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Former Bengals quarterback Turk Schonert dies of heart attack at 62

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 1/19/2019 Dave Clark
(Original Caption) Cincinnati, Ohio: Bengals' quarterback Ken Andersch enjoys a light moment with one of his top receivers Chris Collinsworth (80) and third string quarterback Turk Schonert (15), during workout January 6 at Riverfront Stadium where the Bengals host the San Diego Chargers January 10 in the AFC championship game. The Cincinnati Bengals are favored to win what figures to be a serial battle. © Getty (Original Caption) Cincinnati, Ohio: Bengals' quarterback Ken Andersch enjoys a light moment with one of his top receivers Chris Collinsworth (80) and third string quarterback Turk Schonert (15), during workout January 6 at Riverfront Stadium where the Bengals host the San Diego Chargers January 10 in the AFC championship game. The Cincinnati Bengals are favored to win what figures to be a serial battle.

Turk Schonert, a Cincinnati Bengals quarterback for the majority of his NFL career, died Thursday of a reported heart attack near his South Carolina home after turning 62 earlier this week, the team confirmed.

Schonert played for the Bengals from 1981 to 1985 and again from 1987 to 1989. His greatest highlight as a player was relieving Bengals starter Ken Anderson in the Bengals' first game of their 1981 season -- which concluded with Cincinnati's appearance in Super Bowl XVI. In the game, Schonert rallied the Bengals from a 21-0 first-quarter deficit to beat the Seattle Seahawks, 27-21.

The former Stanford star finished the game 9 for 18 with 130 passing yards as well as 41 rushing yards on seven attempts.

More from bengals.com's Geoff Hobson:

“It’s a shock. I’m just glad we were able to see him at the 30th and spend some time,” said former wide receiver Cris Collinsworth of last season’s celebration of the 1988 AFC champions. 

Boomer Esiason, one of those MVP quarterbacks, found himself Thursday consoling Collinsworth -- Schonert’s closest friend on the team -- when he told him it was OK to cry.

“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Collinsworth told him, “because every time I think of Turk, I want to laugh.”

After his playing career, Schonert coached quarterbacks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1992 under Sam Wyche, his head coach with the Bengals.

He also was a quarterbacks coach for the Buffalo Bills (twice), the Carolina Panthers, the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints. He served as the Bills' offensive coordinator in 2008.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Former Bengals quarterback Turk Schonert dies of heart attack at 62

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