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Bo Schobel

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Schobel getting second chance

 

Injuries limited DE most of rookie year

 

By JESSICA HOPP

Staff Writer

 

 

Last year at this time Bo Schobel was filled with hope and promise.

 

He had been drafted by the Titans in the fourth round and was poised to make a strong push at defensive end.

 

 

 

 

Then came minicamps, and on June 15, he broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. He was sidelined until the Dec. 5 game against the Colts.

 

As the Titans prepare to enter the second week of May minicamp, Schobel is on the field strong and healthy.

 

Although memories of last season have not vanished, he has his mind on other things.

 

"I am trying not to think about it," Schobel said. "Once I missed training camp (last year) it hurt me a lot, but it's a fresh start this year and I'm ready to go."

 

Before his injury, Schobel was expected to be an early contributor at defensive end as the Titans looked to replace Jevon Kearse.

 

This offseason the Titans parted ways with defensive end Carlos Hall (traded to the Chiefs for a draft pick) and end/tackle Kevin Carter (released and later signed by the Dolphins).

 

To help make up for some of the losses, the Titans have brought in fifth-year defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, formerly with the Cardinals. Still, the Titans are in need of big things from second-year ends Travis LaBoy, Antwan Odom and Schobel.

 

LaBoy and Odom combined for 5.5 sacks last season. Schobel had 28.5 sacks (17 as a senior) at Texas Christian.

 

LaBoy is watching minicamp from the sidelines after having surgery to repair a sports hernia. That means more reps for Schobel, who has been running with the first team at left end.

 

Everything he does now is building on the experience of playing only five games last season. Even then, having missed almost an entire season, Schobel showed sparks of the kind of player the Titans think he can become.

 

He has two starts on his professional resume and 15 tackles.

 

"He's sort of starting all over almost," said Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn. "It's like sending a guy out there with no preparation at all. This is like he's a rookie all over again, but there's no question he'll catch up.

 

"He's a hard worker and he's so committed and dedicated, he'll catch up fine."

 

Defensive tackle Rien Long already likes what he sees out of Schobel.

 

"He does a lot of good things well, but he needs to find his little niche that he can patent and wrap up in a little box and call it his own," Long said.

 

"I think as soon as he finds that little thing that he does really good he'll just take off with it."

 

Long said he is already seeing strength in Schobel's stab off the line, something that presents Schobel with a lot of options. Odom sees other things.

 

"Bo is a hustle player," said Odom, who started seven games at defensive end last season.

 

"He has a high motor and he is a playmaker. It was hard watching him sit over there and rehab and feeling like he was suffering over there because he wanted to be on the field so bad. Now he's out there and he's a big part of our D-line." •

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This is an understatement. Schobel has a chance to be the best DE in Tenn since Kearse rookie yr. I bet he has close to 10 sacks this yr. The tackles are what worry me about him early on.

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