Friday, September 4, 2009
Ten days before season, Bills fire Schonert
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills saw two other teams do it and figured it was time for them to follow suit.
Two league sources tell me the Bills have informed their players they've fired offensive coordinator Turk Schonert. They are expected to replace him with quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, but running game coordinator Eric Studesville could have a greater say in how the offense operates.
Schonert oversaw an offense that sputtered throughout the preseason and couldn't score a touchdown in the last two exhibitions. The first-team didn't score a touchdown at all, failing to reach the end zone on 16 possessions (nine punts, three interceptions, two fumbles, one field goal and halftime). The Bills' first unit ran 78 plays for 269 net yards.
Van Pelt has no offensive coordinator experience -- in a traditional sense -- at any level. The former Bills quarterback was passing game coordinator for the University at Buffalo in 2006 before joining Dick Jauron's staff.
The moves comes one day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski and three days after the Kansas City Chiefs fired their offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey.
Former Dallas Cowboys personnel director and NFL.com raconteur Gil Brandt, quoted in Friday morning's edition of USA Today, said "Two moves like that, with the season almost here, I'd say it's unprecedented."
Make it three.
The Bills have scheduled a 1:30 p.m. news conference with Jauron at the team's facility. I will report more from there.