs, but if they go that direction, and I imagine they will, he’ll just want the best player and he’ll tailor things to whatever that guy does best,” a source close to Van Pelt told Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston.

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How will his recent stops shape the Patriots’ offense?

Van Pelt spent the last four seasons with the Cleveland Browns but had stints with the Cincinnati Bengals (2018-2019) and Green Bay Packers (2012-2017) before that — all of which saw him work with quarterbacks. It was in his time working with the Browns, however, that he had a bigger say in what the offense did.

Cleveland’s offense is built inside out, with the offensive line serving as a strength. The Browns used six or more offensive linemen more than anyone else in the NFL last season, as shared by Taylor Kyles, and saw tight end David Njoku emerge despite playing with a number of different signal-callers.

Does that mean the Patriots will focus on building the offensive line, running the ball and finding depth at tight end this offseason? Not necessarily, but it could have a bigger point of emphasis than some might think.

What concerns should fans have?

Van Pelt hasn’t called plays in the NFL yet. The last guy New England hired to call offensive plays without any prior experience? Matt Patricia.

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We can almost guarantee you that Van Pelt’s tenure with the Patriots won’t go that poorly, but it’s cause for some sort of concern. He’s essentially been tasked with building game plans over the past decade-plus, while Kevin Stefanski, Zac Taylor and Mike McCarthy called plays. It remains to be seen how his first foray into that sphere will shake out.

Is he the right man for the job?

It might not be the answer everyone is looking for, but Van Pelt is the right man if not only for the fact he was the best available option. His new job wasn’t exactly sought after.

Van Pelt is a “phenomenal culture guy” who can provide experience to an otherwise young coaching staff, however. He brings a lot of things the Patriots needed. It just remains to be seen if everything will fit as they hope.

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Featured image via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images