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Fairchild new Bills offensive coordinator

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (Jan. 25, 2006) -- Steve Fairchild is back with the Buffalo Bills, hired as the team's offensive coordinator and given the task of improving one of the NFL's worst offenses.

Fairchild, who spent the past three seasons as the St. Louis Rams' offensive coordinator, broke into the NFL as the Bills' running backs coach in 2001-02.

He becomes the second assistant hired by Dick Jauron, named head coach Jan. 23. The former Chicago Bears head coach replaced Mike Mularkey, who abruptly resigned two weeks ago.

Fairchild, a candidate for the coordinator's job before Mularkey's departure, replaces Tom Clements, one of five Bills assistants fired three weeks ago.

Neither Jauron nor Fairchild were available for comment.

The Bills offense finished 28th in the NFL in total yards last season. The offense especially struggled under first-year starting quarterback J.P. Losman, who eventually lost the job to journeyman backup Kelly Holcomb.

The sputtering offense contributed to the Bills' 5-11 finish. The team missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

With 19 years experience as a college assistant, Fairchild has enjoyed success during his brief NFL tenure.

With Buffalo, he was credited for helping develop running back Travis Henry, who had a career-high 1,438 yards rushing in 2002.

In St. Louis, Fairchild helped spur one of the league's best passing games. The Rams finished ninth in the NFL in total yards and fourth in passing last season.

It's unclear whether Jauron will keep the nine assistant coaches the Bills retained from last season. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray already has said he doesn't expect to return.

Jauron's first hire was Bill Kollar as defensive line coach.

The Bills have yet to hire a defensive backs and linebackers coach.

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