Schonert Out As Offensive Coordinator

Ryan TiceContributor ISeptember 4, 2009

ORCHARD PARK, NY - 2009:  Turk Schonert of the Buffalo Bills poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by NFL Photos)

The Buffalo Bills continued the NFL's most recent trend, and fired their offensive coordinator Turk Schonert only ten days before the team's season opener at New England.

The Bills' fans heard all offseason how much improved the new, no-huddle offense was. Still, their team has been unable to strike a rhythm on offense at anytime during this preseason. The first unit, behind third-year QB Trent Edwards, has not scored a touchdown yet, and the entire team has only managed 72 points in five preseason games.

Schonert, who was elevated to the offensive coordinator position in January 2008, is the third NFL offensive coordinator to be fired before the start of the season. He joins Tampa Bay's Jeff Jagodzinski and Kansas City's Chan Gailey in the unemployment line.

Schonert's offense most recently sputtered in a 17-6 loss last night against Detroit, and has put up only six points in the past two preseason games.

While it was obvious that Buffalo's offense was struggling, it expected to be the team's strength as they try to break their streak of three consecutive 7-9 seasons. Terrell Owens was supposed to help Edwards have a breakout campaign. The offense appeared to be loaded, with the young quarterback possessing weapons like Owens, Lee Evans, Marshawn Lynch (who faces a three-game suspension to open the season), and rookie tight end Shawn Nelson.

Longtime back-up quarterback Alex Van Pelt has been reported as Schonert's successor by ESPN. Van Pelt has been the quarterback coach since January 2008. The Bills will now feature a first-time offensive coordinator, a reshuffled offensive line that is far from where it needs to be, and a few question marks on a young defense.