Inside The Bills

Would Pats pursue Schobel?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2010 – 9:52 am

It’s no secret that the New England Patriots are looking for OLB options in their defense with Derrick Burgess contemplating retirement and missing from camp to this point. They already worked out free agent Adewale Ogunleye earlier this week. Would Schobel be contacted shortly after his reported impending release?

In an informative write up by WEEI sports radio in Boston, they examine whether Schobel would be a fit in New England’s defense. Their conclusion, with the help of Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus (stat sites) is that unless the Patriots predominantly play out of a 4-3 set, that Schobel is not worth signing.

However, what is not noted is the great respect that Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft have for Schobel’s game. Last season after the Monday night opener in which Schobel had an impressive interception of Tom Brady and a 25-yard return for a touchdown, I was about to begin an interview with Schobel in the bowels of Gillette Stadium after the game, when up came Kraft.

Kraft walked right up to Schobel shook his hand and said, “That was a heck of an effort. You’re some player. You keep it up.” 

Schobel politely thanked Kraft and said he would, then began his interview with me.

Determining whether he is a fit or not is not how Belichick’s mind works. Belichick determines whether the player has football intelligence and is committed to football then finds a way to take advantage of that player’s skills.

Whether Schobel can convince himself to re-commit fully to the game is the question. But even if he can, his family situation, with three school age kids, and not wanting to be away from them remains an issue. That’s why to me it’s Houston or nowhere else.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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