Bills Fire Schonert as O-Coordinator
UPDATED (2:54 p.m.)...
It has been a rough week for NFL offensive coordinators.
The Buffalo Bills fired Turk Schonert as their offensive coordinator Friday and made quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt their offensive play-caller. Bills Coach Dick Jauron announced the moves at an afternoon news conference.
"Clearly I believe it's the right thing to do," Jauron said, according to a transcript provided by the Bills. "It's painful for him and for his family and for the organization to go through it. But it was just a decision I needed to make, I felt, and made it."
Schonert was the third offensive coordinator league-wide ousted this week, following the Kansas City Chiefs' Chan Gailey and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jeff Jagodzinski.
The one difference is that Gailey and Jagodzinski worked for first-year head coaches, Todd Haley in Kansas City and Raheem Morris in Tampa.
The Bills averaged only 14.4 points per game during the preseason and their starting offense failed to score a touchdown.
"I just didn't feel like we were progressing and I didn't get the sense that we were going to move forward and that we were going there," Jauron said.
Schonert will not remain with the organization, Jauron said.
Eric Studesville is to remain the club's running game coordinator and will work with Van Pelt. The Bills have been running a no-huddle offense and Jauron said he remains committed to that approach.
"It's not like we're changing scheme," Jauron said. "We may be changing focus. We may be changing emphasis, but it's not like we're adding new things. They've used the terminology, and everybody's on the same page. So hopefully it'll provide a jolt, hopefully jolt forward and move us on.... I would like to see the offense going where I envision it, more attacking."
Jauron made the move only 10 days before the Bills' regular season opener Sept. 14 at New England, a Monday night game.
"When you make a decision, you know when you should do it," Jauron said. "I wasn't thinking about firing him three days ago. I wasn't thinking about it two weeks ago. And when you start thinking about it, I think you need to move on it and do something. So when I started thinking about it, I gave it a good deal of thought and did it."
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