O Schobel, Schobel! Where Art Thou Schobel?

Michael McMastersCorrespondent IMay 28, 2009

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21:  Aaron Schobel #94 of the Buffalo Bills runs onto the field before the game against the Oakland Raiders on September 21, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Seven and a half sacks—that’s what Aaron Schobel has come up with since signing his $50.5 million contract extension. 

That just isn’t up to par with what a $50 million dollar man should be doing for a football team desperate for a pass rush.

In Schobel’s defense last year, he only played in five games due to a Lisfranc foot injury that sidelined him from week five and beyond. The bad thing is, in the first four weeks the Bills played cupcake teams, and he only managed one sack.

What is it going to take Schobel to get back to 2007 form, where he finished the season with 14 sacks, was in on 57 tackles, and made the Pro Bowl?

A lot of hard work and dedication, plus a little desire, should do the trick. You would think that with the new defensive line coach Bob Sanders in the mix, Schobel would be at every OTA soaking up what Sanders wants to do with him.

Guys like Chris Kelsay, Marcus Stroud, and John McCargo are there. Why isn’t Schobel?  Is he too good for OTAs? What is he doing that is so important that he would risk losing all the money on the back end of his deal?

For his and the Bills' sake, he should be working on his conditioning and studying his playbook. I know these OTAs are voluntary, but with the Bills needing desperately to get to the playoffs this year, every player should be working on any new scheme designs that Perry Fewell may have installed.

Bills fans may question Schobel’s desire to play football anymore. He got $20 million guaranteed, he’s 32 years old, and it’s a real possibility that he is just showing up to games to collect his check. 

Russ Brandon is hoping Schobel doesn’t have that mentality. In fact, Brandon is banking on Schobel to have a big year. Without a solid pass rush, this defense will still be middle of the pack and that is not something the Bills can afford.

Expecting big things from rookie Aaron Maybin isn’t exactly the safest route to go, which makes Schobel’s dominant return a must. Maybin is here to alleviate pressure, not shoulder it all.

If he doesn’t produce this year, the Bills would be pretty hard pressed to keep the 32 year old around. 

Like Schobel said himself after signing his extension, “That's the one thing, I don't want be overpaid and I don't want to be underpaid. That's my motivation."

Well, Schobel, I hope you are motivated, because right now, you are grossly overpaid.