ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Marcell Dareus is beginning to test the patience of Buffalo Bills management with his repetitively poor off-the-field behavior. For the second time in a month, Dareus ran afoul of the law, this time in the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg last week for his participation in a street race, allegedly with teammate Jerry Hughes.
Dareus was arrested on three misdemeanor charges -- reckless endangerment in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and reckless driving and participating in an illegal speed contest, both unclassified misdemeanors. He is scheduled to appear in Hamburg Town Court on June 17, the first day of the Bills' mandatory minicamp.
Police are still investigating whether Hughes was involved, but according to a source of The Buffalo News, witnesses identified Hughes as the other participant in the race that ended when Dareus' white Jaguar left the road and crashed into a tree in front of a restaurant around 3 p.m. Friday, May 30.
"I do have knowledge of it," Bills coach Doug Marrone said when asked if he knew who the other driver was, "but I cannot disclose that information at this time because of the legal process."
Hughes would not comment Tuesday on whether he was involved, though he professed that when Dareus returned to the team, "I just know that when he gets back he's going to be ready to play football and he's going to hit the field full speed and he's going to wreak havoc. That's all that I can really speak on. Knowing him for going on a second year and knowing him as a player I know he's going to come back full speed."
Just more than three weeks earlier, Dareus was stopped for speeding in his home state of Alabama. He was found to be in possession of a controlled substance and of drug paraphernalia. Both are Class C felonies that carry a minimum one-year jail term if he is indicted by a grand jury and then found guilty at trial.
Dareus spoke to the media on May 28, two days before the incident in Hamburg and proclaimed, "They (the Bills organization) believe in me. They know that I'm not a trouble guy. I'm not trying to do anything. Things happen, and we're moving forward, and they know I'm going to grow into the guy they want me to be."
He has not been at practice this week as the Bills continue to conduct voluntary OTAs.
Marrone addressed the latest incident Tuesday, and it was clear that while he's not pleased with his Pro-Bowl defensive tackle, he wants to help the young player through his difficulty.
"Marcell has made some poor decisions lately and the one thing is that I've been working with him, and he's dealing with a lot of personal issues, too," said Marrone, who did not elaborate on what those personal issues were. "I spoke with him at length and we spent a lot of time together talking about a lot of things.
"As of now, he's not going to be attending the OTAs, but he'll be attending the mandatory minicamp when we come back. I just want to make sure that I'm clear that everyone understands that I believe in Marcell and I will do everything I can to make sure that we can get him on the right track. I'm disappointed in all of our players anytime anyone of us, including myself, when we make poor decisions. It's a reflection of the team, which is a reflection of me and it's a reflection on this organization."
Dareus took up residence in Marrone's doghouse late last season. After repeatedly being late for team meetings, Marrone benched Dareus for the first quarter of the Bills' game against Miami on Dec. 21. The next day he was late again, so Marrone benched him for the first half of the season finale at New England.
"Is he on the team or not on the team?" Marrone asked rhetorically. "Yeah, I think he's on the team because we have a responsibility to try to help them. To a point where every case is different and I've always been that way. If it comes from above me that we're done, then we're done. As far as I'm concerned, I'm going to help someone until I feel that it's not right. Once I feel it's not right, I'll tell you guys."
The former No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft wasn't exactly an impact player his first two years in the league, playing on a defense that gained negative recognition as being the worst against the run in team history. Last year, Dareus had his best season with 7 1/2 sacks and, according to Pro Football Focus, led all defensive tackles in the NFL with 36 run stops. He went to Hawaii as an injury replacement player.
The NFL has not weighed in on either arrest, but it's possible that Dareus could face a suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy regarding prohibited substances
By The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: June 3, 2014 05:16:10 PM
Bills' Dareus in trouble with the law again
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