Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel said just last month that he was leaning toward retirement. A month later he's much more open to playing again this season. So what changed his thinking on whether to continue his career?
The answer is who more than what. Schobel's parents have been nothing but supportive of their son as he wrestles with a decision that affects his career, his family and his future.
"My parents told me whatever I wanted to do they understood either way," said Schobel. "As far as finances go I'd be fine either way. It is a lot of money to leave out there, but it really wasn't a financial decision. They said if you want to do it, do it, if you don't, we understand that too."
The person who got Schobel thinking twice about closing the door on his professional football career was his former position coach with the Bills, who lives near Schobel's Texas home, serving as the defensive line coach for the Houston Texans.
"I talked to Bill Kollar," said Schobel. "I played golf with him one day. This is what he said, 'At the end of the year come January or February whenever the season is over will you regret playing? Or will you regret not playing?'
"That sort of made me think a little more about it. Come January when the season is over I don't think I'd say, 'Dang I'm glad I didn't do that.' I'll probably say, 'Dang I should've done it.' So that made me start thinking about playing a little bit."
Schobel said being undecided for the last several months about his football future has also kept him from pursuing any other post-playing career opportunities and with nothing else occupying his time he's taken a harder look at playing again.
"Maybe it is a little bit of boredom too because I hadn't made a decision and so I hadn't looked to do something outside of football," he said. "So maybe I just need something to do."
The team's primary pass rusher for the past nine seasons, Schobel said at this point he's "70-30" to play this season, provided the Bills are willing to give him a little more time. That time is needed more for family logisitics than anything else as they have been the crux of this decision all along.
But Schobel also wants to be sure in his mind that he's ready to fully dedicate himself to another 16-game NFL season.
"I realize I'm affecting a bunch of people and I have to make a decision, but I have to do that for my family too at the same time," Schobel said. "It's not like I can say, 'Oh I'm going to go play,' and go run out there and dance around. You've got to be 100 percent committed to doing it."