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Jackson, Lynch working; Mitchell absent from practice

Running backs Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch were on the practice field Tuesday morning as the Buffalo Bills continued to prepare for their final preseason game, Thursday at Detroit.

Lynch looked to be moving well on his sprained ankle, while Jackson was limited in catching passes. He had only a wrap on his broken hand.

Also returning to practice were offensive tackle Ed Wang, who also sported a big cast on his hand injury, and free safety Cary Harris.

Not practicing were tight ends Shawn Nelson and Derek Schouman, offensive tackle Cornell Green, linebackers Kawika Mitchell, Reggie Torbor and Donovan Woods and free safety Jairus Byrd.

Mitchell wasn't in attendance. We'll see after practice the reason for that. Also not in attendance were Byrd and Nelson. Schouman and Torbor were riding stationary bikes on the sideline.

---Jay Skurski

Forbes rates Buffalo a top tailgating city

This won't come as a surprise to any of the diehards who surround Ralph Wilson Stadium hours before kickoff on Sundays in the fall, but the Buffalo Bills -- or more so, their fans -- have appeared on a list of top tailgating cities.

On its Web site, Forbes Magazine lists 10 such NFL locations. The list is in alphabetical order, but since Buffalo is the first city listed, that makes it No. 1, right?

Here's the link to the story, and here's the description given to describe the Bills' game-day experience:

"Buffalo always ranks high on the tailgating roster, partly because of the city's incredibly long tradition of tailgating, but also because it offers the greatest variety of parking space for doing so. Arrayed around Ralph Wilson Stadium are lots for car tailgating, RV tailgating, bus tailgating, and limousine tailgating. The 'Bills Army' takes maximum advantage of this every home game (lots open five hours before game time), and the party reaches a truly professional level amid the odors of kummelweck, hot wings, and chili."

Not a bad description, although we spell "kimmelweck" a bit differently around here.

---Jay Skurski


Schobel calls it quits

Aaron Schobel's NFL career is over. The former Bills star defensive end said Monday that he will retire. He plans to make it official by filing his retirement papers to the league office as soon as he receives them from his agent.

Schobel spent the entire offseason trying to decide whether to return for a 10th season. The Bills gave him until the start of training camp to let them know what his intentions were. When he didn't give them an answer, the Bills on Aug 4.

Schobel had other teams interested in his services, particularly the Houston Texans, who are near his home in Columbus, Texas. But after mulling his options, he decided that he had enough.

"I was tired of going back and forth with everything, so on Friday I made up my mind that I was done with football,'' Schobel said. "I just don't want to do it any more. I'm going to be 33 in a couple of weeks. It's a young man's game.''

Family was a big reason for his retirement. He talked about missing out on special moments like his children's birthday parties and holidays because he had to be at practice or traveling games. He and his wife, June, also didn't want their three kids having to split the school year in two cities.

"We thought about playing for Houston because it was a good situation,'' Schobel said. "But my kids at an age where they're starting to make friends, so it wouldn't been fair to take them away from all that. They're happy we're not moving.''

In addition to wanting to stay close to home, Schobel said he was tired of the physical toll football put on his body. Although he was productive last season with 10 sacks, he didn't feel like he could do certain things on the field that used to come so easy to him.

Schobel left a lot of money on the table by not reporting to Buffalo. He had four years left on a $50.5 million contract extension he signed with the Bills in 2007. He was due to make $6.025 million in base salary this season and would have received another $2 million by showing up at Bills headquarters and passing a physical.

Schobel thought about the money he was walking away from.

"Yeah, I mean if there is money to made, you hate to turn it down,'' he said. "But whether I got the money or not, it wasn't going to change my lifestyle. It wasn't going to make me any happier. I always told myself I never wanted to be a guy who was just hanging around for the money.''

Schobel added that his decision is final.

"I won't be changing my mind, I can promise you that,'' he said. "This is it for me, period. It's good to be able to go out on your own terms and not be forced out. Not a lot o players can say that.''

---Allen Wilson

Should the Bills sign Michael Vick?

PITTSFORD — You can count out the Buffalo Bills as a potential suitor for Michael Vick. Russ Brandon, the team's chief operating officer/general manager, told The Buffalo News today that the Bills aren't interested in bringing in the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback. "We wouldn't have any interest at this time," Brandon said. "We're comfortable with our roster as it stands right now."

 

---Rodney McKissic