ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Turk Schonert was promoted to offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday after serving as the team's quarterbacks coach the past two seasons.
He replaces Steve Fairchild, who recently became Colorado State's coach after two seasons with the Bills. Schonert inherits an offense ranked 30th in the league the past two seasons under Fairchild.
The 51-year-old Schonert was an NFL quarterback for 10 seasons before becoming a coach. This will be his 13th season as an assistant and first as a coordinator.
"When I was here in '98, '99 and 2000, we were a playoff team," said Schonert, who coached quarterback Doug Flutie during those three years. "We were a top 10 offense. So I've been part of an offense here that was very successful and good, and we want to get back to those roots."
The Bills began this season with veteran J.P. Losman at quarterback and ended with rookie Trent Edwards. This is Schonert's first stint as a coordinator and he is committed to spicing up a team coming off consecutive 7-9 finishes.
"I'm going to be aggressive," he said. "My philosophy is going to be a little different than my predecessor. I'm going to eliminate some things and add some things that I believe in."
He wants to revert to a two-back offense that uses a fullback. Last year, the Bills lined up their tight ends in the backfield. He also plans an audible package to allow Edwards to change plays at the line.
"I expect to put some things on his shoulders," Schonert said. "If he sees something that is a disadvantage for us, I want him to make it an advantageous situation by checking to the right thing. We didn't have that last year. I think he can handle it."
The Bills also promoted Alex Van Pelt to quarterbacks coach, Eric Studesville to running game coordinator/running backs coach and Sean Kugler to offensive line coach. Kugler, the assistant offensive line coach last season, replaces Jim McNally, who retired last week.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press