Aaron Schobel hasn't been to one voluntary off-season workout. In past off-seasons, he has missed the majority of these optional practices in Buffalo. If he decides to play this season, he will be making a huge position switch from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker, a position he's never played, under a defensive coordinator he's never worked with. He hasn't informed the Buffalo Bills whether he's even going to play in 2010.
Nobody seems to care.
Marshawn Lynch also hasn't shown up for off-season workouts to this point, but he's front page news. WGR 550 in Buffalo has an ongoing "Lynch Watch," and Bills beat reporter Paul Hamilton made sure to note the running back's absence on Thursday. Patrick Moran from Buffalo Sports Daily said Lynch was a "lousy teammate" for not attending OTAs. Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle called Lynch a "moron," among other insults, on his Twitter feed this week.
What is with the double standard? Today, Maiorana had this to say:
"Bills RB Marshawn Lynch did not practice with the team again today. He's a pro's pro, isn't he? But some fans still want to defend him."
Where's the mockery of Aaron Schobel? I asked Maiorana.
"Schobel not there [because] he's probably retiring."
Seriously? "Probably retiring"? Shouldn't this make Bills reporters and fans more upset with Schobel than we are with Lynch? At least we know when training camp comes that Lynch will be there. We know Lynch, while not happy with his backup role, will be at the stadium on game day. Schobel, by stringing the Bills along, may have a much more negative affect on the team this season.
I get that people like Schobel more than Lynch. He's worked hard and achieved a lot more than Lynch has during his time in the NFL, and he should get more leeway to make his decision. That doesn't mean he should be given a free pass through scrutiny. It's a double standard when Lynch is receiving all the biting criticism, while Schobel can remain in Texas unscathed.
I also get why people dislike Lynch. He's been labeled a thug and made some really boneheaded decisions off the field. Does that mean he should raked over the coals for missing a virtually unpaid practice? Lynch is being written about all over the media, and Schobel's getting a pardon.
Let me be clear. Shawn Nelson hasn't been there all week. I personally don't care if any player is at voluntary practices in June. But Schobel's absence is getting glossed over, while Lynch is being attacked for doing the exact same thing.
Nobody seems to care.