Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus jersey won’t participate in Saturday’s preseason tilt versus the Baltimore Ravens.
Bills send Marcell Dareus home for violating team rule
The Bills sent Dareus home for violation of a team rule, Chris Brown of the Bills’ official website confirmed.
There was no indication of the specific rule the 27-year-old broke. Dareus has found trouble since becoming a first-round pick in Buffalo in 2011. The defensive lineman has been suspended twice and arrested once in six seasons.
After two years under Rex Ryan jersey giving his players plenty of rope, new coach Sean McDermott is cleaning up shop.
Dareus signed a seven-year, $103.2 million contract in 2015. He followed that up with a 2-sack season and earned 3.5 sacks in just eight games in 2016 due to injury. Dareus’ start under the new regime isn’t off to a blossoming beginning.
“Sean and I are going to do things the right way,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane told reporters. “He violated a team rule, so we sent him home. Disappointing.”
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On Sunday, head coach Sean McDermott addressed the situation with reporters, but did not get into specifics.
“We have certain things we do a certain way, and I expect everyone to be accountable and the rest is really between Marcell and myself,” McDermott said, via The Buffalo News. “Really, we’re moving forward. That’s where I stand on it, we’re moving forward, and I’m looking forward to getting out here on the practice field and getting better.”
He added: “I’ll say this, (Dareus and I) got off on the right foot. And then we decided last night to make the decision we did, I did. And every decision I make is going to be in the best interest of this football team, and that’s the way it goes.”
Dareus eventually addressed the situation later on in the day, telling reporters “I take full responsibility. I talked with coach McDermott after practice and I’m zoning in wholeheartedly going forward.”
While McDermott said he wasn’t trying to send a message outside of “understand everyone needs to know what’s expected and everyone’s accountable,” it’s clear he’s trying to start the season on a firm note. Coaches taking over teams formerly headed by Rex Ryan have had similar experiences in the recent past. Ryan’s freewheeling style has been popular with players, but also difficult to reign in after a period of relative lawlessness.
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Discipline was a key pillar of McDermott’s introduction in Buffalo. It was a culture changing process that included locker room alterations and the elevation of certain players operating the right way. As ESPN.com pointed out in April: McDermott has since nixed the video games, pool table and air hockey. “This is a business,” McDermott said March 9. “We have to make sure we stay focused on the task at hand, and that means earn the right to win on a daily basis.”
Ragland, who missed the entire 2016 season with a torn ACL, was not believed to be a fit in Sean McDermott’s new defense. As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted, Ragland had been on the trading block for most of the summer, though it was always a matter of recouping the best value. Around The NFL’s Marc Sessler sniffed out the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Ragland two weeks earlier, citing Kansas City’s need to cultivate depth at the linebacker spot.
A Rex Ryan-era pick, Ragland now heads to play for Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton jersey, a fellow employer of the versatile 3-4 look Ryan had pegged Ragland for back in 2016. Sutton was Ryan’s long-time linebackers coach in New York.
So it goes for the new executive group in Buffalo. McDermott made a hasty attempt to change the Ryan-era culture by cracking down on rules and removing the team’s locker room ping pong table. A little more than two weeks ago, new general manager Brandon Beane also took an eraser to the Doug Whaley jersey tenure by executing a blockbuster trade that sent former No. 4 overall pick Sammy Watkins to the Rams and 2015 second-round pick Ronald Darby to the Eagles.
For new general managers and coaches, this type of shakeup seems to have become a standard. Upon Howie Roseman’s return to power in Philadelphia, he distanced the team from almost every major selection or signing of the Chip Kelly era. In Cleveland, the Browns also sold their roster in parts, collecting whatever draft capital they could manage. The Bills have enough experience at quarterback and enough veteran experience to stay afloat in 2017, but the pivot toward a potentially brighter (and younger) future started a few months ago and there’s no looking back.