Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 7-9

Posted by Chris Brown on July 9, 2010 – 1:33 pm

The Countdown to Camp is on. Be sure to check the home page of Buffalobills.com daily as we answer a lot of the pressing questions fans have concerning the team and the 2010 prospects. As always questions can be sent to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to this week’s edition.

1 – Hey Chris

It seemed that Marcus Easley’s name was getting mentioned quite a bit in the voluntary camps ‘big plays’. Do you see him as someone who may be able to come in and contribute right away on offense, or is he most likely going to start out sparingly?

Thanks. Chris in Toronto Ontario

CB: Next to QB and offensive line, I think receiver is the next toughest position to master at the NFL level as a rookie. With sight adjusts, recognizing the defense while you’re running a route, knowing when you’re ‘hot’ to break off your route and help your QB, there’s a lot of learning. Add in the fact that receivers coach Stan Hixon wants all his wideouts to learn all of the receiver positions and the responsibilities are numerous.

That being said, Easley’s talent cannot be denied. He comes across as a sharp kid, has a knack for getting behind defenses and has a very strong set of hands, where he can fight and make catches in traffic and win the ball.

I do see Easley as part of the number two receiver competition in camp, and no matter how that turns out I anticipate him making contributions by midseason at the latest.

2 – What are the chances of the Bills trading Aaron to a team like the  Texans, they seem to be on the cusp of the playoffs, he’d be playing  for an ex coach (Kollar) and he’d be playing across from an all pro DE in Mario Williams? As a die hard Bills fan I think it would make sense for the player and the franchise.

Travis, Poughkeepsie NY

CB: I think if it were as easy as it sounds it might have happened already. Here’s the problem. Logically it makes perfect sense for both sides. Houston is a team pushing hard to make the playoffs and might just need that one veteran piece to get over the hump.

Buffalo has a player that wants more time during the work week to spend with his family in Texas. Houston is still an hour from Schobel’s home base in Columbus, Texas, so I’d assume he’d get some kind of driver to take him back and forth to his home if such a scenario were to happen.

But the NFL season means long days for players and leaving the office at 6 or 7 pm and getting home at 8 only to get up all the earlier the next day to drive an hour in doesn’t seem like something that would appeal to Schobel, though I could be wrong.

Schobel’s price tag is also steep, and another NFL team may not want to be on the hook for big time money and inherit a contract that still has three years on it after 2010 wondering if Schobel is going to retire.

An additional issue that makes trading Schobel difficult, if it’s even something the team is entertaining, is the uncertain labor situation. With a contract that runs through the 2013 season at big money I can’t see another team taking that contract on and provide proper compensation for what Schobel in a normal situation would be worth. His talk of retirement also devalues him.

3 – Chris: 

Bill Polian has a philosophy of not trading players early in the Spring because a star for another team will eventually go down (with a long term injury) during camp or preseason and you then have better trade leverage.  Could this be the position Buddy Nix is taking with Lynch (and maybe Schobel) since it seems neither player wants to be here?  I feel Schobel is tired of losing and realizes when the Bills are ready to contend he will be well into the down side of his career, so it would be better to play for a winner (closer to home) or retire. 

Thanks

Joe Badaszewski
Blasdell 

CB: I think with no track record to go off of since Buddy has never been in a decision making position such as he is now makes it difficult to ascertain whether that will be his approach in any kind of trade. However, he is a part of the Bill Polian personnel tree so I wouldn’t rule it out.

Basically trade leverage is at its highest at two times of the year, during the draft, when a team that may have missed on a position player they coveted is desperate or in the preseason, when a team has lost a player to a season-ending injury.

4 – Aloha Chris,

Do you think Trent Edwards will benefit from having to compete with three other QB’s for the starting gig? He’s never really had to face any competition for the job in the last two seasons, and I’m sure the coaching staff feels he still has plenty of potential but needs to prove himself as a leader. If you go back to 2006, J.P. Losman had his best season as a Bills QB in large part due to the fact that he had to win the starting spot in training camp over Kelly Holcomb and Craig Nall. 

Thanks,

Wesley, Maui HI

CB: In 2008 he competed with Losman for the starting job and got off to a great start before the concussion in Arizona derailed his season. As Buddy Nix says, “Competition makes everyone better.” So being pushed and competing with Fitz and Brohm every day in camp will hopefully make him a more consistent player than he showed last season.

And by the way, say hey to the folks at Moose McGillicuddy’s for me.

5 – Hi Chris, Why in the world would the Buffalo Bills let Josh Reed go? He was a decent slot receiver, although  he only had 27 catches last year, he still was a viable option for the quarterback. What was the thinking by the coaching staff? I will look forward to your answer.

Tony, Daytona Beach, Florida

CB: They didn’t release him. His contract was up and they chose not to extend him a contract offer. The Bills front office made the decision to see what the younger receivers could do. They signed Roscoe Parrish to an extension a year or so ago, but he’s not had an opportunity to make that investment worthwhile on offense. He’ll have that chance now. And James Hardy was a second-round pick and the Bills want to give him more of an opportunity to hopefully get a greater return on that investment.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gailey reaction to Schobel

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2010 – 2:05 pm

Late last week Bills DE Aaron Schobel said he was leaning toward retirement. On Wednesday Bills head coach Chan Gailey was asked to comment.

“It’s up to him,” said Gailey of Schobel’s status. “He’s a good football player and has been a good football player in this league and in Buffalo for many years. I’d like for him to be on the football team but I understand his situation, too. I really do. That’s part of life.”

The team’s stance on Schobel has been unwavering throughout, which is basically that if he wants to play they’d love to have him back, but if he wants to retire they’ll wish him well.


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Schobel decision not til Sept?

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2010 – 3:18 pm

With the news Thursday that Aaron Schobel is leaning toward retirement, I’m not thinking it’s an indication that a final decision is imminent.

Sure Schobel might just grow tired of wondering if he’s going to get the itch to play and may just make it official and retire in the near future. However, it just doesn’t seem that at any point it has been, or will be, that cut and dry.

In my phone conversation with Schobel he made one other interesting comment to me. He said.

“If September rolls around and Buffalo wants me then maybe I’ll play, but I doubt it.”

The fact that Schobel is even thinking about September seems to indicate that he’s at this point at least entertaining the thought of playing.

It’s pretty clear though that Schobel is unlikely to be on hand for mandatory minicamp in two weeks and probably training camp as well.

The time when all of this is likely to come to a head is the time between the end of the preseason and the start of the regular season. That’s when the team has to make their final roster decisions and Schobel will need to contact the club in some fashion to reach a resolution about his situation.


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Lynch, Schobel update

Posted by Chris Brown on May 25, 2010 – 11:21 am

Marshawn Lynch and Aaron Schobel are two veteran players not attending Tuesday’s voluntary OTA session.

Lynch did tell YahooSports that he intended to report “sometime this week.”


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Modkins’ ties to Schobel and L.T.

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2010 – 8:00 am

Bills offensive coordinator/RBs coach Curtis Modkins still ranks in the top 10 of all-time rushers at TCU, which by the way includes former Bills back Kenny Davis, but he has other ties to TCU notables Aaron Schobel and LaDanian Tomlinson.

Modkins was on the coaching staff that recruited Aaron Schobel and he was one of the assistant coaches that recruited L.T.. The only thing was Modkins left to coach at New Mexico after those two players were on the roster.

Modkins not only shares TCU as his alma mater with Tomlinson, but they’re also from the same hometown in Texas and their mothers were classmates in high school. He’ll have a chance to see him twice this season now that he’s on the Jets roster.

Modkins says to this point he hasn’t spoken to Aaron Schobel.


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DT Williams tops as playmaker

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2010 – 8:00 am

Looks like Aaron Schobel isn’t the only Bills player with league best playmaking ability at his position.

On Monday we showed how AdvancedNFLStats determined playmaking ability through new statistical models that measure WPA or positive win probability added and EPA or positive expected points added.

“+WPA” and “+EPA” add up the value of every sack, interception, pass defense, forced fumble or recovery, and every tackle or assist that results in a setback for the offense.

What these stats measure ultimately is playmaking ability.

For 2009 Aaron Schobel ranked number one among defensive ends in this statistical model. Kyle Williams was also the top ranked performer at his position, defensive tackle.

Williams not only had the highest WPA, but he highest EPA as well. His WPA of 1.99 was far and away the top mark as was his EPA of 54.1. Atlanta’s Jordan Babineaux was second in both categories (1.67 and 46).

Williams was also number one in tackle factor (1.33), which goes far beyond measuring just the number of tackles accumulated by a player. Philadelphia’s Mike Patterson was second (1.27).

Here’s the top 15 list of DT playmaking ability and it should be noted that Bills DT Marcus Stroud ranked 10th, despite a season in which he played through three different nagging injuries.

95-K.Williams BUF
95-J.Babineaux ATL 
90-D.Dockett ARZ
94-J.Smith SF
93-K.Williams MIN
90-J.Ratliff DAL
92-A.Haynesworth WAS
96-T.Knighton JAX 
95-A.Adams CHI
99-M.Stroud BUF
75-V.Wilfork NE 
92-R.Ayodele NO
94-P.Williams MIN
90-D.Muir IND 
68-E.Foster IND


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Schobel tops in playmaking

Posted by Chris Brown on May 10, 2010 – 10:39 am

Bills DE Aaron Schobel still hasn’t decided whether he’s going to continue his playing career in 2010, but he might be interested to know that AdvancedNFLStats has found among defensive ends he had the best playmaking ability in 2009.

AdvancedNFLStats creates new models that go beyond just sacks and tackles or other commonly used figures to provide a more accurate gauge of a player’s effectiveness on the field.

Without getting into a whole comprehensive breakdown, basically what AdvancedNFLStats did was develop a statistic called WPA or positive win probability added and EPA or positive expected points added.

“+WPA” and “+EPA” add up the value of every sack, interception, pass defense, forced fumble or recovery, and every tackle or assist that results in a setback for the offense.

What these stats measure is playmaking ability.

At the defensive end position Schobel ranked number one in the league for 2009. His WPA was an impressive 2.08. No other defensive end cracked 2, with Washington’s Andre Carter the next closest at 1.89.

In the EPA category, Schobel ranked second to Minnesota’s Jared Allen. Allen had plays with positive expected points added (EPA) 71.3% of the time. Schobel was second at 63.1%.

Of course in the traditional categories, Schobel ranked tied for seventh in the NFL in sacks, tied for fifth in sack yards, fifth in tackles for loss and tied for second in interceptions in 2009.

But for those that believe because he’s 250 pounds that he can’t hold up against the run, you’re wrong, and these numbers prove it. Here’s the list of top 15 performers at defensive end under these indices.

94-A.Schobel BUF
99-A.Carter WAS
69-J.Allen MIN
91-W.Smith NO
91-R.Edwards MIN
94-R.Starks MIA
96-A.Brown CHI 
99-B.Keisel PIT
58-T.Cole PHI 17
90-M.Williams HST 
93-D.Freeney IND
91-J.Tuck NYG 15
91-R.Geathers CIN
94-A.Smith HST
92-S.Ellis NYJ


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Nix on Schobel

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2010 – 8:55 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix shared the latest on Aaron Schobel’s awaited decision on possible retirement.

“Our stance hasn’t changed,” said Nix. “We want him back. He’s a good player. We’d like to have him. We’re just waiting until he makes a decision. He hasn’t made it. Again the ball is in his court. Really there isn’t an update.”


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No deadline for Schobel

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2010 – 2:18 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey was asked if there was a drop dead date for Aaron Schobel to make a call on his future plans and decide whether or not he’s playing in 2010. As Gailey has maintained all along, there are no deadlines on that subject.

“I don’t think so,” said Gailey. “I think you would like to know, but I don’t think now is any time to put a deadline on it, or do we need to do that in the future. He realizes what has to be done to play and play in a new system. He’s enough of a pro and a vet to understand that. I think he’ll get to the point where he realizes that he needs to get in here and a get a little bit of this and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. He’s smart enough to understand all of that I believe.”

While the Bills are in no way going to prod Schobel to make a decision about his playing future, Schobel is faced with learning a new defensive scheme with much different responsibilities for him at an outside linebacker position. How much time he feels he’ll need and how much time the Bills staff thinks he’ll need to have it down could be two different things.

For now however, the situation remains status quo.


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Twist to Bills pick in Casserly mock

Posted by Chris Brown on March 18, 2010 – 9:00 am

Former NFL GM Charley Casserly gave his top 10 mock draft picks for the 2010 draft on NFL Network, and while there weren’t many suprises, his additional comment on Buffalo’s pick was an interesting one.

Casserly had four offensive tackles going in the top 9 with the Bills getting Trent Williams. Russell Okung (#4 – Wash.), Bryan Bulaga (#6 – Sea.) and Anthony Davis (#8 – Oak) were all off the board already in his mock.

However, when Casserly talked about Buffalo’s pick at nine and discussed Williams and the team’s need for an offensive tackle, he also threw in this comment.

“I think another possibility there is Derrick Morgan the defensive end, Chan Gailey recruited him,” said Casserly.

Casserly is not alone in thinking there’s a chance that Gailey and his staff would be partial to taking some of his former players from Georgia Tech. Morgan is the highest rated of the group and is expected to come off the board in the first 15 picks. That being said, Morgan is largely considered to be a better fit as an end in a 4-3 system than as an OLB in a 3-4.

But knowing the connection with Gailey and defensive line coach Giff Smith both being from Tech it has to be considered a possibility, perhaps even more so if Aaron Schobel chooses retirement.


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Schobel situation unchanged

Posted by Chris Brown on March 16, 2010 – 12:20 pm

With spring fast approaching things have remained unchanged with respect to Aaron Schobel and whether he’ll be returning in 2010 or retiring.

“I don’t think there’s anything that’s really changed on that front,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “Obviously we would like to have Aaron back and hope that works out. But we understand his dilemma as well. There’s no timetable on this for either party right now.”

Initially Schobel indicated he would take two months to make a decision, but that timetable came and went a couple of weeks ago. The Bills appear at this point to be willing to give him as much time as he needs.

Schobel is still wrestling with being away from his young family as he intends to keep them in Texas permanently instead of splitting the year between Buffalo and the Lone Star state.

With all three of his kids to be school age this fall, disrupting their schooling midterm again is no longer an option. At the same time Schobel doesn’t want to be away from his family for long stretches of time during the season.

Schobel has also stated that he needs to be certain that he has the passion to play all out again in 2010, as he refuses to do anything less as a player in the NFL.


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Schobel still undecided

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2010 – 6:41 pm

Bills DE Aaron Schobel is still undecided on whether to retire or return for the 2010 season.

The Bills pass rusher tells the Associated Press that he’s still recovering from offseason elbow surgery, performed three weeks ago.

The club appears willing to wait on Schobel to make a final decision.

“The ball is in his court,” GM Buddy Nix told Buffalobills.com last month. “If he wants to play, we certainly want him back. If he wants to retire, we wish him the best.”


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Schobel update

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2010 – 5:51 pm

The two month timeline for Aaron Schobel on his retirement decision is winding down, but Bills GM Buddy Nix provided an update on the situation.

“Chan has talked to him,” Nix told Buffalobills.com. “The ball is in his court. If he wants to play we certainly want him back. If he wants to retire we wish him the best.”

There have been some reports that Schobel’s March bonus which is fast approaching could prompt a difficult decision on the part of the Bills. But Nix maintains that won’t happen.

“It’s not an issue with us. I don’t think it is with Aaron,” said Nix. “There’s been dialogue with Aaron. I’ve talked to his agent.”

With Schobel due a bonus in March, one solution could be to postpone or move the bonus to later in the calendar year long after Schobel has reached a decision on retirement. Nix said it won’t be an issue and I’m led to believe Schobel wouldn’t consider it a problem either.  

Our entire one-on-one interview with Bills GM Buddy Nix will air Friday at noon in Bills Focus on Buffalobills.com.


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No gut feeling on Schobel

Posted by Chris Brown on February 16, 2010 – 11:00 am

In sifting through Bills head coach Chan Gailey’s interview on the Shredd and Ragan show on 103.3 the Edge a few days ago there were some good nuggets of information. At one point Gailey was asked based on his conversation with Aaron Schobel by phone whether he had a gut feeling on whether Schobel would return for a 10th season.

“I don’t have a gut (feeling) about that,” said Gailey. “I think he is a guy that has played a lot of years and he is certainly able to make a decision on what he thinks is best for him and his family at this point in his career. We’d love to have him. He’s an excellent football player, but we only want if he wants to be here and I think he’ll make his mind up as to whether he wants to be here or doesn’t want to be here.” 

In one phone conversation it appears as though Gailey has a good handle on where Schobel is at with respect to the factors that will go into Schobel’s ultimate decision. Family logistics with his three children and the pass rusher’s desire to go through the grind of another season.

The last part of Gailey’s comment is most interesting. He and his defensive staff only want him back if he’s fully committed.


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Gailey has spoken to Schobel

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2010 – 2:55 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that he has spoken with DE Aaron Schobel.

Gailey did not provide many details regarding their conversation, but did offering the following on their talk.

“I have talked to Aaron Schobel and we had a good conversation,” said Gailey. “I’m going to leave it at that.”

When asked if Schobel shed any light as to which way he might be leaning with respect to possible retirement, Gailey said he had not.

“I took from the conversation that he has not decided, but I think that’s going to come with time. He’s going to have to make a decision at some point in time and I think he will. We know what a great player he is, we know we’d like to have him on the Bills and make that happen, but we’ll see what he decides.”

Schobel said he planned to take two months of time before making his decision. The 2009 regular season ended just five weeks ago.


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Fan Friday 2-5

Posted by Chris Brown on February 5, 2010 – 1:56 pm

Plenty of speculation out there about how the roster will be re-shaped this offseason at some key positions like QB and OT. Remember you can email me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to this week’s edition.

1. Hey Chris,
 
Who are some players you think the bills should look at in free agency and the draft that you yourself are pretty high on?  Also are there any trade possibilites you can think of ?  And any chance some of the current bills players under contract get traded this offseason?  I think we need more picks in the draft do you?
 
Thank you.
Showtime 1239

CB: First, I don’t think the Bills are hurting for draft picks. They have nine total with an extra six and seven. I would not be surprised however, if they trade out of the ninth pick to move down in round one and scoop up an extra three.

I do think free agency in this uncapped year is going to restrict player movement to a certain degree, but there are still some big names out there like Karlos Dansby, Julius Peppers and Vince Wilfork, though I do see Wilfork getting franchised. Players I wouldn’t mind the Bills targeting would be New England DE Jarvis Green, San Fran NT Aubrayo Franklin or Baltimore DE Dwan Edwards.

Signing restricted free agents away from other teams will prove difficult. Poison pill offer sheets really won’t exist anymore for restricted free agents because there’s no cap.

I think trading for a QB might prove to be the best means of getting someone in here to either take hold of the starting job or compete for it. It’s going to depend a lot on who is made available by what teams and what they’re looking for in return.

As for players on this roster that could be traded, I believe with a new defensive system and a new coaching staff that almost any player is fair game.

2. Hi Chris,
 
Can you please give us an update on Keith Ellison’s recovery?  Do you think he will be back with the team next year?  Even with missing 1/2 the season he is 8th in tackles on the team? 
 
Thanks,
Scott

CB: To my knowledge Keith’s injury wasn’t one that was going to require a major offseason of rehabilitation. As to whether he’ll be back with the team next season, I believe it’s more in doubt now with the 3-4 defensive scheme being implemented by defensive coordinator George Edwards. I don’t see him as a fit in that scheme.
3. Hey Chris, 

Do you actually think that the Bills will take McClain at 9? I think it would be the best option for them, but as of right now they are projected to be taking a tackle in that spot.

I know we are in desperate need of a tackle, but is it worth taking the 4th best tackle at 9, when you can get the top LB, or one of them at that spot to help improve our run defense.
Tim

CB: I think a lot of fans believe it makes more sense now that the Bills are moving to a 3-4 defensive scheme. There’s no question that certain positions like RB or LB are spots where talented college prospects can make an instant impact for an NFL team as a rookie.

But I still stick to the philosophy of getting your big people early in the draft. The left tackle spot needs to be addressed with a player that is NFL ready. The players at the top of the draft have the best skill set and in many cases the greatest chance to succeed sooner rather than later (see: Michael Oher).

With the 3-4 being implemented NT is a bigger need now as well. I do like McClain, but I’m having a hard time overlooking the OT need of the Bills after last season’s struggles up front for Buffalo’s offense.

4. Hey Chris
 
 Who do you think the bills would draft if they moved up 1 or 2 or more picks in the draft?  Also do you think that they could trade aaron schobel to another team for maybe another draft pick and have two 1st round picks or two 2nd round picks?
Rollerbladz2009

CB: I don’t see the Bills moving up in round one. If anything I see them moving back a bit into the mid-teens. If they could find a willing trade partner close to Schobel’s Texas home like New Orleans or Houston I don’t see a 32-year old defensive end fetching a 1st or 2nd round pick. Believe a 3rd is more like it.
5. Hi Chris,

George Edwards seems like a good hire, but I’m curious about the 3-4 scheme. By my count, we don’t have a true nose tackle for a 3-4 defence and we’re already short on linebackers before adding another to the field.

Moving Maybin to LB means we have to get two new DEs to replace Schobel and Kelsay in a year or two, plus a true nose tackle, plus we still need another linebacker like we would have in a 4-3 — meanwhile it turns Stroud and Williams from playmakers into role players since neither of them really fits the nose tackle position.

That means instead of needing one DE and one LB to shore up the front seven in a 4-3 scheme, now we need two DEs, a NT and a LB for a 3-4 scheme.

Seems like we’re making life tough on ourselves from a personnel standpoint in the rebuilding process (I’m scared to think how we can rebuild the offence with all this to focus on already). Am I off base?
Thanks a lot,
Malcolm

CB: I’d agree that there will be more of a personnel focus on defense now with the new 3-4 alignment as I had suspected. I agree that Stroud is not a true nose, but could play it in a pinch. He’s better suited as a five-technique DE like a Richard Seymour.

I believe Chris Kelsay could bulk up to play end and I think Spencer Johnson is a perfect end in a 3-4 as well. Kyle Williams is athletic enough to play end in a 3-4 and on passing downs he can kick inside to the nose.

At LB I’d see Mitchell going inside alongside Poz, with Maybin at one OLB and depending on what they think of Nic Harris, maybe draft a 3-4 LB.

The biggest need though as you point out is a true NT, and they’re not easy to find. Fortunately it is a deep class of DTs this year. How many are capable of playing two gap in the NFL remains to be seen. OT and NT are the two biggest positional needs right now. Without an elite QB prospect I think OT and NT must be addressed early in the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What defensive change means

Posted by Chris Brown on February 4, 2010 – 2:04 pm

With Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards initially planning to change Buffalo’s defensive scheme to more of a 3-4 front, it means some roles on Buffalo’s defense will be changing also.

First and foremost it likely turns Aaron Maybin from a pass rushing defensive end to a pass rushing linebacker. Aaron Schobel, who is still contemplating retirement may also be a linebacker. Schobel went on record last month saying he might be a better fit for a 3-4 than a 4-3.

It also means Buffalo now has a greater need for a two-gap nose tackle. Marcus Stroud, who was coached as a freshman at Georgia by Edwards, believes he’d be able to handle the nose if called upon.

“I feel like as long as I can be healthy, I feel like I can do well in either system,” said Stroud. “If that’s the case and I have to move to nosetackle, then I’ll do it.”

But set to turn 32 in June, Stroud is going to need some reinforcements behind him. Right now there are no other capable two-gap nose tackles players on the roster. Kyle Williams and Spencer Johnson appear to be better fits as five-technique defensive ends in a 3-4.

Fortunately for the Bills the 2010 draft class is extremely deep at DT, so Buffalo should have an opportunity in round one or two to get a quality prospect that could help right away.

Another likely move is Kawika Mitchell moving inside to line up alongside Paul Posluszny as ILBs.


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Schobel grades high

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2010 – 6:31 pm

Football Outsiders main purpose is to go beyond the flat numbers and assess game situations and other factors like time and score. A recent post by one of their contributors had some interesting findings concerning defensive end play and its effectiveness where Aaron Schobel graded out very, very well.

The Football Outsiders, in an effort to gauge the quality and timeliness of defensive end play use two main means of criteria.

Success Rate: The percentage of plays targeting a defensive player on which the offense did not have a successful play. This means not only incomplete passes and interceptions, but also short completions that do not meet the baseline for success.

Defeats: The total number of plays by a defensive player that prevent the offense from gaining first down yardage on third or fourth down, stop the offense behind the line of scrimmage, or result in a turnover. “Plays” refers to tackles, passes defensed, fumbles forced, or interceptions.

An example would be Schobel’s take down of Matt Cassel for loss on his fourth down bootleg in Buffalo’s Week 13 win over the Chiefs.

In  any event here is where Aaron Schobel ranks in both categories.

Most Successes, Overall Defense
Justin Tuck, New York Giants, 55
Trent Cole, Philadelphia Eagles, 51
Aaron Schobel, Buffalo Bills, 50
Marques Douglas, New York Jets, 50
Andre Carter, Washington Redskins, 50

Most Defeats, Overall Defense
Aaron Schobel, Buffalo Bills, 30
Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings, 27
Andre Carter, Washington Redskins, 26
Ray Edwards, Minnesota Vikings, 25
Trent Cole, Philadelphia Eagles, 23

Schobel, Trent Cole (Phil) and Andre Carter (Wash) are the only players that rank in the top 5 in both categories. Yet another reason why this guy can’t retire.


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Schobel still not going to Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2010 – 10:24 am

Even though a total of 14 more players, including seven for the AFC are being added to the Pro Bowl rosters, to replace the Colts and Saints players that are exempt because they’ll be playing in the Super Bowl, Aaron Schobel is still not going as a defensive end.

Both of Indianapolis’ defensive ends, Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney made the Pro Bowl, but cannot participate since they’ll be playing in the Super Bowl the following week. Aaron Schobel, however, was apparently not voted as an alternate as going in place of the two Colts’ pass rushers are the Jets Shaun Ellis and Tennessee’s Kyle Vanden Bosch.

What hurt Schobel’s chances was the fact that he had his three sack game against the Falcons in Week 16 that got him to 10 for the season, happened after the voting by coaches and players had already been completed. Kyle Williams was a third alternate for the AFC, but there were no defensive tackles that had to be replaced. The situation was the same for Brian Moorman a first alternate as there was no need to replace Oakland punter Shane Lechler.

Here’s the list of alternate Pro Bowl players filling in for Super Bowl participants. Congratulations to former Bills LB London Fletcher, who will be appearing in his first Pro Bowl.

Added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster are:

QB David Garrard, Jacksonville (replacing Peyton Manning)
WR Vincent Jackson, San Diego (replacing Reggie Wayne)
TE Heath Miller, Pittsburgh (replacing Dallas Clark)
C Kevin Mawae, Tennessee (replaces Jeff Saturday)
DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, Tennessee (replacing Dwight Freeney)
DE Shaun Ellis, N.Y. Jets (replacing Robert Mathis)
S Yeremiah Bell, Miami (replacing Antoine Bethea)

Added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster are:

QB Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia (replacing Drew Brees)
OT David Diehl, N.Y. Giants (replacing Jon Stinchcomb)
OG Chris Snee, N.Y. Giants (replacing Jahri Evans)
C Ryan Kalil, Carolina (replacing Jonathan Goodwin)
LB London Fletcher, Washington (replacing Jonathan Vilma)
FS Antrel Rolle, Arizona (replacing Darren Sharper)
SS Quintin Mikell, Philadelphia (replacing Roman Harper)


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Posted in Inside the Bills

3-4 unlikely to affect Schobel

Posted by Chris Brown on January 24, 2010 – 1:19 pm

If Bills head coach Chan Gailey does in fact choose a 3-4 defensive over a 4-3, it’s not likely to affect Aaron Schobel’s decision on whether to retire or not.

That according to the Dallas Morning News. Charean Williams interviewed Schobel who told her that the 3-4 might actually prove to be a better fit for him.

He didn’t really get into details, but there was a general consensus out there that if the team switched to a 3-4 that it would push Schobel one step closer to retirement.


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Posted in Inside the Bills