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More Bills Coordinator Rumors: Schonert to be Promoted?

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Hold the phone on Greg Olson, folks - apparently, Buffalo's offensive coordinator gig is close to going to a different candidate. Originally appearing in this article as a passing comment, and later expanded upon by WGR 550, Bills quarterbacks coach Turk Schonert is the leading candidate to take over Buffalo's offensive coordinator duties. The line from the article (which is largely about Olson):

For a while, there appeared the chance that Olson could end up in Buffalo. The Bills lost offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild when he returned to the college ranks as head coach at Colorado State.

Olson worked for Bills head coach Dick Jauron both in Chicago and Detroit. But league sources told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that Bills quarterback coach Turk Schonert is in line to become Buffalo's new offensive coordinator.

My skepticism about "league sources" aside, Buffalo's lack of significant movement on the interview front has been pointing to this since Fairchild was officially off the job two weeks ago. Schonert, who lobbied hard for the position prior to season's end, was a favorite of Buffalo's players throughout the process. If Schonert does end up being promoted, it's not necessarily a bad thing - even though he's never held a coordinator position at either the professional or college level (he's only ever been a QB coach), he's familiar with Buffalo's personnel, most importantly QB Trent Edwards. He'd have to learn on the fly, but his familiarity with the organization could shorten his learning curve. Also, if he's promoted, current quality control coach Alex Van Pelt - a former Bills quarterback - is expected to assume the duties Schonert would be leaving behind.

No matter what eventually happens, we know that Mike Martz - a popular name amongst fans - is off the list; he's been hired by San Fran. Our friends over at Niners Nation are elated.

OL Coach McNally Retires
One final note: I don't have a link for this yet, but it was reported on this evening's WHAM 13 news that Bills OL coach Jim McNally is expected to announce his retirement this week. His current assistant, Sean Kugler (who just completed his first season with the Bills) is expected to take over McNally's responsibilities. Care to speculate, anyone, on whether or not this means the Bills are done with the zone blocking scheme McNally so adores?

Update [2008-1-8 18:46:1 by Brian Galliford]: The official site has coverage of McNally's retirement. Incredibly, McNally is retiring because of his health - he suffered a wealth of broken body parts (3 ribs, a bone in his back, and a "blown out" right knee), but suffered through the rest of the season. Just call him Mighty Mouse.