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Around the AFC East, Week 3: Buffalo Bills

In this, our third installment of Around the AFC East, we go at it again with far more detailed questions.  There's no more, "So how's everything going?"  The gloves are coming off and we're diving into the nitty gritty.

First up is Brian G over at Buffalo Rumblings .

OC Steve Fairchild "left" for a head coaching job at his alma mater, Colorado State University and was replaced by Turk Schonert, promoted to the position from quarterbacks coach.  Is Fairchild to blame for the Bills' offensive troubles?  Or, is it what he had to work with?  Does Schonert have the skills?

Buffalo Rumblings : Fairchild is partly to blame.  We can't just use his ineptitude as a work-around for the shuffling at quarterback and lack of explosiveness from the team's offensive talent pool.  But Fairchild's game plans were, by and large, awful - the Bills did have a few games where they'd score points early (see: 14-0 first quarter lead on the Giants), but his inability to react to defensive adjustments made even his good game plans ineffective by game's end.

There's not a whole lot to know about Schonert at this point, because he's never been a coordinator at the NFL level.  He's a former Bengals QB that is intent on coaching the position from a player's perspective (this according to QB Trent Edwards), and he's promised to maintain terminology for ease of use while being a more creative play-caller and game planner.  That's all well and good, but Schonert remains as large a question mark as Edwards or Marshawn Lynch is at this point.  His development as a coordinator will be crucial to Buffalo's 2008 successes or failures.

I like Brian's answer.  You can't blame the OC, or any one individual, for things going wrong.  If the ingredients are bad, there's only so much the cook can do to make the meal work.  And I do believe Brian is correct in identifying Turk as a big question mark.  NE had the same issue when OC Charlie Weis left for Notre Dame. Quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels took the OC reigns and we were all concerned.  The difference here is Josh worked under an offensive master for a number of years.  The jury's still out on Schonert.

Make sure you head on over to Buffalo Rumblings for my answer to his question.