Kromer talks to media, says pretty much nothing
On Sunday, the Bills suspended offensive line coach Aaron Kromer for six regular-season games. On Monday, Kromer addressed the media. Like the Ray Rice no-questions-from-the-press conference of May 2014, Kromer simply made a statement without an ensuing back-and-forth with reporters.
“Can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be back here at training camp,” Kromer said, via comments distributed by the team. “How grateful I am for Terry Pegula, Kim Pegula, Russ Brandon, of course Rex [Ryan] for allowing me back to do my job. I’m sure everybody wants to hear what happened over the last couple weeks and I’m not at liberty to talk about it. So all I can say right now is that I’m excited about being back here, working with the talent that we have on the offensive line, making them the best they can be this training camp, and getting them ready for the season. That’s my whole goal, that’s my whole focus at this point and I’m excited about being able to able to do that. Thank You.”
It was perhaps the shortest comment ending in “thank you” since Joe Pesci’s opening statement in My Cousin Vinny trial.
So why isn’t Kromer at liberty to talk about it? The fact that the Bills suspended Kromer tells us that Kromer did something.
Besides, who told Kromer he’s not at liberty to talk about it? As the NFL’s disciplinary process has taken on greater importance in the aftermath of the Ray Rice case, it becomes even more important that someone provide some sort of a tangible explanation about the reasons for a suspension, so that the public can make comparisons between the punishments imposed for different sets of circumstances.
In Kromer’s case, neither the team, coach Rex Ryan, nor Kromer said anything of substance; the reports are that Kromer punched a teenager much smaller than him in a beach-chair brouhaha. Still, the statement issued Sunday night was as general as it could have been, and Ryan punted in both directions when addressing the situation before Kromer on Monday.
“I just think that you know obviously we made a statement,” Ryan told reporters. “We issued a statement as an organization, so I’m really not going to add a whole lot to that. I think Aaron [Kromer] will be out here to talk to everybody and I certainly don’t want to speak for Aaron. So that’s really where I’m, you know comfortable saying I think we had a pretty thorough statement.”
But the statement wasn’t thorough. It said nothing about the incident other than to call it an “incident.” And Kromer said nothing.
So, officially, Kromer was suspended six games for an incident. And no one is going to talk about the incident. And now the story is over.