Tonawanda News — ORCHARD PARK — Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is hoping to put an offseason drug arrest behind him and focus on football.
Dareus participated in Buffalo’s first session of organized team activities Wednesday, three weeks after he was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance (synthetic marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. The defensive tackle insisted he’s on the right path and chalked up his arrest as a youthful mistake.
“I feel like I’m on the straight and narrow,” Dareus said. “Things happen; young, dumb. You’ve got to correct it and just work through it.”
On the field, Dareus has been a force on the defensive line for the past three seasons. The 2011 third overall pick posted career highs in tackles (71) and sacks (7 1-2) and was chosen for his first Pro Bowl as an injury replacement last season.
But he’s also had his share of off-field issues over the past six months. Dareus was disciplined late last season for being late to team meetings; he was benched for the first quarter of Buffalo’s Week 16 game against Miami, and for the first half of Buffalo’s season finale against New England.
“It’s behind me,” Dareus said. “I mean, I’m not a trouble guy, I don’t cause any problems nowhere. I’m not a loud guy, I don’t do anything ... if things happen, things happen.”
Dareus said he has not heard from the league regarding a possible suspension.
Following the draft, Bills general manager Doug Whaley and coach Doug Marrone said that they view off-field trouble on a case-by-case basis. Marrone said Wednesday that Dareus has done a good job since returning to Buffalo for strength and conditioning workouts earlier this month.
“(He’s) getting on track and staying focused,” Marrone said. “I think every time he’s here and he’s in this building, that’s what we see. I’ve always told Marcell that. The more that he can be here, the better job that he seems to do. Just going to stay on it.”