PITTSFORD, NY (WKBW/BILLS) - Below are comments from the Buffalo Bills following Monday's morning practice.
General Manager Buddy Nix
What went into the decision to proceed without Aaron [Schobel]?
We’re trying to get our team ready to play this year and we just thought it was time for us to move forward and we’re really working some good players at that position. Which really didn’t have anything to do with it, but we’re trying to get ready to play in 2010 and we think that’s what we needed to do.
How deeply did you explore trade options?
Not at all to this point. Not at all.
Will you formally release him now? How does that work?
He will stay on the Reserved/Did Not Report List until he makes a decision on whether he’s retiring or if he might want to play somewhere else.
Given the young players that you have, [Aaron] Maybin, etc.., do you think him [Schobel] being here would retard their development?
I don’t care about getting into that really. You can figure that out. He’s not going to be here and hopefully those guys will step up.
Was salary a consideration?
Did you have a drop-dead date and is that why the decision came?
The decision up to camp was that he could still report. And he had not told us whether he was retiring or whether he’d report. So it was a point that when he didn’t show up that we’d gone as far as we could go.
At this point, given that he’s missed so much practice in a new defensive system, was that part of the decision?
Obviously, he’s missed some learning. There’s no doubt about it. But, the bottom line is that we’ve got guys that have worked hard, they’re doing everything they can, everything we ask them to do. We’re thinking about them. Every decision we make will be based on what’s best for us, what’s best for this team and what’s best for the Bills. I’ve told you guys that from the start and that’s going to stay true.
On Wednesday you were asked how long you were willing to wait, and it seemed that it was the unforeseeable future?
He was not late Wednesday.
Is there any chance that he’ll return to this team?
Linebacker Aaron Maybin
On the departure of LB Aaron Schobel:
We’ve got a lot of work to do. When you lose a guy like Aaron Schobel that definitely means that the rest of the guys in the position room have to definitely step it up another level. You lose a guy with that kind of productivity, it’s definitely going to be something that has to be made up for. That just means that within the linebacker [group] we all have to step it up. Guys really have to take it upon themselves to put themselves in a position to make plays.
On accepting the role of pass rusher:
We still have a long way to go. I’m still building, I’m still learning a new defense and everything. But I’m feeling good. As each day progresses, I’m feeling better and better. Like I said again, that’s a lot of pressure that’s put on us, so there’s a lot of hard work that has to be done between here and now.
On what Schobel taught him:
He’s a guy that definitely brought a completely unique energy to the defense. He was a guy that had a great skill set and somebody that I was able to learn a whole lot from, just being a rookie and being behind him, getting a chance to talk to him every day and learn from him. It’s definitely something that I tried to take advantage of when I had the opportunity and I’m glad I did now.
On if Schobel’s departure will enable him to have a larger role on the team:
You can’t ever base your chances on somebody else being there or not. I’ve been saying that from day one. We can’t ever end up worrying about the next guy. All we can really do is keep on preparing individually and hope that our preparation has us ready for the season.
On if Schobel’s departure will give him his chance to make an impact:
I appreciate it, thank you. Hopefully, we’ll see. Like I said, there’s a lot of work to be done. We have a long way to go, we have a long training camp still ahead of us and a lot of building to do. But I definitely think it’s going to end up like that.
On if he’s ready to take on the role of the pass-rush threat of the team:
I believe that I am. Like I’ve been saying from day one, I have yet to prove myself in this league. I tell everybody that, and everybody on this team knows that and they know how hard I’m working and how bad I want this team to win and how bad I want to be a major contributor to that. So with this happening, it just means that it’s time for me to step it up and it’s time for me to really put myself in that position and that role for this team.
Nosetackle Kyle Williams
On his comment about the team moving forward without veteran LB Aaron Shobel :
Well, like Schobel’s always said, that’s the teams prerogative. They wanted to move forward without him. He was OK with that. He saw that and he wanted to take his time with it, and they made their play. That’s what we’re going to work with and we’re going to play without him this year.
On if the team is disappointed to not have him out there this year:
He’s a good player and he’s a good friend. I’d like to have him around, but at the same time there is turnover on every team every year. We knew there was going to be a lot of turnover this year with a new staff and Schobel’s just going to be one of them. We’ll miss him, especially as a friend. We’ll live and so will he.
On how not having Schobel will impact the team:
Everybody knows he’s a good pass rusher and he could help us there. But, like I said, [with] a new staff, younger guys get in here and [we’ll] make our plays with the guys that we have.
On if he is surprised by the decision:
Not really. I know this is a business and things tend to happen that you don’t expect. Like I said, we all know Schobel is a good player. There’s a lot of teams that would love to have him, but we don’t so we have to live with that.
On if he thinks the team is sending a message:
I don’t know. I don’t know what the message would be. I know he wanted to take his time. They gave him this much time and I guess they made their decision that, ‘We can’t give you anymore,’ and he wanted more. This is just what it comes to.