Sunday, November 20, 2011

Alex Van Pelt

Sent: 11/10/11
Received: 11/19/11
Time: 9 Days
Address: c/o Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Item Sent: 2002 Topps Chrome, 2003 Topps Total, 2003 Upper Deck
Item Received: 2002 Topps Chrome, 2003 Topps Total, 2003 Upper Deck.  All signed in black Sharpie.

Van Pelt was terrific in his role as a backup quarterback for the Bills for ten seasons.  He signed with the Bills as a free agent in 1994 and spent the season as a third-stringer behind Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and gold-standard backup Frank Reich.  When Reich left for a starting gig with the expansion Carolina Panthers the next year, Van Pelt stepped into the #2 role.  Following Kelly's retirement the Bills signed free agents Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie to compete for the starting job.  While those two went back and forth, Van Pelt lingered in the background, holding the clipboard.  Finally in 2001, after Johnson went down with an injury, Van Pelt stepped into the role of top dog.  He made eight of his 11 career starts that year, amassed 2,056 of his 2,985 career passing yards and threw 12 of his 16 career touchdown passes.  The next season, though, Drew Bledsoe came to Buffalo and Van Pelt went back to the bench.  Always a fan favorite, he stepped into the broadcast booth shortly after retiring.  From there it was on to Dick Jauron's coaching staff.  He spent most of 2009 as the Bills' interim offensive coordinator, but was let go with most of the rest of the staff at the end of the season.  In 2010, Van Pelt was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their quiarterbacks coach and was instrumental in the development of second-year stud Josh Freeman.

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