Marcell Dareus finally made his return to Buffalo Bills training camp after a tumultuous week that started with a court appearance and a failed physical conditioning test. Now, Dareus assures everyone that he is taking things ‘one day at a time’ and plans to be a force once more along the defensive line for the Bills.
Dareus released a prepared statement upon his return to Bills camp, per the team’s website. It was about what one would expect from a penitent athlete looking to put himself back in a positive light.
“After dealing with a personal matter in Alabama, I am excited to return to training camp to rejoin my teammates in our preparations for the 2014 season,” Dareus said in a quote issued by the team. “Right now, my focus is on earning the trust of my teammates, coaches and the fans while continuing to improve as a football player. I have a passion for this game and I want to be here to help this organization achieve its goals. There are things I need to work on professionally and personally to make sure I can be accountable to myself, my family, this team and this community. My focus will remain on achieving that goal one day at a time. I want to thank the Bills organization, Coach Marrone and the coaching staff, my teammates and our fans for their continued support.”
Dareus is well beyond words here. Fans have not only heard his apologies before, but they’ve heard those of other troubled players in the past. At this point, it’s all about actions for the two-time Pro Bowler.
The Bills need Dareus if they’re going to continue as one of the most sack-happy teams in the NFL, but they can’t allow themselves to erode their morals and structure just to accommodate someone who has lacked even the most basic modicum of discipline since the 2013 season ended.
The first step for Dareus will be the physical conditioning test. If he can pass the test, then that will be the first sign that his words are sincere. Until the team gets some kind of positive action though, it’s hard to take anything Dareus says at face value.