Updated: Friday, 04 Sep 2009, 7:35 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 04 Sep 2009, 7:00 PM EDT
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) - Just ten days before the season opener, the Bills are a team in turmoil. Head Coach Dick Jauron fired Offensive Coordinator Turk Schonert Friday, after a poor offensive showing in the preseason.
"It was just the lack of productivity," Jauron told an afternoon news conference. "It was the direction were were moving. I just didn't feel like it was going where I envisioned it going. And there's clearly a lot of fault here, not just Turk. I'm willing to accept my share of that."
Schonert was named the Bills Offensive Coordinator before the 2008 season, after spending two years before that as the team's Quarterbacks coach. The Bills offense finished 25th in the NFL last season, and struggled this year in preseason.
Buffalo's offensive starters failed to score a touchdown in five preseason games. And the Bills offense was not able to generate a touchdown in the final two preseason games.
News 4 Sports asked Jauron why the decision was made to fire Schonert now, just ten days before the season opener.
"When you make a decision you know when you should do it," he replied. "I wasn't thinking about firing him three days ago. I wasn't thinking about it two weeks ago. And when you start to think about it, I think you need to move on it and do somehing. Clearly I believe it's the right thing to do."
News 4 Sports spoke to Schonert by phone Friday afternoon. He says he was informed about Jauron's decision during a Friday morning meeting. And he talked about the serious philosophical differences he had with Jauron about the Bills offense.
"He (Jauron) told me the offense wasn't simple enough for him," Schonert said. "We had too many formations, too many plays. I didn't simplify it to his liking."
"He wants a 'Pop Warner' offense," Schonert said, referring to the Bills head coach. "He limited me in formations, and limited me in plays. He's been on my back all offseason."
With Schonert out, the Bills have turned over play calling responsibilities to Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt. He's in his fourth year on the Bills staff, his second as Quarterbacks coach. A nine year veteran quarterback with the Bills, Van Pelt called offensive plays for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe in 2005.
The Bills did not name an Offensive Coordinator Friday. Jauron said Van Pelt will work with Running Game Coordinator Eric Studesville on the design of the team's offense.