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Schobel's retirement talk not resonating

6/11/2010

Will the Buffalo Bills miss Aaron Schobel? Will their fans?

Schobel has been to a pair of Pro Bowls and is second only to Bruce Smith on the Bills' all-time sacks list. But when the veteran defensive end told the Buffalo News and Associated Press he was leaning hard toward retiring at the age of 32 and with four years left on his contract, the development was met in Buffalo with a shrug.

I spent Friday morning on Buffalo sports-radio station WGR, where morning host Jeremy White called Schobel a "forgettable figure" within the Buffalo sports scene, "registering a point-zero on the reaction meter."

Schobel is a talent, but his decision to walk away -- if he sticks with it -- doesn't resonate for a few reasons.

Schobel didn't connect with Bills fans. He never played on a team good enough to reach the playoffs and didn't pull off any signature plays. He was a reluctant interview subject, making him tough to know.

We're not sure how Schobel would've fit into the team's new 3-4 defense under head coach Chan Gailey and defensive coordinator George Edwards. Schobel would move from a hand-on-the-ground defensive end to a standup outside linebacker with increased pass-coverage responsibilities.

But it sure seems odd that Buffalo's best defender for years has announced a reluctance to continue despite plenty of years to give, yet so few seem to care.