It’s not that Aaron Schobel wasn’t a very good player. He was. His numbers speak for themselves.
It’s about reaching that next level where he’s able to take a team on his back and make things happen. During his tenure in Buffalo, however, Schobel was never really able to do that. Part of it may have been the so-so talent around him, but you would think that in one of the few years the Bills had a top-five defense that Schobel would have been able to elevate the team’s game and take them over the hump.
I don’t mean to slam Schobel or be too harsh on him. He was a quality Bill and I did enjoy watching him play. But because the team never made the playoffs with him on the team is a big part of the reason why I think the Bills will be fine without him.
It’s been a drama coaster since the end of the season for Schobel and the Bills. The Bills finally stopped at the station today when General Manager Buddy Nix said that the team was moving on without Schobel, whether he’s retired or not.
Now I don’t think Schobel’s pseudo-retirement is necessarily a ploy. Sure it’s a nice way to get out of training camp, but it seems like he’s really not sure about playing next year. Marv Levy cliche aside, the guy just doesn’t have his mind made up yet.
And the Bills can’t afford to wait. They need to get their team ready under the new defensive scheme in time for next week’s first preseason game. Holding out for Schobel isn’t in the best interests of the team right now and it’s nice to see Nix take a firm stance on it.
What I did find intriguing were Nix’s comments that they haven’t looked at trading Schobel yet. Schobel will remain on the “Did Not Report” list but not shopping him or fielding offers is another reason to perhaps believe the authenticity of Schobel’s indecisiveness. Saying he won’t play for your team again also diminishes his trade value, so I’m not sure what games are being played behind the scenes now.
Of course, Schobel is definitely better than, say Aaron Maybin (Side Note: I can’t believe Maybin actually had the balls to hit Fred Jackson after the play to start that brawl on Friday. This is a guy who didn’t fall on forced fumbles because he was too busy celebrating a tackle. Who is he to take shots at the team’s starting running back? To put it bluntly, I’m not a Maybin fan). Schobel being out will definitely make the defensive end depth chart more shallow, but, I’ve put a lot of faith into Nix and Gailey so far. Let’s see where this goes.