As the clock ticked down toward the Buffalo Bills third preseason game of 2017, the Marcell Dareus news made time fly by even quicker than usual. Dareus was sent home from Baltimore ahead of their game against the Ravens for violating a team rule.
Head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane both told reporters how disappointed they were in the star defensive lineman, and that they'd be meeting with Dareus upon their return to Buffalo.
On Sunday, the team got back on to the practice field -- with Dareus among them. After the session, Dareus spoke with reporters on the matter. The conversation in full:
Why did you get sent home?
Me and McDermott had a discussion. We’re on the same page, and we’re just going to continue to move forward about it.
So you’re okay with everything?
I mean, me and McDermott, we had a…. Me and the coaches, we all spoke. And we’re very clear about moving forward, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’ve got a clear understanding.
McDermott had said all he wanted was for you to learn from it. Do you feel you’ve learned from it?
The conversation we had, we spoke in deep, deep thought. We spoke even after practice and we have a thorough understanding. So, we’re just going to continue to move forward with what we’ve got going and make this run this year.
Did you have to arrange your own travel?
[Laughs] The Bills do very well. I got home safely. Got to my bed, thought very well about moving forward. And with McDermott and the other coaches listening, we’re just focusing on that — focusing on the team.
Were there some other issues that were built up that caused this?
Actually, me and McDermott, we’ve been talking and we’ve come to a very good understanding of what we’re going to do moving forward. We have a very good plan, and we’re just going to continue to lean toward the future.
What is the plan?
Man, that’s like asking the game plan, man. I can’t give you the game plan.
McDermott talked about everybody operating under the same standard. As a veteran and a talented player, do you understand how other players look to you for guidance and setting an example?
Of course. I mean, the younger guys, the other guys on the team… We’ve got a great suit of guys here. We all support each other and we’re all saying the same thing, ‘Bro, don’t worry about it, we’re moving forward.’ We’ve got to make this run this year and just stay focused.
Are you concerned that you’ve crossed that line with McDermott? Isn’t there some sense or feeling on your part that, ‘Okay, I screwed up here?’
I mean, of course. I take full responsibility, and once we had our conversation we got a clear understanding of us moving forward and how we’re going to handle things.
Did you not have a clear understanding before that?
To be honest, our conversation that we had made it crystal clear on both parties.
Do you feel like it’ll be easy to, going forward, live up to what McDermott’s expectations are?
I mean, I’m focusing. I’m zoning in whole-heartedly, and any confusion that I have I’m coming straight to him to make sure the water is clear and we know exactly what we’ve got moving forward.
Are you worried your teammates won’t find you as reliable given your history off the field?
Not at all.
Do you have any message to fans at all after last year, and a couple of times in the past?
We’re focusing in on what we have to do. I’m doing everything in my power. And we’re going to move forward and stay focused.
Just to be clear, you said the Bills arranged the travel. You didn’t have to pay that out of pocket?
The Bills are a great organization, and we’re staying focused and moving forward.