Bills offensive line coach Kromer joins team at camp
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer was excited to finally join the team at training camp, and grateful to the organization for allowing him to keep his job.
Kromer spoke for only 48 seconds and did not take any questions shortly before the Bills opened practice Monday night. It was Kromer's first time back with the team since being placed on paid leave on July 14, two days after he was arrested and charged with battery for punching a boy in the face in Florida.
The charges were dropped on Friday, and Kromer was reinstated by the Bills on Sunday. Though Kromer retained his job, the Bills suspended him without pay for the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
''I'm sure everybody wants to hear about what happened over the last couple of weeks, and I'm not at liberty to talk about it,'' Kromer said. ''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 and making them the best they can be this training camp, and getting them ready for the season.''
Kromer also thanked team owners Terry and Kim Pegula, team president Russ Brandon and coach Rex Ryan ''for allowing me back to my job.''
Kromer completed his statement by saying ''thank you,'' and then left the podium for the practice field.
The suspension begins Sept. 7, six days before Buffalo opens the season against Indianapolis, and runs through Buffalo's game against Cincinnati on Oct. 18.
Kromer was alleged to have confronted two boys for using his beach chairs. According to the Walton County Sheriff's Office, Kromer pushed one of the boys to the ground and punched him, and threatened to kill his family if he reported what happened.
Ryan announced Kromer's return to camp, but declined to go into much detail.
''Obviously it's great to have Aaron here,'' Ryan said.
Ryan did confirm that assistant line coach Kurt Anderson will take over during Kromer's suspension, much like he has since training camp opened Friday.
''We're focused on moving forward. We're not focused on what's behind us,'' Ryan said. ''We're going to go forward, and we have all the confidence in the world with Kurt.''
Asked if coaches should be held to a higher standard, Ryan agreed, though noted he wasn't referring specifically to Kromer.
''Talking specifics wouldn't help anybody, but it's a privilege, there's no question, to coach in this league,'' Ryan said. ''So the standards are set pretty high about this league and things like that, as they should be.''
Kromer was hired in January as part of a new staff assembled by Ryan, who took over after Doug Marrone stepped down abruptly on Dec. 31. Kromer had previously served as the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator.
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