Buffalo Bills

Stadium: New Era Field | Coach: Sean McDermott
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense26th111.3 (12th)174.0 (29th)
Defense6th75.3 (7th)203.0 (10th)

Bills report: Notes, quotes

The Sports Xchange
Notes, quotes · Strategy and personnel · Inside slant

-- DE Aaron Schobel is leaning toward retirement, although the team still hopes he'll return.

"Our stance hasn't changed, nothing's changed," said coach Chan Gailey. "We would like to have had him here but he chose not to and he's got a tough decision in his life to make and we understand that. It's not like we don't understand, we do understand. He'll have a lot of catching up to do when he gets here."

"I'm leaning toward not playing, but I don't want to make a decision and then change my mind," Schobel told the Associated Press earlier this month. "For the Bills, I'd just tell them to go on without me."

Schobel, 32, the Bills' No. 2 all-time sack leader, was due to earn a $2 million roster bonus on March 10 but did not take the physical necessary to collect it. Schobel remains in his native Texas pondering retirement.

-- RB Marshawn Lynch participated in the final OTA, but coach Chan Gailey said he's still learning the offense.

"I don't think he's caught up. You can't miss that much and be caught up but he seems to be a fairly quick study," said Gailey.

-- LT Demetrius Bell (knee) remains on track to return for the start of training camp.

"At one time it was a question of whether he'd make the first of training camp. I think now there's no question he'll make the first of training camp," said coach Chan Gailey.

He was injured in a game at Tennessee last Nov. 15. While Bell's knee isn't quite up to speed, his confidence is. That's because Buffalo's new front office regime and coaching staff didn't use the No. 9 overall pick in the college draft on a left tackle as expected, instead selecting Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. Bell, a seventh-round pick in 2008, took that as a vote of confidence.

--Shawn Nelson, Derek Schouman and Jonathan Stupar have a lock on catching passes at the tight end position. But there's still a job for newcomer Michael Matthews. "Running the ball is going to be a key for us and I feel I'm a guy who can help get the job done," said Matthews, an accomplished blocking tight end who earned a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants as a rookie in 2007. Matthews played his college football for new coach Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech, one of the top rushing teams in the ACC.

--If this football thing doesn't work out, DT Kyle Williams, WR Lee Evans and FS Jairus Byrd can try their hand at professional baseball. All three impressed during batting practice before a recent Toronto Blue Jays game, with the 306-pound Williams knocking out five home runs. Evans hit three of the 70 mph pitches out. "I didn't swing and miss and I hit a couple, so I'm happy with that," Williams, who received batting tips from manager Cito Gaston, told MLB.com "I didn't embarrass myself anyways." The Bills players were in Toronto to promote the team's two games at the Rogers Centre this season, an exhibition against the Colts on Aug. 19 and a regular-season game against the Bears on Nov. 7.

--Defensive coordinator George Edwards is working three linebackers, all veterans, into the play calling rotation. Paul Posluszny, Andra Davis and Kawika Mitchell have gotten the call -- and for a reason. "Well those guys have been in the fire so to speak, so you'd like for those guys to be able to handle it as much as possible," coach Chan Gailey said. "So those veteran guys will end up getting the majority of the responsibility on our football team. That's what you want. You want your veterans being able to do that. And, in this day and age, you never know when injuries are going to hit, you've got to make sure you have as many people that are able to handle that duty as possible."

--LB Reggie Torbor, who played for Miami, on whether knowing Buffalo's personnel helped him when deciding to sign: "That's always an advantage. I haven't played with them, but I've studied them. So it might sound funny but I probably know them better than if I would have been playing with them as far as on the field is concerned. I've played with Kawika (Mitchell) and Spencer (Johnson) and all of those were positives."

"Well you better have confidence in this business. If you don't have confidence in this business, you're going to lose in a hurry. So we have confidence that our system will put guys in position to make plays. You still have to go make them but I think we're going to have guys that have some talent. We've got to make sure that they get the opportunity to go be special on the field and that's what we're working on. You try to have confidence without being cocky." -- Coach Chan Gailey how confident he is in rebuilding the offense.

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