Turk Schonert, a longtime backup quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals who was a member of both of their Super Bowl teams, died Thursday. He was 62.
Schonert spent the majority (eight years) of his nine-year career with the Bengals. In 72 career NFL games, he had 11 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions. Schonert, who spent one season with the Falcons, made 12 career starts.
In Cincinnati, the Stanford product backed up league MVPs Kenny Anderson and Boomer Esiason, respectively, in the Bengals’ two Super Bowl appearances — a 26-21 loss to the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI and a 20-16 loss to the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII.
“Turk was a great teammate and a great friend,” Esiason tweeted Thursday night.
Schonert attended a 30-year reunion of the 1988 team last year.
“It’s a shock. I’m just glad we were able to see him at the 30th and spend some time,” former Bengals wide receiver Cris Collinsworth told Geoff Hobson of bengals.com .
Schonert holds the Bengals record for most yards in a starting debut. He passed for 290 yards in a 24-17 loss to Denver in 1983.
After his playing career, he spent 13 years as an assistant coach in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Carolina and the New York Giants. He most recently was an assistant in the Canadian Football League with Montreal in 2014-15.