ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) - Just ten days before the season opener, the Bills are a team inturmoil. Head Coach Dick Jauron fired Offensive CoordinatorTurk Schonert Friday, after a poor offensive showing in thepreseason.
"It was just the lack of productivity," Jauron told an afternoonnews conference. "It was the direction were weremoving. I just didn't feel like it was going where Ienvisioned 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 the2008 season, after spending two years before that as the team'sQuarterbacks coach. The Bills offense finished 25th in theNFL last season, and struggled this year in preseason.
Buffalo's offensive starters failed to score a touchdown in fivepreseason games. And the Bills offense was not able togenerate a touchdown in the final two preseason games.
News 4 Sports asked Jauron why the decision was made to fireSchonert now, just ten days before the season opener.
"When you make a decision you know when you should do it," hereplied. "I wasn't thinking about firing him three daysago. I wasn't thinking about it two weeks ago. And whenyou start to think about it, I think you need to move on it and dosomehing. 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 Fridaymorning meeting. And he talked about the seriousphilosophical differences he had with Jauron about the Billsoffense.
"He (Jauron) told me the offense wasn't simple enough for him,"Schonert said. "We had too many formations, too manyplays. I didn't simplify it to his liking."
"He wants a 'Pop Warner' offense," Schonert said, referring tothe Bills head coach. "He limited me in formations, andlimited me in plays. He's been on my back all offseason."
With Schonert out, the Bills have turned over play callingresponsibilities to Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt. He's inhis fourth year on the Bills staff, his second as Quarterbackscoach. A nine year veteran quarterback with the Bills, VanPelt called offensive plays for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europein 2005.
The Bills did not name an Offensive Coordinator Friday. Jauron said Van Pelt will work with Running Game Coordinator EricStudesville on the design of the team's offense.
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