The Bills have made it clear that they’ll make heavy use of running back LeSean McCoy in order to win games this season, but they aren’t making the same kind of promises when it comes to defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
While Dareus takes up more of the salary cap than any other player in Buffalo, he only played 34 snaps on defense — 59 percent of the team’s total — in the team’s season-opening win over the Jets and coach Sean McDermott used the same “what it takes to win” explanation for why Dareus was off the field so often as he did for why McCoy could play every snap in a given game. Dareus admitted it was challenging to get into a rhythm against the Jets and ended the game without a tackle, but said he’s on board with what the Bills are doing.
“It’s a new regime, and the way we’re doing this, I’m only one piece of the whole puzzle,” Dareus said. “I have to play my role. I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. It’s not about me. I’m just going to do what I have to do for the best of the team. They’re doing what’s best for the whole team. It’s not necessarily for me and how many reps I get. Like I said, I’m only one piece. We’re going to do whatever we can.”
The move back to the 4-3 this season seemed to bode well for a player who had 28.5 sacks in four years before Rex Ryan was hired as the Bills’ coach, but Dareus was off the field for most third downs. That’s a pretty clear sign that money won’t determine playing time and that Dareus may have some work to do when it comes to winning over that new regime.