|Belichick not biting on Schobel||08.04.10 at 10:47 am ET|
FOXBORO — No active player has more sacks of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady than Aaron Schobel. So if Buffalo does indeed plan on releasing Schobel — as ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Wednesday morning — would New England be interested? The Patriots do have a history of going after guys who have killed them in the past (Wes Welker), and Schobel would certainly fit that description.
But Patriots coach Bill Belichick wasn’t biting when asked about the two-time Pro Bowl end in his Wednesday morning press conference, saying only that Schobel, who has 12 career sacks on Brady, “has given us great competition” in the past.
“Right now, I’m really just focused on our team,” Belichick said when asked about the 6-foot-4, 243-pounder out of TCU. “I’m really just focused on our team. I couldn’t comment. He’s still under contract with Buffalo.
“But obviously, he’s a good player. He’s given us great competition on the field.”
While Schobel joining the Patriots would seem to be a good fit on paper, two noted football numbers men aren’t so sure. In this story I did this morning, Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders and Neil Hornsby of Pro Football Focus say that while the 33-year-old Schobel still has the skills to compete in the NFL, he wouldn’t necessarily work in the Patriots’ 3-4 defensive scheme.
“He had a fine season last year — we have him credited with 30 Defeats, which are stops for no gain, a loss, or short of a first down on third down), which is a high number for a defensive end. His average tackle came 0.2 yards downfield, best in the NFL,” Tanier said of Schobel, who has 78 sacks in nine seasons. “He’s really not a 3-4 player though. He’s not quick enough for outside linebacker, and would get hammered playing as a five-technique end for play after play.”
In other Patriots news, the team released rookie offensive tackle John Wise this morning and signed center Eric Ghiaciuc, who worked out for the team on Wednesday.
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