There’s plenty on the plate already of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt just a few weeks into his new job.

Van Pelt is tasked with resurrecting a dysfunctional Patriots offense that finished tied for last in the NFL in scoring at 13.9 points per game. A big part in getting New England’s offense on track is getting things right at the quarterback position.

That all-important assignment will be put on Van Pelt, too. The former Buffalo Bills quarterback, who spent the last four seasons as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator, has an extensive history coaching signal-callers. Van Pelt has been a quarterbacks coach with the Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals.

Van Pelt met with the media Wednesday at Gillette Stadium for the first time since his hiring and described exactly what he’s looking for in his ideal quarterback.

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“Smart, tough, and a leader. You put him in those categories,” Van Pelt told reporters, per team-provided video. “Obviously, there’s accuracy in the pass game and mobility and decision-making; there’s a lot that goes into it. But at the end of the day, that role is such an important role for not just the offense but the team as well. A guy that’s a true leader that can come in and really understands his teammates and gets the best out of those guys.

“The physical attributes are obviously important, but if a guy is a great leader and can come in and make good decisions and throw the ball accurately, those are all pluses. But the guys I’ve been around that are the great players often (are) the best leaders and the most competitive guys as well.”

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It feels as though the Patriots could go in any direction when it comes to their quarterback situation. Despite the massive struggles of Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, both are currently on the roster — there was a report New England might look to trade Jones — and the Patriots could give them another chance, letting the duo, especially Jones, be Van Pelt’s reclamation projects.

There’s always the possibility the Patriots look for an upgrade at the position by signing a veteran in free agency. Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield and even a perennial backup like Jacoby Brissett could be options.

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New England also has the No. 3 overall pick in the draft with an opportunity to select its next franchise quarterback. If the Patriots go that route, Van Pelt would put a lot of stock into a certain characteristic when assessing the top quarterback prospects.

“This goes back to decision-making, accuracy, the fundamentals, mechanics if the guy’s sound — big one again is leadership,” Van Pelt said. “Was he a four, three-year captain? Why wasn’t he a captain? All that really plays together. The big piece to me is the leadership, the toughness, the accuracy, and the decision-making.”

The Patriots have mostly been linked to UNC’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels with the team’s first-round selection. Both quarterbacks took on leadership roles in college with Maye a two-time captain and Daniels being named a captain for the Tigers this past season.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images